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Smyth Captures XTERRA Title

Patrick Smyth

Patrick Smyth

OGDEN, Utah – (September 22, 2013) – Patrick Smyth made quite the first impression on Snowbasin Resort and the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship.

Although he lives in Salt Lake City – about 40 miles away from Snowbasin – Smyth had never been to the picturesque trails at Snowbasin until Sunday. All he did in his first XTERRA Trail Run was win the overall National Championship.

“I’ve never actually been to Snowbasin, but always wanted to, so this was a good excuse to get up here and get on the trail system here,” said Smyth.

Lindsey Anderson, who made her first visit to Snowbasin last year and ran away with the title, successfully defended her women’s XTERRA Trail Run National Championship. She is the second female runner to win back-to-back XTERRA National titles, following Lauren Fleshman (2009 and 2010).


Smyth, 27, didn’t just win the 2013 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship, he dominated.

The former track and cross country star at the University of Notre Dame raced to the lead immediately and never relented. He completed the 21-kilometer course in 1 hour, 16 minutes, 38 seconds, which is the fastest time since the event moved to Snowbasin Resort in 2011.

“I’ve been running 10K and 5Ks most of this summer, so I didn’t know how long I could hold on,” he said. “I kind of wanted to go out hard and see if I could break some people early.”

By the halfway point of the course, Smyth had established a 30-second lead, and the only runner within striking distance was Joseph Gray.

“He set the pace early and let people know it was going to be on from the start of the race,” Gray said of Smyth. “I respect him for that. He ran a great race.”

Smyth continued to build his lead during the second half of the course, and even had time to get up and recover from a fall in the final two miles.

“I didn’t know who was behind me, but I kept looking behind me, expecting guys to come up,” Smyth said. “Around mile 11 or 12, I started getting some cramps and fell and started looking back even more.”

Gray, who came over from Lakewood, Washington, for the race, finished second in 1:18:01. He was the co-winner of the 2012 XTERRA Trail Run World Championship in Hawaii, but this was his first experience running at Snowbasin for the XTERRA Nationals.

“I’ve kind of been having some down time since the World Mountain Running Championships, so I wasn’t ready to go out super-aggressive,” Gray said. “I kind of went out a little more comfortable and let the race get away from me. It was kind of too late for me to catch up.”

Interestingly enough, the top five overall finishers were all first-time entrants to the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship at Snowbasin Resort.

Karl Remsen from Leadville, Colorado, was third in 1:20:23, Mauricio Mendez from Mexico was fourth in 1:21:19, and Nathan Peters from Salt Lake City was fifth in 1:21:29.

Mendez is 17 and just completed high school. He is an aspiring triathlete. He is the first runner under the age of 20 to finish in the top 10 of the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship.

B.J. Christenson from Salt Lake City placed sixth, following third-place finishes in both 2011 and 2012. Rounding out the top 10 were Chris Gomez from Arizona, Ryan Matz from Salt Lake City, and Eric Koenig from Lutz, Florida.

Perhaps just as noteworthy as Smyth’s victory was the 11th place finish of Max King from Bend, Oregon. King had won the previous five XTERRA Trail Run National Championships.

“I’ve raced against Max kind of my entire running career, so I know that he’s A-standard competition,” Smyth said. “This means a lot to me because there were so many good runners from around the country here. For me to come out on top, it’s a tremendous honor.”

King withdrew from his previous race in Poland last month due to an ankle injury, and it cost him some training time for the XTERRA Nationals.

“It was just a rough day,” King said. “With the injury and stuff, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but man, I’m just out of shape. I had no climbing legs. It happens sometimes, you can’t win everything.”


The women’s race turned into a duel from the start, with Anderson and Liz Stephen from Vermont running close to each other – and away from the other women – for nearly the first 20 kilometers.

“I was a little bit hoping we wouldn’t have to go out as hard,” said Anderson, 28. “But (Stephens) really pushed it and took it out hard and she’s a really good downhill runner. She would gap me by about 10 meters on the downhills, then I’d catch up on the uphills.”

Anderson finished with a time of 1:27:46, which is the fastest women’s time since the event moved to Snowbasin in 2011, and nearly six minutes faster than her winning time of last year.

Stephen came in right after Anderson at 1:28:12.

“On the last mile-and-a-half, coming back uphill again, I said ‘okay, here we go, I’m going to go for it,’ and luckily it worked,” Anderson said. “But she was tough. I give Liz all the props for running such a hard race.”

Both Anderson and Stephen have represented the United States in the Olympics. Anderson participated in the steeplechase at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing; Stephen participated in cross country skiing at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Anderson is also a former star runner and current assistant coach at Weber State University in nearby Ogden.

Stephen also finished runner-up at the XTERRA Nationals in 2011. She did not participate last year due to a schedule conflict.

“It was really fun to be back here,” said Stephen, 26. “It was really nice to have another woman to run with, but it was a tough race, for sure.”

Maria Dalzot from Washington placed third in 1:39:59, and Corinne Malcolm from Bozeman, Montana, was fourth in 1:45:57. They were both making their first XTERRA Trail Run experience.

XTERRA SoCal Series champion Margaret Shearer from Trabuco Canyon, California, was fifth in 1:46:34.

Deanna McCurdy from Peachtree City, Georgia, was sixth in 1:46:41. She was running for Team Miles for Smiles, which is a charity running team that raises funding for research through the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics (F.A.S.T.).

Rounding out the top 10 females were Genevieve Keogh from Layton, Utah, in seventh, Kristina Owen from Ogden, Utah, in eighth, Aimee Balzer from Reno, Nevada, in ninth, and Jaclyn Shokey from Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, in 10th.