Haley wins in record time; Lynn takes women's race
The XTERRRA Georgia Trail Run Series got off to a fast and furious start last month.
A capacity field of 250 runners participated in the XTERRA Harbins Park Trail Run 10K at Dacula, Georgia. It was the first of seven races in the 2013-14 season for the XTERRA Georgia Trail Run Series.
Matt Haley from Buford, Georgia, took top overall honors, and he did it in record fashion. He completed the course in 35 minutes, 28 seconds, which was more than one minute faster than the previous course record at Harbins Park.
"It was pretty much full gas from the gun," said Haley, 29. "I've run the trail a few times in the past, and it seemed like it was always a slow run, but the wide trail and hard-packed surface made it much faster than I had anticipated. I ended up racing in road flats and I think that actually gave me a little bit of an advantage over some of the guys who wore burlier trail shoes."
Haley, runner-up Brennan Pratt (35:54) from Decatur, Georgia, and third-place Jesse Rappole (36:26) from Atlanta all beat the previous course record time. Haley said he jumped to the lead within the first mile of the course, and then made a move to pull away midway through the course.
"I think that the fast early pace probably helped as much as it hurt because no one really seemed like they had much left in the tank at the end of the race," he said. "Brennan ended up catching and passing Jesse, so I was definitely trying to keep an eye out for him over the last two miles. I had this grand plan of really hammering the final paved section, but by the time I got there I was just on a mission to get to the finish first. I was fortunate to hold on for a really exciting win."
Becky Lynn from Athens, Georgia, placed 17th overall and was the top overall female. She finished with a time of 45:42, and finished more than a minute ahead of the other top females.
Leah Derringer from Douglasville, Georgia, placed second at 46:55, and Melissa Chapman from Lilburn, Georgia, was third at 47:38.
The Harbins Park Trail Run drew runners ranging in age from 16 to 71, representing four different states.
The next event in the Georgia Series will be the XTERRA Fort Yargo Trail Run on October 12 at Winder, Georgia. Following that are two races in November - the XTERRA Battle at Big Creek on November 2, and the XTERRA Little Mulberry Trail Run on November 16.
All races in the Georgia Series are open to runners of all ages and abilities, from all states. To register for a race, please visit www.dirtyspokes.com.