Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Arritola captures U.S. half marathon trail title

Sunday run at Bend

Ketchum's Morgan Arritola took a quick trip to Bend, Ore. last weekend and made quick work of the 2011 USA Track and Field Half Marathon Trail Championship on June 12.

U.S. Nordic Olympian Arritola, 25, revisited where she was born and brought back to Ketchum the women's national championship of the 13.1-mile test called the 10th anniversary FootZone Dirty Half Marathon.

On a hilly, single-track course in the woods of Deschutes National Forest near Bend, Arritola finished 12th overall of nearly 800 runners with a time of 1.24:34. Men's winner was Max King of Bend, 1.14:44.

Arritola won $500, a trophy and her first national trail championship by 42 seconds over Linfield College runner Marci Klimek, 23, now of Caldwell, Idaho. She had competed in the same race last year, but felt this year's new out-and-back course with its twisty, turny and up-and-down features was better suited to her.

"It was a completely different course, so the times were slower than last year, but it was better for me because it wasn't just a straight line," said Arritola, coming off a 1.25:17 women's overall victory in the Sun Valley Half Marathon May 28.

She drove to Bend Friday, mountain-biked the new course Saturday and won the Dirty Half Marathon on Sunday morning. After cooling down, Arritola jumped back in her vehicle and drove back to Ketchum because she had dog-sitting obligations Sunday evening. "I had a good time," she said. "I really like it in Bend."

Arritola, a member of the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation Olympic Development team, said she'll continue her training here in Ketchum this summer and possibly participate in a few more runs.

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