Rain? What rain? The Rock/Creek River Gorge trail race was today, and Aaron Saft set a new course record despite the weather

Somewhere between Mile 8 and Mile 9 of the Mullens Cove Loop, while hunkered down along the rockiest part of the trail taking photos, I encountered a father and son running together. As they splashed past, the elder of the two looked my way, a smile spreading across his face, and said: “Nice day for a run, isn’t it?” You know, I think he was right.

So it went, at the 11th annual Rock/Creek River Gorge trail race, with 283 race finishers grinning ear-to-ear and dashing through the sloppy, wet mess. Presented by Montrail, this is the second race in the 2011 Rock/Creek Race Series, from which all proceeds go to Wild Trails for trail building & trail maintenance in the Chattanooga area. Mother nature threw us a curve ball this time; we awoke to early-morning thunderclaps, and were greeted by a race day that couldn’t have felt further from last weekend’s 80-degree temperatures!

Luckily, trail runners seem to love adversity, and everyone appeared to have a great time. They say March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, but there sure wasn’t anything lamb-like about this spring day! Congratulations to overall race winner Aaron Saft, from Mills River, NC, who crushed the old course record (set in 2002) by a solid two minutes and led this one wire-to-wire.

Here are the podium finishers for each category:

 

10.2 Men’s Overall

  • Aaron Saft (Mills River, NC), 1:08:31
  • Jacob Bradley (Ringgold, GA), 1:10:08
  • Theodore Towse (Nashville, TN), 1:14:19

10.2 Men’s Masters (over 40)

  • Jay Curwen (Asheville, NC), 1:20:08
  • David Workman (Hendersonville, NC), 1:20:29
  • Jamie Cook (Bryson City, NC), 1:20:50

10.2 Women’s Overall

  • Elizabeth Callaway (Watkinsville, GA), 1:31:11
  • Paige Witherington (Palmetto, GA), 1:34:23
  • Heather Williams (Chattanooga, TN), 1:38:04.9

10.2 Women’s Masters (over 40)

  • Enid Gonzalez (Kennesaw, GA), 1:47:19
  • Theresa Saupe (Murfreesboro, TN), 1:48:34
  • Rachel Neidich (Rising Fawn, GA), 1:49:52

10.2 Men’s 18 & Under

  • Zachary McCormick (Chattanooga, TN), 1:28:26
  • Patrick Zdunek (Ooltewah, TN), 1:31:04
  • Nick Gooden, 1:37:28

 

6.5 Men’s Overall

  • Owen Bradley (Birmingham, AL), 49:56
  • Tyler Wike (Bryson City, NC), 52:21
  • Chris Heberer (Hixson, TN), 52:35

6.5 Men’s Masters (over 40)

  • Jim Farmer (Chattanooga, TN), 53:25
  • Mark Mason (Chattanooga, TN), 59:02
  • Paul Handley (Nashville, TN), 1:12:19

6.5 Men’s 18 & Under

  • Alex Cook (Bryson City, NC), 57:13

6.5 Women’s Overall

  • Sarah Woerner (Dunlap, TN), 58:18
  • Jenny Smith (Sweetwater, TN), 1:01:22
  • Cathi Cannon (Chattanooga, TN), 1:06:05

6.5 Women’s Masters (over 40)

  • Shazzmarie Szekely (Jamestown, TN), 1:22:29
  • Jennifer Boll (Jellico, TN), 1:23:04
  • Susan Williams (Chattanooga, TN), 1:25:19

6.5 Women’s 18 & Under

  • Laura Harbin (Murfreesboro, TN), 1:47:18

 

UPDATE: Here are full results for the 10.2-mile and 6.5-mile races.

Rock/Creek Race Team members Sarah Woerner and Owen Bradley turned in convincing wins in the 6.5-mile race, with fellow team members Cathi Cannon & Jim Farmer also among the top finishers. Check back here during the week for race reports and photos.

The next race in the Rock/Creek Race Series is the Scenic City Trail Marathon / Half Marathon. Special thanks to all of our sponsors!

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