She is one of 20 runners to win age division title for 2013 season
The XTERRRA Georgia Trail Run Series can be addicting for anyone at any age. Danette Betts is the latest proof.
Betts, a 49-year-old mother of three from Alpharetta, Georgia, did her first XTERRA Trail Run last September and hasn't stopped since. As a result, she is now the 2013 champion for the female 45-49 age division of the XTERRA Georgia Trail Run Series.
The season ended on June 1 at the XTERRA Deep South Trail Run in Jackson, Georgia, and as she has all season, Betts finished first in her age division.
"Yes, this was my first foray into trail running," she said. "I was sidelined with some injuries in early 2012, so to get back the taste for running, I knew I needed to try something different. Trying to complete as many of the Series races as possible was a good way to stay motivated and always have something on the calendar to plan for."
Betts finished the season with a perfect score of 600 for the Georgia Series. And she wasn't just fast for her age, she was fast, period. Betts often placed in the top five overall among all females, and was the top "masters" female (ages 40 and older) at several of the races. She said the excitement of running on new courses inspired her to enjoy every race she entered.
"Looking back, I really enjoyed them all," she said. "I loved that I had to and find these 'new to me' places. There are some great state parks with amazing trails around. I would have never gone to them otherwise."
Such success does not come without experience, and Betts was a successful road runner for nearly a decade before embarking on her trail run season. She has completed 10 road marathons in her running career, and numerous other half-marathons and 10Ks.
For now, her first choice is the trails. "I really enjoyed the challenges of the trails and I love running outdoors anyway - being in the forests was a great escape from city roads," she said.
The Georgia Series is one of the most popular on the XTERRA Trail Run national circuit, as more than 4,000 runners participated during the season.
As a Georgia Series champion, Betts earned a free entry to the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship at Utah this September. She is looking into arrangements to hopefully make the trip.
Betts was one of three runners in the XTERRA Georgia Series to achieve a perfect score of 600. The others were Tara Gormley from Marietta, and Jhonny Garner from Oakwood. For Gormley, it was the fifth consecutive year that she won her age division in the Georgia Series.
The 2013-14 season schedule for the XTERRA Georgia Trail Run Series is already set, and it will start in September. The schedule will feature seven races, with courses ranging from 5K to 42K. All races are open to runners of all ages and skill levels. To register for a race or to learn more about the series, please visit www.dirtyspokes.com.
Here is the list of 2012-13 XTERRA Georgia Trail Run Series champions:
|Female 20-24||Samantha Finch||24||Lawrenceville||GA|
|Female 25-29||Jennifer (Sam) Wallace||26||Oxford||GA|
|Female 30-34||Tara Gormley*||30||Marietta||GA|
|Female 35-39||Kara Scroggs*||38||Gainesville||GA|
|Female 40-44||Mary Deane Davis||44||Lilburn||GA|
|Female 45-49||Danette Betts||49||Alpharetta||GA|
|Female 50-54||Lori Brown*||54||Suwanee||GA|
|Female 55-59||Andrea Morgan||56||Atlanta||GA|
|Female 60-64||Linda Romero*||61||Snelville||GA|
|Male 10-14||Korey Shively||13||Madison||AL|
|Male 20-24||Kyle Wachenheim||23||Flowery Branch||GA|
|Male 25-29||Matt Haley||29||Buford||GA|
|Male 30-34||Robert Allen||30||Winder||GA|
|Male 35-39||James Taylor||36||Roswell||GA|
|Male 40-44||Carlos Resendiz*||41||Tucker||GA|
|Male 45-49||Todd Wilson||49||Suwanee||GA|
|Male 50-54||Jhonny Garner||50||Oakwood||GA|
|Male 55-59||Dave Morgan||57||Atlanta||GA|
|Male 60-64||Richard Stokes||60||Ball Ground||GA|
|Male 65-69||Jim Merritt*||66||Buford||GA|
|*Repeat champion from 2012|