The second race in the XTERRA Georgia Trail Series, XTERRA Fort Yargo on October 13th, will take runners through Fort Yargo State Park, which is located in Winder, about halfway between Atlanta and Athens. The race includes both 5K and 14K distances.
Like all of the races in the XTERRA Georgia Trail Series, XTERRA Fort Yargo’s venue includes excellent facilities, gorgeous trails, and a bit of history. Fort Yargo was founded in the late 1700’s by settlers so after the race, you can visit historical landmarks in the park, enjoy the lake, and even “glamp” for the weekend in cozy yurts.
The XTERRA Trail Series includes five Georgia races: XTERRA Harbins Park in late September, XTERRA Fort Yargo, XTERRA Battle at Big Creek on October 27th, XTERRA Little Mulberry Park on November 10th, and XTERRA Mt. Tabor on December 1st.
Each race includes both shorter and longer distances and attract both newcomers and loyal fans.
Julie Neville began trail running three years ago and was hooked after the first race. At XTERRA Georgia Thrill in the Hills last year, Neville tried her first 21K on the trails.
“It fell on a cold and misty February morning,” remembers Neville. “The course was a beautiful winding course in Winder, Georgia, just outside the metro-Atlanta area. Like all of the courses in the series the trails were great and included rolling hills, single and double track, roots, and some technical sections. Tim Schroer of Dirty Spokes Productions puts on all the XTERRA Georgia races and does a fantastic job.”
Neville is grateful for every step on the trails because in 2004, she became ill due to a thyroid issue which zapped her strength and energy.
“I struggled to make it through the work day,” remembers Neville, who races in the 50-54 age group. “It felt like I spent a year on the couch, unable to play any sports, mainly tennis, or run. Then, as I got stronger, I started walking, for just minutes. I slowly built up to an hour of walking. I then started alternating walking and a little running, then more running. I slowly got my energy and strength back. After about three years, I starting running 10K road races and then tried a half marathon, then another, and another.”
Last year, Neville did so well in the XTERRA Georgia Trail Series that she was the XTERRA Georgia Trail Run Regional Champ in her age group. She runs three to four times a week and cross-trains with weights and on the stationary bike.
“My goals for the fall and winter are to try to keep injuries at a low level and to keep running,” said Neville, who hopes to run in the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship race in December. “This is a big dream race. But more than anything, I am grateful for good health and the chance to run.”
Learn more about the XTERRA Georgia Trail Series
Learn more about the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship