Youth prevailed at the XTERRA Table Rock Trail Run last week.
College students James Brooks and Amelia Chassevent took top honors in the 15-kilometer trail run, which was held on August 18 at Table Rock State Park. Brooks, a sophomore at Clemson University, placed first overall with a time of 1 hour, 32 minutes, 52 seconds. Chassevent, a freshman at Erskine College, was the top female with a time of 1:57:25.
"Weather-wise, it was really nice," Brooks said. "It was a little humid, but basically fine. The difficult part was the course. It was a very difficult course in terms of hills and technical running."
Chassevent agreed: "When the race descriptions said that the Table Rock 15K was the most strenuous and grueling in South Carolina, they weren't kidding. The trails were mostly narrow, with sharp inclines and declines. We runners encountered mud, rocks of all sizes, and over-hanging trees, all while having the time of our lives. I have never felt so invigorated."
Brooks took the overall lead about halfway through the course, while running up one of the steep hills. He then pulled away late in the race, and finished more than five minutes ahead of the rest of the field.
"A couple of other guys pushed the pace early, but I held back a little bit," Brooks said. "We were maybe halfway up the mountain and I started to gain ground, so I tried to keep my legs running. I ended up passing them on a steep climb and I guess what happened was I opened it up on the backside of the mountain."
Bo Aartun, a student at nearby Pickens High School, was in the lead for the first half of the race, and ultimately finished in second place with a time of 1:38:05.
Chassevent placed 15th overall and said she was not aware of her position in the race until she heard some of the male runners behind her say: "Is that a girl up front?"
"When I signed up for this race, my only intention was to have a good time, so yes, I was very surprised to finish so well," she said.
Chassevent actually dominated the competition in the women's division, finishing more than eight minutes ahead of the others. Making it more impressive, it was her first time racing on a trail course.
"The Table Rock 15K was my first XTERRA race, and also my first trail race ever," she said. "I came across it by surfing the web looking for a final half-marathon before cross-country season began. The XTERRA Table Rock 15K was far better than I could have hoped for."
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The XTERRA Table Rock Trail Run was also the final event of the 2012 season for the XTERRA South Carolina Trail Run Series, and the overall age-group champions from the series were determined. Each age-group champion received a free entry to represent South Carolina at the 2012 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship at Utah on September 23.
Here is a list of the 2012 South Carolina Series champions:
|First Name||Last Name||Age||Hometown||State||Age Group|