Close to 400 runners participate in Battle at Big Creek
The XTERRA Battle at Big Creek Trail Run turned out to be an aptly named event, as it turned into a battle for the lead throughout the 10-mile course.
Jesse Rappole from Atlanta ultimately prevailed to earn the first XTERRA Trail Run victory of his running career.
"It was great to get a W, especially against good competition," said Rappole, who is 31 and a PhD candidate in the Kinesiology department at the University of Georgia.
Close to 400 runners from 10 different states participated in the event, which was completed on November 2 at Big Creek Trails in Roswell, Georgia. It was the third of seven races in the 2013-14 season for the XTERRA Georgia Trail Run Series.
(Jesse Rappole pictured, courtesy Steve Hampton / H&H Multimedia, LLC)
"Perfect conditions, and a beautiful, technical course with lots of rocks and tight turns," is how Rappole described the trails.
Rappole, Jason Dressler from Atlanta, and Matt Haley from Buford, Georgia, engaged in a three-way battle throughout the course.
"Jason went out fast; I stayed behind Matt until about mile 3 as we slowly closed the gap," Rappole said. "I then sat on Jason for about a mile after passing Matt. Jason and I passed each other back and forth until mile 5 when I took the lead for good. He stayed right on me until mile 7, where I put in a surge and opened a little gap. He closed on me around mile 9 but I was able to open it up a little bit again in the last mile."
Rappole finished with a time of 1:02:48, followed by Dressler in 1:03:13, then Haley in 1:04:45. Korey Shively, a 13-year-old eighth grade student from Madison, Alabama, was an impressive sixth overall in 1:10:36.
Mary Dressler - wife of men's runner-up Jason - was the top overall female with a time of 1:23:51. It was the first XTERRA Trail Run event for both Dresslers.
(Mary Dressler pictured, courtesy Mary Hampton / H&H Multimedia, LLC)
Kelly Doyle from Marietta, Georgia, was the second female in 1:25:27, and Holly Stewart from Atlanta was third in 1:26:20.
In addition to the 10-mile long course, the event also featured a 5.5-mile short course. Jeremy Shirey from Marietta and Aubrey Cyphert from Atlanta took were the top overall finishers for the short course.
The next race in the XTERRA Georgia Series will be the XTERRA Little Mulberry Park Trail Run on November 16. That event has already reached its capacity of 275 registered runners. The next available race in the series is the XTERRA Victoria Bryant Trail Run on December 7. To register for a race in the Georgia Series or to learn more about it, please visitwww.dirtyspokes.com.
About the XTERRA Georgia Trail Run Series
The XTERRA Georgia Trail Run Series is open to runners of all ages and skill levels. In the 2013-14 season, there will be seven races available for runners, with the courses ranging in length from 5 kilometers to 42 kilometers. The top runners in every age group will receive points after each race that will count toward the overall series standings. At the conclusion of the series, each age-group champion will receive a free entry to represent Georgia at the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship. Georgia is one of 17 regions hosting an XTERRA Trail Run Series. The others are Alabama, Arizona, Atlantic, Southern California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, North Carolina, Oregon, Pacific Northwest, Pocono, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Washington.