He also won XTERRA Trail Run titles in Tennessee and South Carolina
Prior to 2013, only a handful of runners had won two age-group championships in two different XTERRA Trail Run regions in the same year. In the last month, two runners have won three age-group titles in three different regions in the same year.
Carl Epley from Marion, North Carolina, is the latest runner to join that historic list. He clinched the men's 35-39 age group for the XTERRA North Carolina Trail Run Series last weekend at the XTERRA Fisher Farm Trail Run in Davidson, N.C.
Epley's North Carolina championship follows previous titles won this year at the XTERRA Tennessee Trail Run Series and the XTERRA South Carolina Trail Run Series. All told, Epley competed in nine races in those three different states, and he placed first in his age group at seven of those races.
Epley said he drove as long as three hours to get to some of the races, but it was time well-spent.
"It did take a lot of time and weekends to run all of the races in the Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina XTERRA series this year," said Epley, 39. "All of the race directors in those states put on great events so I always knew that my travel time was going to be rewarded with an awesome XTERRA adventure."
With his three titles in 2013, Epley now has a record-tying six XTERRA Trail Run age-group championships in his career. He previously won titles in 2009 (Tennessee), 2011 (South Carolina) and 2012 (South Carolina).
Epley joins Tom Hutson as the only runners in XTERRA Trail Run history to win three age-group championships in three separate regions in the same year. Hutson's titles were in Texas, Florida and South Carolina.
Also of note from the 2013 XTERRA North Carolina Trail Run Series:
" Kimberley Hefner from Rock Hill, South Carolina, won the women's 35-39 title for the third consecutive year.
" Clark Jackson from Charlottesville, Virginia, won the men's 55-59 title, giving him two championships in two different regions in the same year. Earlier this year, he won his age group in the XTERRA Virginia Trail Run Series.
" Two runners went undefeated in their respective age group for the North Carolina Series in 2013: Matthew Longworth (men's 30-34) and Cory Sundeen (men's 40-44).
Here is the complete list of 2013 XTERRA North Carolina Trail Run Series champions:
|Female 25-29||Kate Benedict||26||Columbia||SC|
|Female 35-39||Kimberley Hefner*||39||Rock Hill||SC|
|Female 40-44||Lori Taylor||43||Charlotte||NC|
|Female 45-49||Marcia Kissel*||46||Charlotte||NC|
|Male 9-younger||Jake Mackleer||9||Hampstead||NC|
|Male 25-29||Tyler Turnbull||29||Charlotte||NC|
|Male 30-34||Matthew Longworth*||33||Charlotte||NC|
|Male 35-39||Carl Epley||39||Marion||NC|
|Male 40-44||Cory Sundeen||43||Charlotte||NC|
|Male 45-49||Ken Bohn*||46||Matthews||NC|
|Male 50-54||David Coleman*||51||Mauldin||SC|
|Male 55-59||Clark Jackson||57||Charlottesville||VA|
|Male 65-69||Don Burkett||65||Mineral Bluff||GA|
|* Repeat champion from 2012|