Local Eyes Hawaii For World Championships

OCEAN CITY — A local runner and trainer has earned an invitation to compete in a prestigious world championship race in Hawaii next month, but will likely need to rely on the generosity of the ever-giving Ocean City community to get there.

Corrine Banks, a single mom who works as a personal trainer, fitness instructor and nutritional consultant among other things at WOC Fitness in West Ocean City, has certainly left her mark on the regional running circuit with wins and top finishes in nearly every local event in recent memory. Banks also competes in national events ranging from 5K and 10K races to trail races and from half-marathons and full marathons to iron man competitions.

Banks recently won a regional trail race competition, which qualified her for the national championships in Oregon. Banks was highly successful at nationals, finishing third in her age group among the hundreds of competitors from all over the country, which qualified for the prestigious Xterra Trail Running World Championship in Hawaii in December. The Xterra World Championship, which will feature top trail runners from all over the world, will be 13.1-mile half marathon over a grueling off-road course.

The race will be held on the famed Kualoa Ranch on the northeastern side of Oahu. The 4,000-acre working cattle ranch reaches from steep mountain cliffs to dense rainforest and from broad open valleys to sandy white beaches. The Kualoa Ranch has been featured on numerous hit movies such as Pearl Harbor, Jurassic Park and 50 First Dates along with popular TV shows such as Lost.

Throughout the year, Banks has competed in numerous local and regional events, and with her accumulated points from those events and her strong showing at nationals, has qualified for the Xterra World Championships on Oahu. While the rigors of competing in trail races, marathons and iron man races certainly presents challenges, Banks’ biggest obstacle for the world championship race in Hawaii next month could just be getting there.  To that end, a couple of fundraising events have been planned for next week in an effort to help Banks pay for travel expenses and lodging on Oahu.

On Nov. 19, two events are planned to help Banks raise money for her trip and associated expenses. At 9:30 a.m., Banks will host an hour-and-a-half spin class at WOC Fitness with DJ Wax providing the entertainment. The cost is $20 and proceeds from the event will go to Banks’ travel fund. Later that night, the Ocean View Grill on the Boardwalk at 16th Street will host another fundraiser for Banks. For a $20 donation to the cause, participants will be treated to a buffet dinner, live music by Blake Haley and other giveaways and raffles.

While Banks has been a trainer and fitness instructor for years, she only began running competitively in 2006. Since then, she has succeeded in nearly every local, regional and national event in which she has competed. Her training regimen includes also includes biking and swimming, which has served her well during triathlons and iron man competitions, but her first love is running.

“Running is my strongest area by far and I’ve competed in a variety of distances from 5Ks to marathons to 50-mile trail runs and road races,” she said. “The biggest challenge in Hawaii is going to be the hills and mountains because it’s just so flat around here I don’t get many opportunities to train for that. The best thing I can do is mimic hills on the treadmill.”

While excited just to be invited to the world championships in Hawaii in December, Banks said this week she plans to compete and win.

“I’m happy and surprised to be invited, but I really hope to get out there and do well in my age group,” she said.

For more information about the fundraising events, contact WOC Fitness at (410) 213-7000.