On August 11th, the XTERRA Georgia Trail Series concluded its 2016-2017 season with the XTERRA Allatoona Creek Park 15k/5k trail runs. This series is incredibly popular with local runners, but also draws athletes from all over the country.
XTERRA Ambassador and four-time XTERRA Georgia Regional Champ, Matt Haley is a huge fan of the XTERRA Georgia Trail Series in part because of race director, Tim Schroer and his team, Dirty Spokes Productions.
"I've run a lot of races and I've yet to come across anyone else that puts on a better event," Haley. "Dirty Spokes does close to 30 events a year and each one is incredibly well-managed. This is what keeps myself and plenty of others coming back time and time again. They have created a community around their races, so you see a lot of the same faces whether it's a trail half marathon, duathlon or mountain bike race. Everyone knows that when they show up at a Dirty Spokes Productions event, no matter how the race goes for them, it will be a fun experience."
The XTERRA Georgia Trail season kicked off on September 24th, 2016 at Harbins Park with a 10k and included seven races ranging in distance from 2.8 miles all the way up to a full marathon.
"The 2016-2017 season was an absolute blast," said race director, Tim Schroer. "I love the energy you feel on race day from the participants - there is just a vibe in the air that's hard to describe. We are such a close-knit group of people that everyone who comes to the races becomes family. It's the coolest thing in the world to see people toe the line, compete against each other, then high five each other and cheer each other on at the finish."
Schroer noted that he has a number of excellent runners compete each season, including Matt Haley, Simone Bergese, and Sally Bray. All three are in contention for the title of regional champ for their age groups and have come to almost every trail race in the series. At XTERRA Allatoona Creek, Bray and Haley finished second in their age groups while Bergese was the 40-44 age group champ.
But Schroer is quick to note that the XTERRA Georgia Trail Series welcomes runners of all levels from first-time racers to elites.
"We want to create the best all-around experience for everyone who participates in our races," said Schroer. "The mix of venues and unique trail systems we use offer some of the best trail running you can find. Next year, I look forward to building on what we have already established."
Next year, the series will include eight races. New in the series will be XTERRA UNG, which will be held on May 19th in Oakwood, Georgia.
"We also added a shorter distance to the XTERRA Georgia Thrill In The Hills Trail Run so people who aren't ready to tackle a half or full marathon but want to experience one of the best trail systems in the Southeastern US can still do so."
The new series will kick off on September 23rd at Harbins Park with a 10k and 5k. You can find additional information at www.XTERRAplanet.com.
For complete results from XTERRA Allatoona Creek, visit www.dirtyspokes.com.