Longworth and Mercer win at Whitewater in record times
The XTERRA Whitewater Trail Run proved to be a fast opening act for the XTERRA North Carolina Trail Run Series.
Close to 350 runners from 12 different states participated in the XTERRA Whitewater Trail Run, which was completed on July 13 at the U.S. Whitewater Center in Charlotte, N.C.
Charlotte runners Matthew Longworth and Stacy Mercer took top overall honors, and they did it in record fashion.
Longworth, 33, completed the 13-kilometer course in 51 minutes, 28 seconds, which was 47 seconds faster than the previous course record. Longworth placed third at this event last year, but took nearly two minutes off his time to earn the victory this year.
Cole Whitaker from Carrboro, N.C., was the only runner to stay within striking distance of the lead. He finished second with a time of 51:44. Tyler Turnbull from Charlotte was third in 54:17.
Mercer placed 14th overall and set a women's course record at 1:00:48. She is an experienced road runner, but this was her first XTERRA Trail Run experience.
"The course was challenging, but fast," she said. "Plenty to pay attention to in the woods, but only a few obstacles caused me to drastically slow down in order to avoid falling. There were two to three brutally steep inclines, but they weren't terribly long, so I survived!"
She also won in impressive fashion, finishing nearly five minutes ahead of the other top females. Kimberley Hefner from Rock Hill, S.C., placed second in 1:05:29, and Kaitlyn Poff from Huntersville, N.C., was third in 1:06:33.
The XTERRA Whitewater Trail Run was the opening race of the 2013 season for the XTERRA North Carolina Trail Run Series. Two more races are scheduled this summer: XTERRA Beech Mountain Trail Run on July 27, and the XTERRA Fisher Farm Trail Run on August 31.
All races in the North Carolina Series are open to runners of all ages and abilities. To register for a race or to learn more about it, please visit www.dirtyspokes.com.