Something old and something new are on the 2013 schedule for the XTERRA Virginia Trail Run Series, which is quite fitting because all races in the series are open to all runners, old and new.
After a three-year hiatus, the Virginia Series will return to the XTERRA Trail Run circuit in 2013, this time with three races on tap. Virginia Series director Mike Cothran said the return of a series was much needed because "trail running is growing in popularity" in the Old Dominion State.
The first two events in the series are both set for April - the XTERRA Hungry Mother Trail Run in Marion, Va., on April 6, then the XTERRA Fairy Stone Trail Run in Stuart, Va., on April 27.
"Spring is just getting started and the forest is once again alive with foliage," Cothran said of the trail conditions. "April is a great month to get out to a park and run the trails."
All events in the Virginia Series will offer two course options to accommodate the various levels of runners. The Hungry Mother Trail Run will offer a 10K trail and an 8K trail; the Fairy Stone Trail Run will offer a 13K trail and an 8K trail.
"The trails at Hungry Mother and at Fairy Stone are definitely great for beginners, and also offer enough elevation for even the savvy trail runner," Cothran said.
Cothran is especially looking forward to the Fairy Stone event because it will be the first trail race ever staged at Fairy Stone State Park - the largest of Virginia's six original state parks.
But the series finale is the spotlight event - the XTERRA Richmond Trail Run at Richmond, Va., on June 8. That event is held in conjunction with the XTERRA East Championship off-road triathlon, and it draws hundreds of elite endurance athletes from around the world to the city of Richmond for that week.
The XTERRA Richmond Trail Run will feature a 21-kilometer long course as well as a 10K course, and it was once named by Runner's World Magazine as one of the top 32 trail races across the country.
Points will be awarded to the top runners in every age group at all three events in the Virginia Series, and the standings will be updated after each event. At the conclusion of the series, the top overall runner from each age group will be awarded a free entry to represent Virginia at the 2013 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship at Ogden, Utah, in September.