Oregon’s Max King Wins Fourth Straight XTERRA Trail Run World Title, Idaho’s Morgan Arritola Tops Women’s Field

From XTERRA Press Release –

King captured is fourth XTERRA Trail Run World title in as many years. Photo: Courtesy XTERRA

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.

“It was real humid out there,” King said. “It was tough as always. You think you’re through the worst part and then that big hill comes up at you, so this race is always challenging.”

Peter Pechek of the Czech Republic was this year’s runner-up, finishing with a time of 1:22:56. It was his first time racing in Hawaii.

“It’s a very difficult race,” Pechek said. “The downhills were really hard for me. I ran with (King) for the first 10K, then he got ahead. We have zero degrees in the Czech Republic right now, so to run in this hot weather was difficult, too.”

Ben Bruce of San Diego, California, was third in 1:23:01 – just five seconds behind Pechek. Bruce was in second for most of the course, but got caught in a logjam of the slower runners who were getting lapped.

“For me, this is totally out of my realm,” Bruce said. “I’m usually a track runner, and I do better on the roads. But it was chaos toward the end there, and I wasn’t expecting that. I kind of had to dodge the (slower) runners and got bumped and almost fell and that’s kind of when (Pechek) passed me.”

Ben Bruce navigates a stream crossing. Photo: Courtesy XTERRA

Bruce (pictured) has participated in the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship three times and has finished second (2008) and third twice (2009 and 2011).

“Any time you can run in a place like this, it’s worth it,” said Bruce, who decided to enter the race just three days earlier. “I have a lot of stuff on my schedule right now, but when I saw I had a chance to come, I booked it.”

The Puzey brothers finished fourth and fifth. Thomas Rivers Puzey, a student at nearby Brigham Young University-Hawaii, was fourth in 1:25:45. His older brother Jacob Puzey was fifth in 1:26:59.

“The funny thing is I never saw him the whole time,” said Thomas Rivers. “As soon as I finished, the first thing I thought of was him and where he was so I turned around and he was right behind.”

Jeffrey Moreland of Reno, Nevada, was sixth, followed by Brandon Laan from Canada.


Ketchum, Idaho's Morgan Arritola bested the women's field. Photo: Courtesy XTERRA

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.

Lucy Smith, a former Canadian cross country champion, placed second with a time of 1:37:46. It was also her first appearance at the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship.

“It was an amazing experience, probably one of the hardest trail runs I’ve ever done,” Smith said. “I loved the way the trail took you to so many different parts of the park. I feel so much gratitude to be able to do this race and be on vacation in Hawaii at the same time.”

Smith said Arritola was within sight for the first few miles, but then her focus was on getting second place.

“Morgan was running at a pace I kind of knew I couldn’t hold,” Smith said. “So in the middle of the race, when I moved into second, I wanted to make sure nobody would come up behind me.”

Former Ironman world champion Heather Fuhr of Encinitas, California, was third in 1:40:52. Cindy Anderson, the 2008 women’s XTERRA Trail Run World Champion, was fourth in 1:42:08.

For complete results from the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship CLICK HERE.



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


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

In addition to the overall world champions, the 2011 XTERRA age-group world champions were also determined at Kualoa Ranch.

Max King won the men’s 30-34 age division, and is now the only runner with four consecutive titles.

Jarrell Hibler from Honolulu won the male 10-14 age division for the third consecutive year. At 14, he was the youngest world champion this year. The oldest was Haleiwa, Hawaii’s Dan Walker, who will turn 71 later this month.

Lee Saltonstall of Kailua won her third world title, capturing first place in the women’s 60-64 division.

The only other runners to repeat as age-group world champions were Colorado’s Andy Ames (men 45-49) and Canada’s Melanie McQuaid (women 35-39). Here’s a look at this year’s title winners…


Division Name Hometown Time
10-14 (3) Jarrell Hibler Honolulu, Hawaii 1:55:26
15-19 Paul Hicks Wahiawa, Hawaii 2:05:18
20-24 Dany Malley Honolulu, Hawaii 1:37:33
25-29 Petr Pechek Trutnov, Czech Republic 1:22:56
30-34 (4) Max King Bend, Oregon 1:21:27
35-39 Nick Hirschfeld Auckland, New Zealand 1:34:40
40-44 Keith Rieger Surprise, Arizona 1:31:44
45-49 (2) Andy Ames Boulder, Colorado 1:33:28
50-54 Ray Brust Honolulu, Hawaii 1:46:35
55-59 Roger Handling Roberts Creek, Canada 1:56:46
60-64  Richard Stoner Venice, California 2:09:05
65-69 Jim Kettlewell Whangarei, New Zealand 1:49:50
70-74 Dan Walker Haleiwa, Hawaii 3:30:34


Division Name Hometown Time
20-24 Alisha Gipe Honolulu, Hawaii 2:01:48
25-29 Morgan Arritola Ketchum, Idaho 1:33:00
30-34 Susie Stephen Honolulu, Hawaii 1:49:35
35-39 (2) Melanie McQuaid Victoria, B.C., Canada 1:47:08
40-44 Lucy Smith Sidney, B.C., Canada 1:37:46
45-49 Susan Reynolds Vancouver, B.C., Canada 1:55:28
50-54 Vicki Daniel Honolulu, Hawaii 2:20:23
55-59 Brigitte Stemmer Montreal, Canada 3:05:18
60-64 (3) Lee Saltonstall Kailua, Hawaii 2:56:52
65-69 Jessie Stratton Redding, California 2:55:04
(#) Denotes number of XTERRA World Titles

Overall Champs in Bold