Smyth and Dalzot victorious at USA Trail Half Marathon Championships

Patrick Smyth handily won this year’s USA Trail Half Marathon Championships which was held on Saturday, October 18, in Bellingham, WA, at Lake Padden. The 28-year-old from Salt Lake City, UT, bested a strong field to post the fastest time in the event’s four-year history crossing the finish line in 1:14:55, nearly three minutes ahead of second-place finisher Mario Mendoza, 28, Bend, OR.

Conditions were ideal for racing with temperatures in the upper 50s, and overcast skies. The course included a variety of terrain including fast and flat sections of crushed limestone pathways around the Lake, and single track trails with leaves, tree roots, and rocks through canopied forest. There was more than 1600 feet of vertical gain in the course.

Smyth earned $750 for the win while Mendoza, who was timed in 1:17:45 – well ahead of his time from last year’s winning effort of 1:23:18 – pocketed $500. Third-place finisher with a time of 1:18:09 was Andrew Benford, 26, Flagstaff, AZ, followed by Justin Houck, Mercer Island, WA, in 1:18:47, and Bennett Grimes, 26, Seattle, WA, in 1:19:21. Third through fifth earned $250, $125, and $75 respectively.

The first master was 40-year-old Ian Fraser, Port Townsend, WA, who finished in 20th place overall with a time of 1:27:42, to win the top masters’ purse of $150.

In the women’s division, local favorite Maria Dalzot, 26, ran a smart and strategic race posting a winning time of 1:32:13. Although not a course record – that distinction belongs to Jodee Adams-Moore who ran 1:30:45 in 2012 – it was Dalzot’s personal best on the course.

Andrija Barker, 33, Caldwell, ID, was second among the women in 1:33:33, followed by Tori Tyler, 27, Danville, CA, in 1:33:53, Caitlin Smith, 33, Oakland, CA, in 1:34:33, and Chris Lundy, 44, in 1:34:36. Lundy was also the first master’s finisher earning her both open and masters prize money which totaled $225.

In this, the 5th year of the USA Trail Half Marathon Championships, more than 60 of the 210 finishers competed in the championships division.  Complete results are available at this link.

Story by Nancy Hobbs – Photos by Richard Bolt