SNOWBASIN — Around the last mile of Sunday’s Xterra Trail Run National Championship, Lindsey Anderson had one thought in her mind.
Anderson, who lives in Ogden, had trailed the entire half marathon, but found herself taking a lead, the chance to win her hometown race just one more stretch of terrain away.
“I was like, ‘I want that $1,000. I want that prize money,’” Anderson said. “I mean, I’m a competitive person — I want to win. I come into the race wanting to do well.”
Indeed, Anderson held onto her lead to capture the title with a time of 1:33:23. The former Olympian — she competed for the U.S. in the steeplechase in 2008’s Beijing Olympics — had never before competed in a trail run, making her victory even more meaningful.
“I was coming in hoping to place in the top three,” said Anderson, who didn’t even decide to compete in the race until Wednesday. “I really didn’t know what to expect, so it was really cool to be able to stick with the leaders the whole time. Then, at the end, I was feeling really good, so I just pulled away and finished strong.”
That’s not to say the finish was easy. Before the race, Anderson had been told the last mile was mostly flat, and she was surprised to find that wasn’t exactly the case.
“The finish line was so tough,” Anderson said. “The last mile was pretty much all uphill. ... As I was climbing, I was like, ‘Holy cow, I thought we were almost done.’”
One the men’s side, the winner didn’t come as much of a surprise to anybody, as Max King won the event for the fifth straight time, to go with his four consecutive world championships.
“It’s always cool. It’s always exhilarating,” said King, who finished with a time of 1:22:12. “The crowd here is cool. Always, when you come to the finish shoot here, you get a good crowd to cheer you in.”
Given his success in the event, perhaps it makes sense King has increased the level of difficulty the last two years.
In each of the last two years, King has raced in a 50-kilometer race in his hometown of Bend, Oregon the day before the Xterra event. Both times, he’s won both races.
“The kind of volume I have to do to be competitive in races like this, anyway, has prepared me to do back-to-back things like this,” King said. “It’s pretty similar to what training would be like.
“It was hard to get going this morning and definitely took an effort to get a warm-up in. But once you get there and you’re warmed up, it’s OK. But once you come down from the race and cool down afterwards, it’s gonna hurt. I’m not going to be moving much later.”
Other local finishers included Bret Ferrier (1:28:05) and Seth Pilkington (1:32:08), both from Ogden, who ended up eighth and 12th, respectively. Malaika Homo (1:47:17), also of Ogden, finished 7th among the women.