Chattanooga Mountains Stage Race update, Stage 1 (Raccoon Mountain)

Rock/Creek’s 2012 Chattanooga Mountains Stage Race kicked off today atop Raccoon Mountain, and we were quickly reminded why this is one of our favorite events in the Salomon Rock/Creek Trail Series: the camaraderie between the relatively small (for us) field of runners! There’s just nothing like running 20 miles per day for 3 days with a bunch of your old friends, plenty of new friends and the best race volunteers you’ll find anywhere, and there are many familiar faces here again this year.

Johnny Clemons, the pre-race favorite, cruised to a Stage 1 victory, followed by Alex Poulsen from Kalamazoo, MI. A whole crew came down from Kalamazoo, and it turns out that some of ‘em are pretty fast! We love seeing large groups present from Nashville, Huntsville and Atlanta as well; these are folks who run trails together all the time, who decided to pile in a couple of vehicles with some friends and hit the trails right here in Chattanooga.

Mandy Meyer is in the lead for the women’s stage race, followed by Scenic City Trail Marathon winner Megs Lederer.

We’re on our way to The Crash Pad to hang out with our runners, so we’re a bit pressed for time, but here’s a quick rundown of the top finishers.

Men:
Johnny Clemons (Cleveland, TN) – 1:56:06
Alex Poulsen (Kalamazoo, MI) – 2:03:44
Woody Dover (Decatur, GA) – 2:03:50

Women:
Mandy Meyer (Asheville, NC) – 2:24:45
Meghan Lederer (Johnson City, TN) – 2:27:07
Nancyanne Hickman (Memphis, TN) – 2:27:09

Stage 1 results for all 211 finishers can be found here.

We’ve also uploaded some photos, as follows:

Photos by Mark McKnight
Photos by Jeff Bartlett
Photos by Katharina Handwerker

Well, that’ll do it for today. See everyone tomorrow morning, bright and early at the Lula Lake Land Trust, one of our most-loved local trail areas… and please carpool!