On June 10th, the XTERRA Atlantic Series will head to the old du Pont estate, Foxcatcher Farms. Established as a large horse racing stable in the 1920's, Foxcatcher Farms eventually became the site of an amateur wrestling training facility (and the basis of the 2014 movie, Foxcatcher).
These days, the estate is better known as Fair Hill. This Saturday, it will host an almost sold-out crowd of marathoners and half-marathoners who will traverse its green trails and dirt roads.
For most of the XTERRA Atlantic Series, Iain Banks and Evan Daney have had a strong rivalry and traded first place back and forth. Iain will be back for the XTERRA Big Elk Half Marathon and will be toeing the line with three-time XTERRA Big Elk Champ and Ambassador Eric Barton.
"Eric made the bold claim that he will break his own course record and claim his fourth consecutive victory in the XTERRA Big Elk Half," said race director, Jefferson Nicholson. "On the women's side, XTERRA Ambassador Laura Lunardi is feeling so fast after her recent marathon and half marathon wins that she will give the boys a run for their money."
Just like its history, the XTERRA Big Elk course has a little bit of everything. Consisting of two 13.1 mile loops, the course is the same for both races.
"Starting by the fairground recreation center, we'll run a little bit of a road prologue to thin out the crowd before we hit the trails," said Nicholson. "The course is a mixture of single track, double track, gravel road, bridge crossings, field crossings, and a creek crossing or two. The first third of the trail has a healthy amount of rock gardens to keep you alert and on your toes while the rest of the course has a fair amount of roots to keep you engaged."
The final race of the XTERRA Atlantic Series is the XTERRA Rosaryville 5K and 15K on July 9th.
For more information and to register for the XTERRA Big Elk Marathon and Half Marathon Trail Runs, visit www.XTERRAAtlantic.com.