Linney Wins North Carolina Series Finale in Record Time
Matena takes women's division at Fisher Farm Trail Run
The XTERRA North Carolina Trail Run Series came to a fast finish last weekend, with George Linney III winning the XTERRA Fisher Farm Trail Run in record time.
Linney completed the 10-mile course in 1 hour, 5 minutes, 19 seconds, which was nearly four minutes faster than the previous course record.
Nearly 200 runners participated in the race, which was held on September 1 at Fisher Farm Park Trails in Davidson, North Carolina.
It was the third, and final, event of the 2011-12 season for the XTERRA North Carolina Trail Run Series. Linney won two of the three races in the series, and placed second in the other.
(George Linney III pictured, courtesy Richard Burgunder / www.powerbar.com)
"The series was great, and so fun to see familiar faces at each race," said Linney, who is 37 and resides in Durham, N.C. "I had never been to Fisher Farm, but I will make my way back there. It features classic hard-pack that is typical of so many venues in the Piedmont that I love to trod upon."
The course at Fisher Farm featured two loops around a 5-mile trail. Linney took the lead early and never looked back … although he was constantly looking down. He said he saw "a huge black snake" early in the race and stayed on the lookout for more after that. Fortunately, he did not see that snake, or any others, again.
"I made sure to enjoy the second loop," he said. "Where ever I had gone right over a ravine the first time, instead I took the left path and tried to enjoy all of the trail before me. It was a really great two-loop experience.'
Matt Longworth of Charlotte placed second in 1:06:50, and Zack Kessell of Charlotte was third in 1:08:12.
Valerie Matena of Charlotte was the top female runner with a time of 1:18:20. "I actually enjoyed the fact that it was two loops of the same course, as it allowed me to mentally run the first loop conservatively then get a bit more aggressive on the second loop," she said.
Matena said she turned one of her ankles early in the race, but recovered in time to take the lead by the start of the second loop.
(Valerie Matena and race director Tim Schroer pictured, courtesy Richard Burgunder / www.powerbar.com)
"I'd check back to see if anyone was coming after me at some of the switchbacks, but I had a solid lead from that point and was feeling good, so I just kept pushing until the finish," she said. "I must have had some adrenaline going as my ankle is still pretty swollen a couple of days later."
Matena is a former cross country and track runner at Vanderbilt University. Although this was her first XTERRA Trail Run victory, it was not her first trail race win. She has won several other events in recent years, including a 50-mile race in 2009.
Mary Beth Errington from Pleasant Garden, N.C., placed second in 1:22:38, and Michelle Taylor from Winston-Salem, N.C., was third in 1:23:24.
CLICK HERE to view complete results from the race.
Linney and Matena also won their respective age divisions for the overall series. Every overall age-group champion from the North Carolina Series received a free entry to the 2012 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship, which will take place September 23 at Snowbasin Resort near Ogden, Utah.
Here are the 2012 North Carolina Series champions:
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