This weekend, the XTERRA Alabama Trail Run Series heads to the beautiful trails of Coldwater Mountain. Just 40 miles from Birmingham, Coldwater Mountain is a growing network of mountain bike trails that are perfect for trail running. At XTERRA Coldwater Mountain, runners can choose between 15K and 8K distances. "The weather should be perfect this weekend for anyone who has cabin fever from all the recent snow," said race director Glenn Ingram, who took over the series from Tim Schroer in 2017. "We are excited about the race."
"Our first season so far has been incredible," said Ingram. "To date, we have had over 500 participants in our first four races. What has been a pleasant surprise is how many new trail runners have discovered our series. We are starting to develop a following which has been very rewarding."
The XTERRA Alabama Series was started in 2010 by Tim Schroer, who still heads up the XTERRA Georgia Trail Series. Schroer is also the race director for the XTERRA Manto Sano 15K, which took place on January 13th. Ingram has been working to form local running groups where the races are held to encourage local runners to take advantage of Alabama's beautiful trails, train for races, and create community. The Gadsden Runners Trail Team already has more than 120 members (pictured below).
The 2018 XTERRA Alabama Trail Run Series expanded this season with the brand new Parks of Alabama races hosted by Black Squirrel Events. Judging by the comments on the Black Squirrel Facebook page, Alabama runners are thrilled to have additional races in the region.
Ingram, along with Karl Strain, and Dennis Davis own Black Squirrel events (pictured left with Belle). In their own words, "We are trail runners first and foremost. Our commitment from the beginning is to have fun events with great music, cool awards, and awesome tee shirts."
They are also committed to the state parks they partner with to host the events. A portion of the proceeds of all the races (over $1,000 so far this year) will go back to the parks.
Last weekend, on January 13th, the XTERRA Monte Sano 15K was won by Wesley Ormond, who finished the challenging course in 1:08:51. Craig Smith and Martin Schneekloth battled it out for third in 1:14:36 and 1:14:39 respectively. Stephanie Smith was the women's champ, finishing in 1:28:53. Runner-up Brandi Nichols came through in 1:29:39 and Caitlin Milford was third in 1:33:12. View XTERRA Monte Sano results. Next up in the series is XTERRA Cheaha on February 3rd.