Friday, December 05, 2008

Trail Running's Big $$$ Weekend - North Face 50, XTerra Worlds

The biggest prize purses in trail running are on the line this weekend at The North Face Endurance Challenge (San Francisco, CA) on Sat, Dec 6, and the XTerra Trail Running World Championships (Kualoa Ranch, HI) on Sun, Dec 7. Over $40k in cash up for grabs to the fastest runners!

The North Face Endurance Challenge, a 50-miler championship race in the Headlands that cumulates the US Series, is stacked with serious competition eyeing the $10k grand prize that both the male and female winner will receive (2nd place gets $4k, 3rd gets $1k). Defending champion Uli Stedl will have to fend off top runners such as Phil Kochik, 50k/100k USATF champion Michael Wardian, Joe Kulak, Adam Lint, east coast star Leigh Schmitt, Guillermo Medina, and rumored late entries of Matt Carpenter (2nd last year) and Dave Mackey (who smoked the course record at the Miwok 100k this year). For the women, defending champion Lizzy Hawker will be up against Nikki Kimball, 100k champion and Miwok specialist Kami Semick, and Colorado star Anita Ortiz. Yowza! That's a fast crew. To add to the difficulty, a 5am start with required 3-4am shuttle will guarantee that everyone will be sleep deprived and starting with a few hours of headlight running. If you want the big $$$, it's gonna take all you have.

The XTerra Trail Running World Championship is a 21k run in the country mountains of Oahu, HI, that caps off XTerra's first national championship Series. $10k in prize money is at stake ($2k for winners, going down to $200 for 7th), and the event will be filmed for the nationally syndicated XTerra show. This has enabled XTerra to draw some fast runners including Max King (the current XTERRA Trail Run National Champion, USA World Cross Country Team Member, and Olympic Trial Steeplechase runner) and Ben Bruce (the runner-up at Nationals, also an Olympic Trial Steeplechase runner) from Oregon, professional triathlete Logan Wealing from Colorado, Florida A1A marathon winner Danelle Kabush, and Xterra Professional Marion Summerer from Germany. It's going to be a speedy race for sure.

Both of these races also have open registration, so there is a good chance that some unknown road racer will come out to cash in. It's really neat to see this sport progress to this level, where prize purse money can help bring out the best competition. Best of luck to everyone this weekend!

- SD


  1. Ah, so that's why Uli skipped out on the Seattle Marathon again. Figured he was gunning for another $10k!

    With all those competitors now for TNF Challenge, this could be the race that people will say, "Yeah, he/she is the best." like how they do during those World championship races.

  2. Dave Mackey would be my (armchair ultrarunner) pick, but I don't think he's attending. I was under the impression Kyle was running... If so, he and Uli will duke it out with Kyle winning with a late gap on Uli that he barely holds onto.

    Didn't think Matt C. was going but that will make it all the more exciting. I'm getting up extra early just to get my run out of the way so I can sit in front of the laptop all day for updates!

  3. Both are going to be great $$$ events, of course you and I will be vying for the bigger prize of first dibs of the hot chili there in Woodside.

    Will G.

  4. burn up that home trail, Scott!

  5. This is very exciting... see what happens when the sponsors put up a decent purse. I hope this is a growing trend.

  6. Anyone know how the 50 miler went down today?

  7. Just got word that Matt Carpenter won.

  8. Hey Scott,

    I was the North Face volunteer coordinator, on site all day, here's the placings, don't know the times except that Matt and Uli were 4 min apart and both were sub 7 on a tough course

    Official places: didn't get the times

    1. Matt Carpenter
    2. Uli Stiedl
    3. Japanese runner(sorry don't know name)
    4. Kyle Skaggs

    1. Kami Semick
    2. Susannah Beck
    3. Nikki Kimball

    Super fast field, and a great day out in Marin

  9. My bad, actually I believe Anita Ortiz placed 3rd for the women and Nikki 4th.


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