Schefer from Maui, Schleifer from Germany win XTERRA 10K
More than 900 from around the world run at XTERRA Kapalua Trail Runs
Kapalua, Maui, HI - Willie Schefer made a great first impression at the XTERRA Kapalua Trail Runs, while Christine Schleifer made a successful return.
Schefer, who moved to Maui from New York just this month, placed first overall in the Duke's Beach House XTERRA 10K. The picturesque course started at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua hotel and took the runners up into the West Maui mountains before heading down to D.T. Fleming Beach, and then back to the Ritz-Carlton.
More than 900 runners from around the world participated in the XTERRA Kapalua Trail Runs, which consisted of the Duke's Beach House XTERRA 10K, the Hula Grill XTERRA 5K, and the Kimo's Keiki K.
(Willie Schefer pictured, courtesy XTERRA Photos)
"Seeing the views and looking at the water, that was awesome," Schefer said. "Definitely takes away from the pain of the race."
Hot and humid weather - not to mention more than 1,000 feet of uphills - made for challenging conditions. "It was hot out there, not too much wind," Schefer said.
Schefer is a former track and cross country runner at the University of Miami. He moved to Kihei, Maui, earlier this month. The Duke's Beach House XTERRA 10K was the first trail run of his racing career, and he finished the course in 37 minutes, 4 seconds.
"I didn't have that many expectations because it was my first time doing it," he said. "I just wanted to have a fun time and give it my best. I went out really quick, and I tried staying with the lead guy Nick (Walker). I felt really good on the half-way point so I took off and it worked out for me."
Walker, who is from Victoria, B.C., Canada, was the three-time defending champion of the 10K. He placed second this year with a time of 37:59. Derick Williamson from Austin, Texas, was third in 39:07.
Schleifer placed sixth overall and was the first female with a time of 41:46. The last time she entered the 10K race was two years ago, when the event was held in Makena, Maui. She also won that race in 2010.
"The old course was a long uphill section and then a long downhill," she said. "I think that suits me a bit better than this course here. Here, it's a lot of curves and up and down and up and down. You can't relax. I think this one is tougher."
(Christine Schleifer pictured, courtesy XTERRA Photos)
But Schleifer was up for the challenge, taking the lead midway through the course and running away with the win. Flo Dannah from England was second in 43:54, and Azucena Lara from Spain was third in 47:01.
Just like in 2010, Schleifer is in Maui to support her boyfriend, Sebastian Kienle. He is considered a top contender for the XTERRA World Championship off-road triathlon, which is scheduled for Sunday, October 28, at Kapalua, Maui. Schleifer and Kienle are from Germany, so the first-place prize of 120,000 travel miles from Hawaiian Airlines will come in handy. "We'll definitely come back because we like Maui … it's a nice place to make a vacation."
The XTERRA Kapalua Trail Runs are a benefit for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Maui organization.
The event is also held every year in conjunction with the XTERRA World Championship off-road triathlon. This year's triathlon will also start and finish at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua. For more information please visit www.xterramaui.com.
Maui runners dominate Hula Grill 5K
Ben Auerbach from nearby Kaanapali and teen running sensation Dakota Grossman took the spotlight earlier in the day during the Hula Grill XTERRA 5K.
Auerbach was the overall winner, completing the course in 19:40. He recently moved to Maui to start a career as a personal trainer/fitness instructor at One Fitness.
(Ben Auerbach and Dakota Grossman, courtesy XTERRA Photos)
Auerbach took the lead from the start and slowly pulled away from the rest of the field. Jake Jacobs, a sophomore at King Kekaulike High School, placed second with a time of 20:42.
In the female division, Dakota Grossman capped an amazing 24 hour stretch that brought her two significant victories on two different islands. She finished fourth overall at the Hula Grill 5K and was the top female with a time of 21:43.
The previous day, Grossman was on the Big Island, capturing her third consecutive Hawaii High School Athletic Association state cross country championship. She is a junior at Seabury Hall on Maui.
It was also Grossman's third Hula Grill 5K win. She also won it in 2007 (when she was 11) and 2008. CLICK HERE to see complete results.
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