The XTERRA Trail Running World Championships just held their first race, and it looks like Max King and Cynthia Anderson took away top honors.
Max King, 28, from Bend, Ore. and Cynthia Anderson, 25, from Kailua, Hawaii won the inaugural XTERRA Trail Running World Championship half-marathon at Kualoa Ranch on Oahu on Sunday morning. More than 800 runners from 32 states and eight countries participated in the 5K, 10K and 13.1 mile events.
Near perfect running conditions with cool breezes, cloud cover and temperatures in the mid-70s greeted runners for the half-marathon championship race that featured 3,000 feet of elevation gain while weaving up-and-down the verdant cliff faces in Ka'a'awa Valley and into the dense rainforest of Hakipu`u Valley at Kualoa Ranch.
King, a member of the Team USA cross country squad and the reigning XTERRA Trail Running USA Champ, led from start-to-finish and was the only runner to post sub 6-minute miles for a winning time of 1 hour, 18 seconds, 24 seconds. Ben Bruce of Eugene, Ore. finished more than three minutes back in second place at 1:21:56, and Thomas Taylor of Phoenix, Ariz. placed third in 1:29:34. Honolulu's Matt Stevens was the top local finisher just 17 seconds later.
"Ben (Bruce) is as good a runner as I am, and I am always afraid of him," said King. "This race was a lot tougher than Nationals. The last 5 kilometers were definitely the most challenging. I just didn't want to do anymore hills. This was an awesome event."
His first time in Hawaii, Bruce said this terrain, and the course's elevation gain was quite different than what he is used to. "There was more climbing in the first two miles of this race than the entire Nationals race combined."
Read more about the Inaugural XTERRA Trail Running World Championship here. For other trail races a good place to start is the Trail Runner calendar. Happy trails.