Docherty women's world champion; more than 1,000 participate in the event
Ka'a'awa, OAHU, Hawaii - (December 6, 2009) - Max King, 29, from Bend, Ore. and Fiona Docherty, 34, from New Zealand won the XTERRA Trail Running World Championship at Kualoa Ranch on Sunday morning and each won $2000, airfare from Hawaiian Airlines and a host of other prizes for their efforts.
More than 1,000 runners from 35 states and nine countries participated in the day's 3.1-mile, 6.2-mile, and 12-mile races, which were a benefit for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation of Hawaii.
King won the men's 12-mile championship race in 1 hour, 14 minutes, 26 seconds, nearly three-minutes ahead of runner-up Joe Gray, the 2008-09 USA Track & Field Mountain Runner of the Year. It's the second straight year King has won the XTERRA Trail Run World title and just a month ago he won the USA Trail Marathon crown (six days after finishing 18th at the ING New York City Marathon).
"This course was a lot harder than last year, it felt like 20 miles, not 12," smiled King.
Near ideal conditions greeted runners for the 9:00am start - sunny and clear with cool island breezes coming in off the ocean. The undulating course 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 (#1) went out hard from the start followed in step by Gray (#6) and Ben Bruce (#2) though the early stages, but before the midway point it turned into a two-man race.
"Joe (Gray) was with me for quite a while and I was afraid of him on the hills because he's so good in the mountains. Both he and Ben are great runners and I knew I had my work cut out for me," said King.
It wasn't until about the 7-mile mark when King pulled away, and solidified his position as the "King of XTERRA Trail Running".
"This valley is really a grand stage for an event like this, the scenery is just amazing with the cliffs and the ocean and the ridgeline single track trails. Plus, I'm really happy to be in Hawaii right now, its 15-degrees in Bend," added the two-time XTERRA world champ.
In the women's race, Docherty, a Kiwi living in Boulder, Colo., sprinted to the lead in the first mile and never looked back, crossing the finish line in 1:30:05, more than two-minutes ahead of last year's winner Cindy Anderson from Kailua, Hawaii.
"This was an amazing, tough and awesome course," said Docherty, the 2003 Duathlon World Champion and sister of two-time Olympic triathlon medalist Bevan Docherty. "This was my first XTERRA, but I've always loved trail running. Thankfully I am strong on the hills, so I was able to push it and hold on."
In the race for second, Heather Fuhr, a 15-time Ironman Champ and the 1997 Ironman World Champ, was in front of Anderson until about the halfway point.
"I started out hard, but Fiona passed me within about a mile, and I wasn't able to catch up to Heather until about mile six," said Anderson. "I'm not usually good on the downhills so that was tough for me along with the heat, but this year's race was fun and I ran six minutes faster than last year, so really psyched to take second."
Fuhr, 41, held on for third, followed by Kiwi standout Ady Ngawati and long-time XTERRA pro Jenny Tobin.
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2nd XTERRA World Trail Run Championship
Kualoa Ranch, Oahu, HI, Sunday, December 6, 2009
1) Max King (OR), 1:14:26, $2000
2) Joseph Gray (WA), 1:17:21, $1000
3) Ben Bruce (OR), 1:20:43, $750
4) John Tribbia (CO), 1:25:47, $500
5) Fujio Miyachi (JPN), 1:26:12, $300
6) Jeff Campbell (GA), 1:26:45, $250
7) Andy Ames, 46, CO, 1:28:53, $200
1) Fiona Docherty (NZL / CO), 1:30:05, $2000
2) Cynthia Anderson (HI), 1:33:01, $1000
3) Heather Fuhr, 41, CA, 1:38:01, $750
4) Ady Ngawati (NZL), 1:38:53, $500
5) Jenny Tobin, 41, ID, 1:40:29, $300
6) Jessica Tranchina (HI), 1:41:36, $250
7) Rachel Cieslewicz (UT), 1:42:13, $200
Complete race results at: www.XTERRAtrailrun.com