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Dirty Spokes race set for Feb. 25 at Ft. Yargo

Special Photo The annual XTERRA Georgia Thrill in the Hills races are set for Feb. 25 in Winder's Ft. Yargo State Park this year.

Special Photo The annual XTERRA Georgia Thrill in the Hills races are set for Feb. 25 in Winder's Ft. Yargo State Park this year.

WINDER -- If huffing and puffing for 13 miles through Ft. Yargo State Park on a Saturday would tickle your fancy, then this off-kilter endurance test is probably your cup of tea.

On Feb. 25, the XTERRA Trail Race Series tromps into Winder for the sixth annual "Thrills In The Hills" half and full marathon. Early registration is encouraged.

The race is unique, in that it follows a scenic off-road course through the park's winding mountain bike trails. Runners (or swift walkers) must negotiate root systems, steep inclines along with some fast flowing single track and double track traills in order to excel.

"This is one of the best venues in the state of Georgia," promoter Tim Schroer said.

The race is broken into 13 categories, ages 14 to 70-plus, and is open to all runners, Schroer said. His group, Dirty Spokes, will award medals prizes to the overall top three male and female competitors in each category.

The first 500 finishers get a commemorative medal.

"It's a great venue for the runners," Schroer said. "We encourage anyone and everyone, novice trail runners to well-versed (runners) -- this course is one of our favorites."

Registration fees are $35 for those who book well in advance. Runners can register online at www.active.com or download a mail-in entry form at www.dirtyspokes.com.

The race kicks off at 8:30 a.m. sharp, and official timing stops at 3:30 p.m.

For more information, email race promoter Tim Schroer at tim@dirtyspokes.com or visit www.dirtyspokes.com. You'll find Ft. Yargo State Park at 210 S. Broad St. in Winder.