Haley Wins Third Consecutive Georgia Series Race
Little Mulberry draws 300 runners at inaugural event
A new race was unveiled in the XTERRA Georgia Trail Run Series this month, but a familiar face prevailed.
Matt Haley was the overall winner of the XTERRA Little Mulberry Trail Run, which was completed on November 17 at Little Mulberry Park in Dacula, Georgia. Haley completed the 10-kilometer course in 36 minutes, 3 seconds. It was his third consecutive overall win in the XTERRA Georgia Series.
"It was a great course and a great day to race," said Haley, who resides in Buford, Georgia. "The temperature was a little cool, but once you started moving around it warmed up. The course was a lot of fun. The first part of it was on hard packed surfaces that allowed for a quick pace early in the race. The majority of the race took part on the equestrian trail, which had two pretty long, tough climbs. The trail was nice and wide though, which really helped me keep a good rhythm."
He finished more than a minute ahead of runner-up Jason Veclotch of Tyrone, Georgia. Veclotch finished with a time of 37:19, and Matthew Rivers of Duluth was third in 37:57.
"There was a really solid field at this race, and to be honest I was really surprised with how I ran," Haley said. "I just had one of those days where I felt good and the course played to my strengths."
Jessica Ridley of Phenix City, Alabama, placed sixth overall and was the first female with a time of 42:09. It was her first XTERRA Trail Run victory.
Kristen Meadors placed second in 42:48, and XTERRA veteran Tara Gormley was third in 43:16.
Close to 300 runners participated in the event, which was the fourth of seven races in the 2012-13 season for the XTERRA Georgia Trail Run Series. It was the first time the series staged a race at Little Mulberry Park.
"Little Mulberry Park was a great venue for this race and I'm really glad that it was added to the XTERRA series," Haley said. "I actually didn't even know about the park until I saw the schedule for the series even though it's only about a 15 or 20 minute drive from my house. I've run out there a couple of times but I'll definitely be going back more often after running this race."
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The next event in the series will be the XTERRA Victoria Bryant Trail Run at Royston, Georgia, this Saturday, December 1. To register for a race in the series or learn more about it, please visit www.dirtyspokes.com.
About the XTERRA Georgia Trail Run Series
The XTERRA Georgia Trail Run Series is open to runners of all ages and skill levels. In the 2012-13 season, there will be seven races available for runners, with the courses ranging in length from 5 kilometers to 42 kilometers. The top runners in every age group will receive points after each race that will count toward the overall series standings. At the conclusion of the series, each age-group champion will receive a free entry to represent Georgia at the 2013 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship. Georgia is one of 13 regions hosting an XTERRA Trail Run Series. The others are Alabama, Arizona, Northern California Southern California, Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Pacific Northwest, Pocono, Puerto Rico, South Carolina and Texas.