By Summer Quinn
If you are looking for a new trail running experience this fall, head down to South Carolina where you’re sure to find one! Conveniently located near Sumter, about one hour from Columbia, and under two hours from Charleston, Myrtle Beach, and Charlotte, Poinsett State Park is the host of this first-time trail race. XTERRA Poinsett will kick off the 2016 XTERRA South Carolina Trail Run Series. The race will be held on November 15th, includes 4K and 22K distances, and offers a discounted rate for members of the military and veterans. The race route is 100% off-road, and will challenge experienced and beginner racers alike.
Known as “the Mountains of the Midlands”, Poinsett State Park offers a diverse ecosystem, widely varying terrain, and scenic lake and stream views. “The park and structures came about from the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s and offers some stunning overlooks of ponds, streams, and ravines,” says race director Geoff Duncan. The course is well-groomed, but does feature some off-camber sections. It is mostly single-track, and features several bridge crossings, stair sections, and some sections of moderately technical trail. The trail varies from loam, to sand, to clay/mud; a little something for everyone. Half marathon racers will experience a surprisingly hilly course, with some short, steady climbs, for an overall elevation gain of nearly 1,000 feet. Three stocked aid stations will be available along the route.
Awards are given to the top three finishers, men and women, of the 4K and 22K courses, as well as men and women forty years of age and older for the half marathon course. Series points will be awarded to the top 15 runners in each age group for the 22K.
Geoff has more than thirty races to his directing credit. “I enjoy the outdoors, am Co-Director of an amateur cycling team, Mt. Pleasant Velo, and enjoy cycling.” If you’re not quite up to racing, or wish to come out and support friends or family, Geoff would love to have you volunteer.
With a fantastic race director, series points up for grabs and amazing scenic terrain, this inaugural race shouldn’t be missed!