Pelham native finishes third at Oak Mountain Trail Run

The shaded, twisting trails of Oak Mountain State Park set the stage as Brandon Mader and Kerry Shaffer narrowly beat their competition March 14 to win the XTERRA 10K Oak Mountain Trail Run.

The XTERRA Oak Mountain Trail Run welcomed over 150 runners from seven states to this inaugural event, which was produced by race director Tim Schroer of Dirty Spokes Productions. Schroer is responsible for the extremely popular XTERRA Georgia Trail Run Series and has since brought his challenging, off-road adventures to the Heart of Dixie.

Huntsville’s Brandon Mader, 26, stole the men’s title with his blistering time of 37:37, with Nathan Lewis, 19, of Hanceville, right on his heels just five seconds later. Josh Horsager, who has been an XTERRA Georgia Trail Run Series standout, took home the bronze to make his hometown of Columbus, GA proud with a time of 43:44.

The women’s race came down to a photo finish as Kerry Shaffer of Milton, Fla., and Birmingham’s Rachel Winford battled for the top prize. But in the end, 26-year old Shaffer broke the tape just one second ahead of Winford with a time of 50:49. Pelham’s Valerie Davis, 28, took third with a time of 53:38.

Coming up next, the XTERRA Alabama Series is returning to Oak Mountain State Park on June 12 for a set of three dirty mud run adventures alongside the XTERRA Southeast Championship weekend.