Suarez finds gold at Xterra Trail Run on Oahu

Emilia Suarez of Kilauea did the 3.1-mile, or 5K course, at the Xterra World Championship Trail Run in 29 minutes, 07 seconds Sunday at Kualoa Ranch on Oahu.

The time earned her first place in the 25-29 age group, the best showing of 10 athletes from Kauai who participated in the grueling event with the Kauai Divas and Dudes.

“It was pretty tough,” said Josie Pablo, a consistent participant in runs and bike rides. “There were portions where the road was almost straight up — even more than Kealia.”

Pablo finished the event third in the female 50-55 age group on a 2:43:17 run over the 13.1-mile, or 21K course. She was bested by nearly four minutes by Kapaa’s Lisa Ledesma, who crossed the line at 2:39:05.

“Placing was awesome,” Ledesma said. “We weren’t thinking of placing, so to have as many people place is awesome.”

Ledesma said the 13.1-mile course was beautiful, but one of the hardest courses she’s run.

“You run past so many movie sets and that makes it beautiful,” the Kapaa runner said. “But it’s also the hardest course I’ve run. At the 10-mile mark, there is this ‘Death March.’ You just cannot run it.”

Mary Castelanelli of Kilauea tripped the clocks at 1:49:55 for third place honors in the female 25-29 age group, and Nancy Andrade of Kapaa, crossing at 2:55:55 was a podium winner in the female 60-65 age group.

Basil Scott, the timekeeper for the Kauai Interscholastic Federation running events, took second place on a 1:53:45 run in the male 50-59 age group.

Other Kauai participants included Lina Van Fossen (2:43:18) of Kapaa, Agnes Largo (2:34:27) of Lihue, Tracy Chapman (2:26:03) of Kalaheo, Leigh Drachman (2:26:05) of Kapaa and Cary Hiltsley (2:49:34) of Kapaa.

Described as the crown jewel of the Xterra Train Run Series, the Xterra Trail Run World Championship and the Kualoa Ranch has served as the host site since the creation of the event in 2008, states the Exterra Planet website.

More than 2,000 runners were expected to participate in the 5K, 10K, and 21K trail run for the 2013 event which unfolded on the northeastern side of Oahu.

Ledesma said next on the calendar for the Kauai Divas and Dudes is the Honolulu Marathon on Oahu, Dec. 7.

Visit www.xterraplanet.com for more information.

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