(Chattanooga, TN)- Locally-owned specialty outdoor retailer Rock/Creek today announces a $5,000 donation for The Boonies, the latest in a string of donations stemming from the Rock/Creek Trail Series. The Boonies will use the money to help run future events as well as secure access to single track trails. These funds came from last Saturday morning’s third annual Scenic City Trail Marathon and Half Marathon, presented by Vasque PROJECT and Rock/Creek. Other contributing sponsors include SmartWool, Marmot, The North Face, and Hammer Nutrition. Local sponsors include Greenlife Grocery and Cleveland Toyota.
Threatening clouds and the forecast rain held off just long enough for the 183 half marathon and 73 marathon finishers to come across the line. The race took place on the trails around TVA’s Raccoon Mountain Pumped Storage Facility. Compared to 2008, the race saw 25% growth in half marathon runners and 62% growth in marathon runners.
The course makes this a fast race, and this years’ winner set a new course record. Rock/Creek Race Team Member Matt Sims cruised through the cloudy weather for an overall winning time of 3:11:47; nearly 27 minutes faster than last years’ Marathon time of 3:38:04. Sims had this to say: “I am pleased with the race and I did exactly what I wanted to do. My hope was to stay with the lead group for the first loop and then try to gain ground through miles 17 through 24. This section is the more difficult and I figured it would be a good place to get ahead. It was a great course and a quality event.”
Brenda Simril from Chattanooga battled it out on the course and placed first overall female with a time of 3:52:55. Second male overall was Josh Hite from Cookeville, TN with a time of 3:17:46 and Brenda’s husband and owner of Simril Multisport Coaching, Coach Lee Simril placed third in 3:25:35. Dreama Campbell, also of Chattanooga, placed second female overall with 3:58:32. Cheri Fine from Atlanta, GA placed third female overall with a time of 4:00:53.
In the half marathon, Theodore Towse of Nashville took first in 1:29:18, just 3 minutes shy of last year’s winning time and the current course record of 1:26:51. Sam Linhoss from Chattanooga and Jonathan Warner from Ringgold, GA were less than a minute apart. Linhoss placed second male in 1:30:41 and Warner placed third in 1:31:11. Taking the women’s title, Jan Gautier from Chattanooga finished with a time of 1:39:13 followed by Theresa Saupé from Murfreesboro, TN in 1:44:30. Rock/Creek employee Deborah Jones from Hixson, TN finished third in 1:49:55.
Race Director Jonathan Mobley enjoyed the race, as he explains: “It was a great race overall. You could feel the excitement at the start line coming from a group of runners, far surpassing the number of participants in last year’s race. It is encouraging to see the Rock/Creek Trail Series grow and I look forward to seeing more people experience these races in the future. I am extremely grateful to the volunteers, the sponsors, and the Vasque PROJECT for giving their time and resources to make this race possible.”
The course runs along the perimeter trail of Raccoon Mountain, a TVA pumped-storage facility, and is a low impact single track created by SORBA (Southeast Off-Road Bicycle Organization). The trails offer declines, straight-a-ways, a rock bridge bypass, and hill climbs, making it one of the best trail running and mountain biking locations within 25 minutes of downtown Chattanooga.
Proceeds from both events go to The Wilderness Trail Running Association (aka The Boonies) and will be used for future trail races, trail maintenance, and sustainability efforts in the Cumberland and Southern Appalachian Mountains. A portion of the money raised will go to help with SORBA’s trail building efforts. $2,000 of the total came from Vasque’s PROJECT Thanks, an initiative that has been developed to drive awareness and donations to marquee nonprofit groups working to preserve trails across the country. The Vasque PROJECT is an effort, through nation-wide sponsorship of trail races, to foster competition, community, and stewardship. Through PROJECT Thanks, Vasque PROJECT event directors encourage partners to donate a portion of race fees to trail preservation or similar philanthropic groups in their local area. The Rock/Creek StumpJump 50k on October 3rd and The Lookout Mountain 100K & 10K on December 19th will also be part of The Vasque PROJECT.
The Scenic City Trail Marathon is part of the increasingly popular Rock/Creek Trail Series, a year-long trail running race series with 9 race dates and 13 distance options. The race attained national recognition this year with runners representing 10 states. The next event in the series is the Chattanooga Mountains Stage Race, taking place on June 19, 20, and 21. For more information on the series, visit http://www.rockcreek.com/trailseries/
Rock/Creek, member of the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, is an independent specialty outdoor retailer based in Chattanooga, TN. Rock/Creek was named 2009 Online Retailer of the Year by Backpacker Magazine and SNEWS and was listed as a Top 25 Retailer by Outdoor Business for 2008 and 2009. Along with its online shops, RockCreek.com and ClimbingGear.com, Rock/Creek provides quality outdoor clothing and gear for a host of activities including kayaking, rock climbing, camping, hiking, trail running, travel and adventure racing. Rock/Creek is committed to making a positive impact on the environment. For this reason, it uses outdoor retail as a platform to encourage outdoor recreation and environmental stewardship and to improve public access to the backcountry. Rock/Creek supports worthy nonprofits such as the Southeastern Climbers’ Coalition and the Wilderness Trail Running Association. For related articles on Rock/Creek, visit www.rockcreek.com/media/