The point-to-point course was hilly and run over single-track trails more connected to hiking than running, but 314 runners completed the inaugural Race Across Durham Trail Marathon and 10-Miler on Dec. 3.
Joshua Sutterfield, 25, of Chapel Hill led the way, covering the 26.2-mile marathon course along scenic Durham County trails in 3:10:01.
“I’d love to specifically train for it and lower my time,” said Sutterfield, who puts on 40 to 100 miles a week, training mostly on trails. “I think you can definitely break three hours.”
Race director Kim Chapman of Bull City Running Co. said she hopes Sutterfield will get another chance next year at the event, which sold out with 200 runners in each of the two races.
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“We lost count of the times people asked us if we are going to do it again next year,” she said.
The race benefits the nonprofit LIFE Skills Foundation, which helps young people, including those aging out of foster care, learn the skills needed to become successful, productive adults, said Laura Wendell, LIFE Skills director of operations.
Sutterfield averaged 7:15 per mile through public lands along the Eno River and the Mountains-to-Sea Trail to the finish at the Eno River Rock Quarry.
“Because of the type of trail, it doesn’t require a ton of trail running experience,” said Sutterfield, production manager for Carrboro Coffee Roasters and a part-time Bull City Running staff member. “You don’t have to be hard-core ‘I run trails.’ ”
The differences, he advised, are the need to be diligent about watching where you put your feet and perhaps to shorten your gait to avoid rocks and roots.
Durham’s Max Tiemann, 30, of Bull City Track Club was the runner-up in 3:13:43.6.
The marathon women’s winner and 17th overall was Antonia Bista, 26, of Durham in 3:57:35.5. Anna Petrea, 27, of Durham was second in 4:10:36.6.
In the 10-mile race, Blake Williams, 25, of Durham was first in 1:02:52.2. The top female finisher and 10th overall was Katelyn Bryant-Comstock, 30, of Durham in 1:23:31.5.
Go to www.raceacrossdurham.com.
Conservation: Great Outdoor Provision Co. announced a donation of more than $20,000 to public lands conservation through organizations such as the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, Triangle Land Conservancy and the Shenandoah National Park Trust. Learn more at www.greatoutdoorprovision.com.
Festival: Saturday may be chilly and cloudy, but bundle up and head for Lake Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge anyway.
Red snapper: The National Marine Fisheries Service will extend recreational fishing for red snapper with a three-day season Dec. 8-11. The limit is one fish. Go to http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/snapper/red-snapper-collection.
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