New Mexico runner Patrick Smyth has ran all over the country, but after competing for the second time at the Lake Padden Trail Half Marathon, the Padden trails have to be one of the racer’s favorite spots to perform.
Smyth, 29, for the second consecutive year, captured the Half Marathon Trail title as part of the United States Track and Field Mountain/Ultra/Trail National Championships.
“The second time is even sweeter,” Smyth said. “The course was tough this year. The course got changed up a little bit, and it made that second half so much harder than last year. ... This year it was grindfest out there, so it feels real good to repeat in this type of fashion.”
Smyth covered the 13.1-mile course weaving through Lake Padden’s trails in 1 hour, 18 minutes, 29 seconds. Last year Smyth finished in 1:14:55, but this year’s loop was more challenging.
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Boulder, Colo. 27-year-old runner Andy Wacker, who has become a rival or sorts with Smyth this running season, took second with a 1:22:12, Max King finished in 1:22:35, Tim Tollefson was fourth with a 1:24:21 and Jared Bassett rounded out the top five, finishing in 1:25:00.
David Larpenteur, who finished 10th overall with a time of 1:31:53, was the top local runner.
Back in July Smyth edged Wacker for first place during the USA Mountain Running Championships in Bend, Ore., but Wacker bounced back to top Smyth during USATF’s Tampala Headlands 50K Trail Race in Muir Beach, Calif.
“It’s been kind of high drama,” Smyth said. “Now the tables have turned, so I am 2-1 and maybe we’ll have once last go before the year is up. We’ll see.”
Smyth said he pulled ahead of Wacker during the first of two loops and tried his hardest to extend his lead throughout the rest of the race.
Unlike the men, a new female runner claimed this year’s Lake Padden Trail Half title.
Just past the 1-hour, 30-minute mark, Eugene, Ore. runner Kimber Mattox emerged from the brush and dashed across Lake Padden’s southeast play fields for a first-place finish.
“It’s always exciting to win a race like this, and the trails out here are just beautiful,” Mattox said. “It’s fun to get out there on the trails, and you kind of don’t know where anyone is for a lot of the race. ... To come off that hill and hear all the fans around here on the field, it was just an exciting feeling.”
The 1:32:20 win offered confirmation Mattox’s summer strength paid off.
The 13.1 miles she ran during the Lake Padden Trail Half was much more than her previous two races.
“I wasn’t really sure how a half marathon was going to go,” said the 26-year-old Mattox, who ran collegiately at Willamette University before competing at the University of Oregon for a season. “I think it was just a good piece of momentum.”
Allison Morgan took second amongst the female runners with a 1:34:02, Ladia Albertson-Junkans took third with 1:36:24, Yiou Wang took fourth with a time of 1:36:37 and Camelia Mayfield’s 1:37:51 finish rounded out the top five.
Last year’s female winner, Bellingham’s Maria Dalzot, finished eighth with a time of 1:41:08.
USATF Lake Padden Trail Half Marathon Top 5 Results
Patrick Smyth (Santa Fe, N.M.)
Andy Wacker (Boulder, Colo.)
Max King (Bend, Ore.)
Tim Tollefson (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.)
Jared Bassett (Bend, Ore.)
Kimber Mattox (Eugene, Ore.)
Allison Morgan (Bend, Ore.)
Ladia Albertson-Junkans (Seattle)
Yiou Wang (San Anselmo, Calif.)
Camelia Mayfield (Bend, Ore.)