Michael Plummer, Rock/Creek Race Team



Age: 39
Number of years running: 11
Location: Chattanooga, TN
Occupation: Mental Health Therapist

Favorite trail race(s):
Jim Bridger 50k, Devil’s Backbone 50-miler, Upchuck 50k

Favorite trails to train on:
Bluff Trail, Mountain Beautiful Trail, Skyuka Trail — Chattanooga, TN

Favorite trail running shoe:
Altra Superior

Lifelong running goals:
To focus on growing my trail running ability while avoiding injury… I’m looking to expand my trail racing outside of the Chattanooga region. Maybe trail races outside of the United States.

I grew up in Kentucky and Illinois. As a kid, I always gravitated to the woods, and much of that time was spent alone. For me there is something life-giving about being along in wild places.

After college, I moved West and worked for a therapeutic wilderness program for teens. I kicked around Utah, Colorado and California on my weeks off, climbing whatever I could while living out of my truck. I wandered up to Alaska for a while, before returning to the continental US. In 2002, my best friend and I biked across the country unsupported. It was a fantastic journey, and a shared experience that deepened our friendship.

Following that trip, I started running more. Something changed in me; suddenly, I was able to run long distances without the pain of shin splints, which had plagued me since running cross-country in high school. I signed up for my first half-marathon, and finished very well.

Next, I took a job as a crew leader for the Montana conservation corps and moved to Mozeman, MT. While in Montana, I took up trail running. The first race I entered was the Jim Bridger 50k; with over 12,000 feet of elevation gain, it was a real challenge for me. I just hoped to finish, but instead took 2nd place overall!!

I had found something I loved to do, and do well. I continued to race in Bozeman for a while, then moved to Seattle for grad school.

While in grad school, I did very little trail running, but have returend to what I love since relocating to Chattanooga last year. I researched Chattanooga, and subsequently made it my home. St. Elmo is home now, and without a doubt the place to live in Chattanooga as a trail runner!

2012 season summary:
Volunteered regularly with Wild Trails, clearing trails prior to races. I am also a trail rover for the National Park Service. Lately, I have been working on coordinating a relationship between Wild Trails and the Park Service. Some 2012 results:

Rock/Creek StumpJump 50k, 4th place
Rock/Creek UpChuck 50k, 1st place (CR)
Lookout Mountain 50-miler, 4th place

Proudest running accomplishments:
Winning second place in my first 50k. Setting a new course record for the Upchuck 50k!

Planned races for 2013:
Land Between the Lakes 50, the whole Rock/Creek Race Series.

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