By DJ Quinn
On May 30th another installment of the phenomenon gripping the Southeast arrives: the XTERRA Deep South Trail Run! For the past ten years, race director Tim Schroer and family have been putting on Dirty Spokes races across the Southeast, with races in Alabama, North Carolina, and the lion's share in Georgia. With about thirty trail and mountain bike races to run this year, you might think Tim and Co. would be overworked and stressed. On the contrary, when asked to describe his race series, and in particular the popular (and series finale) XTERRA Deep South race Tim says, “Overall the series is a blast! We go to some of the best and most scenic venues in the state of Georgia! Each race and venue (trail system) has something unique to offer. The XTERRA Deep South 15K/5K is at Dauset Trails (about 35-40 minutes south of Atlanta). It is a mixture of single track, double track, hills, technical sections (roots and rocks) and overall, sweet Georgia Dirt!”
As mentioned above, the XTERRA Deep South race (and all the Georgia races) are incredibly popular, and are only gaining in popularity. In fact, they are often sold out. When asked why the XTERRA Deep South race is so popular Tim says, “We have a great group of people that attend our events. The runners make these races what they are; they create a fun, family type atmosphere for our events! Whether it's front, middle, or back of the pack it always seems like everyone is out there cheering, rooting and supporting each other.”
The supportive and friendly atmosphere certainly explains the popularity of the XTERRA Deep South run, and Dirty Spokes races in general. But exactly how did all this start? According to Tim, “Dirty Spokes was established in 2005 by my wife and me. We have 4 daughters, so it's really a family business. Our family is a bunch of outdoor enthusiasts! My father is the former men's tennis coach at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia (he helps at the races also). Growing up I always worked in his tennis camps. I teach and coach at Mill Creek High School (my full time day job). Learning organizational skills from my father growing up (working for him at his camps), as well as teaching school, the race directing and organizing just fall into place.”
When I asked Tim what he thought about the XTERRA Deep South race compared to the other Dirty Spokes races, Tim said, “It really kicks off summer time! I think the name Deep South is appropriate because it's hot and humid each year out in the open field but cools just a touch when you hit the woods! The most important factor of course are the participants: they are the same as our other races-good people!”
With so many popular and well-loved races, Dirty Spokes can truly be said to put on some of the best XTERRA races in the country. Just go to the Deep South race and find out for yourself!
Photo Credit: Matt Turner / Defiant Photography