Runners of All Ages Will Experience Kualoa Ranch
World champions to be crowned in various age groups
Runners ranging in age from 12 to 75 will be competing for world titles at the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship on Sunday, Dec. 5, at Kualoa Ranch.
While the elite runners such as Oregon's Max King - the two-time defending overall champion of the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship - get most of the publicity, most of the field will be competing for amateur age-group titles.
The youngest division is 10 to 14, and 12-year-old Michael Lazich will be the youngest runner in the championship field. He is in the seventh grade at Aliamanu Middle School in Honolulu, and is racing in an XTERRA Trail Run for the first time.
"He runs cross country for his school, but he always wants to do longer races, so he did a (road) half-marathon in August," said his mother, Liz. "After he did that, I felt better because at least I knew he could handle the longer races."
The championship course at Kualoa Ranch is a half-marathon (21 kilometers), but will offer challenging sections throughout, such as steep climbs and descents, and shallow stream crossings.
Two 13-year-old runners from Hawaii, Jakob DeWald and Jarrell Hibler, did the race in previous years and are registered again this year. DeWald won the 10-14 age division in 2008; Hibler won it last year.
"I really like the scenery," DeWald said. "Some parts (of the course) are really tough, but it's fun."
The oldest runner in the field is George Taylor of Canada, and he is already a two-time world champion. He won the men's 70-74 age division in both 2008 and 2009.
Interestingly enough, Taylor discovered the 2008 XTERRA Trail Run World Championship by chance while he was on vacation in Hawaii.
"I was walking along the street there in Waikiki and saw all these people signing up for XTERRA," he explained. "I stopped to find out what it was all about and when they told me it was a run on the other side of the island and how beautiful it was going to be, I signed up. And then I was hooked. I've been back every year since and hope to keep coming every year."
Taylor, who is a retired paramedic, said he will bring his wife, daughter, and two grandchildren on the trip to Hawaii. He said they will be leaving behind five inches of snow in Kelowna, British Columbia.
"Hawaii is just lovely," Taylor said. "One of the first things everybody told me about (Kualoa Ranch) was to enjoy the scenery. But I'm 75. I have to watch every step I take. Once it's over, then I enjoy the scenery much more."
The XTERRA Trail Run World Championship will actually feature three separate courses: 21 kilometers, 10 kilometers and 5 kilometers. The 21-kilometer course is considered the championship course, and only age-group winners from that course are deemed XTERRA world champions.
Interested runners can still register to participate. The last chance to register is Saturday, Dec. 4, at the Waikiki Beach Walk on Lewers Street, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
XTERRA TRAIL RUN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Where: Kualoa Ranch, Oahu, Hawaii
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