XTERRA Atlantic Series heading toward stretch run
What started out as training runs turned into race victories for Preston Campbell and Jackie Palmer at the XTERRA Lums Pond Trail Run.
Campbell was the overall winner of the 10-kilometer trail race at Lums Pond State Park in Bear, Delaware. Palmer placed ninth overall and was the top female.
Campbell, a Navy helicopter pilot from Annapolis, Maryland, completed the course in 38 minutes, 18 seconds. It was his second consecutive overall victory in the XTERRA Atlantic Trail Run Series (he also won the previous race at Seneca Creek, Maryland, last month).
"The race was really fantastic," he said. "I race Columbia Tri the weekend before, so the flat course at Lums Pond felt amazing and the conditions could not have been better."
Campbell's main sport is triathlons, so he has been entering the XTERRA Atlantic Trail Run Series as a form of training.
He said he took the lead two miles into the course, and then gradually increased his lead the rest of the way. "I ran my race and enjoyed the trail," he said.
Juan Pablo Prada from Newark, Delaware, placed second in 39:17, and Doug Bishop, also from Newark, was third in 39:58.
Palmer likes to enter ultra marathon races, so the Lums Pond 10K was a warm-up of sorts for her (she did a longer race the very next day).
"I have been to Lums Pond before, but not for trail running so was not familiar with the trail itself, but knew it was flat," said Palmer, who is also from Newark. "The trails I usually train on are a little more hilly, so I think this helped my strength, even though there were not actually hills in the race."
Palmer finished with a time of 46:26, which was 21 seconds ahead of Leonie Campbell - who is Preston Campbell's wife. It was Palmer's second victory in the 2013 Atlantic Series.
"I expected the beginning of the course to bottle neck at the trail head and I went out a little faster to try and avoid it so I think I was in the lead for the females from the start," Palmer said. "There was at least one other woman following close behind me for the first half of the race, but she eventually dropped off. Then I was just racing with some boys to the finish."
The XTERRA Lums Pond Trail Run was the third of four races in the 2013 XTERRA Atlantic Trail Run Series. The series finale will be the XTERRA Big Elk Trail Run at the Elkton, Maryland, on June 22. To register for a race in the series or to learn more about it, please visitwww.adventuregeekproductions.com.