South Carolina Runner Embarks on Ambitious XTERRA Run
David Hale plans to enter more than 30 races during 2013-14 season
David Hale was diagnosed with Stage 4 throat cancer in 2004, and was told by doctors at the time that he had three months to live. Nine years later, he is "living the dream" and embarking on an ambitious run through the XTERRA Trail Run Series.
The XTERRA Trail Run Series started its 2013-14 season In September, and Hale has already completed six races - three in the XTERRA Alabama Trail Run Series, two in the XTERRA Georgia Trail Run Series, and one in the XTERRA Florida Trail Run Series. This past weekend, he did two races in two different states (Georgia on Saturday, then Florida on Sunday). That would be a full season for some runners, but the 52-year-old Hale is just getting started.
He plans to enter close to 30 more upcoming races during the season. In addition to more races in Alabama, Florida and Georgia, Hale is also looking to enter XTERRA races in Delaware, Maryland, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia. If all goes well, he would like to end the journey at the 2014 XTERRA Trail Run World Championship in Hawaii.
(David Hale pictured, courtesy Steve Hampton / H&H Multimedia)
"I started racing in XTERRA Trail Run events this year, and love the racing atmosphere more so than racing on the roads," Hale said. "After seeing how many XTERRA races are actually within a 6 to 7
hour drive from where I live (Columbia, SC), I wondered if anyone had competed in many races other than in their local state or region. When I found out there was no known record for the most XTERRA trail races run in a season, I thought why not make one myself?"
Hale has purchased a recreational vehicle to drive to some of the farther races on his tour, and estimates he has already logged 4,500 miles through the first six races of his tour. His wife, Dawn, has been accompanying him to the races, and she often serves as a volunteer at each event.
"Not only am I having a great time in the races, but my wife (Dawn) and I along with our dogs make it a
family weekend excursion," Hale said.
Hale also owns and operates a running/triathlon store in Columbia, S.C., called the Velocity Distance Project, so he will be able to take some time off for the races while other employees take care of the store.
"The good thing about owning a multisport shop is that I contacted a lot of my vendors and asked
for sponsorship merchandise to help me during my efforts," he said. "I believe it is through my training and products I am using that I am able to keep injuries away; that is, other than my usual two or three falls during races that results in gashes, bruises, and sprained pinky fingers."
Hale admits that he is not the fastest runner on the trails, but his "XTERRA Living The Dream Tour" is more about fun, participation and adventure, rather than winning medals.
"My first goal is to survive," he said with a laugh. "But I also want to spread the gospel of XTERRA Trail Run racing across the lands."
Hale said he also has a message to his madness. "No matter what the odds are, as long
as a person is willing to push themselves, they can achieve anything they want," he said.
The XTERRA Trail Run Series will feature more than 70 races across the country during the 2013-14 season. Included on the schedule are 17 regions that are hosting at least three races: Alabama, Arizona, Atlantic, Southern California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, North Carolina, Pocono, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington.
All races on the XTERRA Trail Run schedule are open to runners of all ages and abilities. To find a race near you, please visit www.xterratrailrun.com.