King, 31, won the XTERRA Trail Run World title for the fourth consecutive year, this time topping a record field at Kualoa Ranch, Oahu, Hawaii, on Sunday, December 4.
More than 2,000 runners from around world participated in the event, and in keeping with the tradition, none of them came close to King.
King, an Olympic marathon hopeful from Bend, Oregon, completed the 21.9-kilometer course (13.6 miles) in 1 hour, 21 minutes, 27 seconds. He received $2,000 and a roundtrip airfare from Hawaiian Airlines for the victory.
“I’m surprised,” King said. “I knew there was good competition, and to be honest, I wasn’t feeling 100 percent. So at the start, there were three of us and we kind of broke away, and I was surprised that more guys weren’t there with us. Then about halfway, I kind of broke away again and was really surprised to finish here that far ahead.”
King (pictured) said he was suffering from a cold and a sore Achilles. “I don’t know what it is about this race,” he said. “Maybe it’s because of the time of year and the travel, but I never seem to come here fully healthy, so I’m just happy to win it again.”
The XTERRA Trail Run World Championship at Kualoa Ranch was created in 2008, and King has won it every year. It rained on the island of Oahu earlier in the week, but the challenging trails at Kualoa Ranch remained dry for the race.
Morgan Arritola (pictured) was an impressive 10th place overall and first in the women’s division with a time of 1:33:00. It was her first XTERRA Trail Run World Championship in her first race in Hawaii, and she said she now understands why the course is often described as breathtaking in more ways than one.
“It was beautiful,” she said. “I wish I wasn’t dying so much out there so I could have enjoyed it a little more. The humidity really got to me.”
That’s excusable, considering that just last week, Arritola was training on snow skis in minus-15 degrees in her home state of Idaho. She is a member of the USA cross country ski team.
“The start was mayhem, there were so many runners,” she said. “So I kind of just kept running and never really saw any of the other women.”
That’s because no other women were close. Arritola finished more than four minutes ahead of the other females.
2011 XTERRA TRAIL RUN WORLD CHAMP MONEY WINNERS
PL NAME AGE HOMETOWN TIME PURSE
1st Max King 31 Bend, Oregon 1:21:27 $2,000
2nd Petr Pechek 28 Trutnov, Czech Republic 1:22:56 $1,000
3rd Ben Bruce 29 Eugene, Oregon 1:23:01 $750
4th Rivers Puzey 27 Laie, Hawaii 1:25:45 $500
5th Jacob Puzey 29 Hermiston, Oregon 1:26:59 $300
6th Jeffrey Moreland 34 Reno, Nevada 1:27:10 $250
7th Brandon Laan 28 London, Ontario, Canada 1:31:04 $200
PLACE NAME AGE HOMETOWN TIME PURSE
1st Morgan Arritola 25 Ketchum, Idaho 1:33:00 $2,000
2nd Lucy Smith 44 Victoria, B.C., Canada 1:37:46 $1,000
3rd Heather Fuhr 43 Encinitas, California 1:40:52 $750
4th Cynthia Anderson 28 Kailua, Hawaii 1:42:08 $500
5th Melanie McQuaid 38 Victoria, B.C., Canada 1:47:08 $300
6th Susie Stephen 32 Tucson, Arizona 1:49:35 $250
7th Eva Skalnikova 26 Morave, Czech Republic 1:51:43 $200