Super Sunday for Baldwin, Colburn
More than 500 runners were treated to a Super Sunday on the trails of Southern California last weekend, as the XTERRA Mission Gorge Trail Run was completed in picturesque conditions at San Diego, Calif.
The race, which is part of the XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series, took place on the morning of the Super Bowl, giving the runners ample time to refuel at parties after the run.
Patrick Baldwin of Encinitas, Calif., was the overall winner, finishing the 15-kilometer long course in 1 hour, 7 minutes, 58 seconds. "The course was in great shape and the day had perfect conditions - you have to love San Diego in February," he said. "I think it is my favorite of the SoCal Series courses, as it is steep and technical; really tough uphills and blistering downhills."
Baldwin (pictured courtesy www.SuperSportsPhoto.com) said he broke free from the rest of the field early in the course, and was alone in front by the midway point of the race.
The closer race was for the runner-up spot, as Chris Hupfield finished second in 1:10:19, and Matthew Dixon was third in 1:10:39.
Mary Colburn of Culver City, Calif., was an impressive fifth overall and an overwhelming first among the women. She finished the course in 1:13:37, and it was her second consecutive overall female victory in the XTERRA SoCal Series (she also won the XTERRA Boney Mountain Trail Run in January).
"The course was breathtaking," she said. "I was pretty cautious on the hills because they were pretty slick. It was a pretty technical course, and I loved the hills. They were challenging, both up and down."
Colburn finished more than a mile ahead of the other females. Maggie Shearer was second in 1:21:20, and high school sophomore Hannah Rae Finchamp was third in 1:22:48.
To view complete results, CLICK HERE.
The XTERRA Mission Gorge Trail Run is famous for its "1,000 steps" section midway through the course. It is a steep climb up the side of the mountain that challenges the runners both physically and mentally.
"I actually like it," Baldwin said. "When you're racing flat out and you are suddenly doing something using slightly different muscles, it can give you a second wind and let your running muscles recover. I did take my time and I think I used my arms to get up as much as my legs!"
After the race, the runners were treated to a breakfast as the awards were handed out. Most, though, headed back home to get ready to watch the Super Bowl.
"The run definitely made the beers later in the day taste much better," Baldwin said. "I couldn't think of a better way to start Super Bowl Sunday."
To view more photos from the Mission Gorge Trail Run, CLICK HERE.
The Mission Gorge Trail Run was the fifth of seven races on the 2011-12 schedule for the XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series. The top finishers in each respective age group at the Mission Gorge race received points toward the overall standings of the SoCal Series. At the conclusion of the season, each respective age-group champion will receive a free entry to represent SoCal at the 2012 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship in Utah in September.
The next race in the XTERRA SoCal Series will be the XTERRA Black Mountain Trail Run in Northern San Diego on March 25. It is open to runners of all ages and skill levels, and there will be two courses to choose from -- a 15-kilometer long course or a 5-kilometer short course.
To register for a race in the series, or to learn more about it, please visit www.trailrace.com.
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