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2008 Rock/Creek Race Team

This is the 2008 Race Team page, check out the

2009 Race Team Page >
Rock Creek Race Team Members Jim Farmer and Tom Sell running the River Gorge Trail Race; c. mcknightphotography.comWe’re proud to introduce you to the Rock/Creek Race Team, a gifted group of endurance athletes who have been proudly waving the Rock/Creek banner at adventure races, trail marathons, ultramarathons, and other events over the years. We have sales reps, small business owners, several educators, two husband-and-wife teams, and they are all passionate runners who have traveled the country and across the globe to attend unique events. These guys and gals are well acquainted with suffering, testing their mental limits, and pushing their bodies and gear to the limit of what’s possible.
Our race team members’ experience and feedback help us tailor our product offerings to core enthusiasts like yourself. If you see any of these folks at a race, introduce yourself! You never know, you might be the next member of the team.

Race Team Headlines:

06-16-08: Our Youngest Race Team Member, Johanna Gartman

05-31-08: Josh Wheeler Wins Age Group at Florida Ironman 70.3

05-01-08: Rock/Creek Race Team Members Take Southeast Regional Championship Titles

04-28-08: Rock/Creek Runners Win Sweetwater 50k & Half Marathon

03-24-08: New Race Team Members, Early Season Victories

03-11-08: Jaclyn Greenhill Joins Rock/Creek Race Team

03-10-08: John Anderson Wins Old Pueblo 50 Miler

03-07-08: Wheeler Wins Half Marathon, Continuing Rock/Creek Race Team’s Winning Streak

03-03-08: More Photos of Mt. Cheaha 50k

02-27-08: Race Team Dominates Cheaha 50k

02-18-08: Black Warrior Race Report: Kris Whorton Wins

02-05-08: Kathy Johns Joins Rock/Creek Race Team

01-17-08: John Anderson Joins Rock/Creek Race Team

01-17-08: Cathi Cannon Joins Rock/Creek Race Team

01-08-08: Race Team Report (Video): Grand Canyon R2R2R

Click here for headline archives from 2006-2007 >

Subscribe to our blog feed for updates on the Race Team,

events and races, as well as notification of sales.

Team Members:

Sheridan Ames | John Anderson | Cathi Cannon | Jamie Dial | Wendi Parker-Dial | Jim Farmer | Johanna Gartman | Michael GreenJaclyn Greenhill | Kathy Johns | Matt Karzen | Geno Phillips | Tom Sell | Matt Sims | Natalie Sims | Stephen Taylor | Chad Wamack | Josh Wheeler | Kris Whorton | Randy Whorton

We’re happy to announce our new race team members. Jaclyn Greenhill, Cathi Cannon and John Anderson recently joined the team, and Cathi is also serving as our newest board member for the Wilderness Trail Running Association. Welcome Cathi!

Sponsors:

The Rock Creek Race Team is sponsored, of course, by RockCreek.com, but we’d also like to thank our other sponsors and partners: Patagonia, SmartWool, Hammer Nutrition, the Wilderness Trail Running Association, the Cumberland Trail Conference, and the Chattanooga Track Club. The Race Team wouldn’t be the same without their support. If you’re interested in sponsoring the team, please e-mail [email protected] Attn: Mark McKnight.


Sheridan Ames running the StumpJump 50KSheridan “51 Cards” Ames

Occupation: Construction, Project Manager

Age: 47

Background: AAU youth swimming, middle and long distance road and trail racing, triathlons and long distance swimming events.

What motivates me to train: A very stressful job and raising two independent teenagers. Logging long hours in the woods allows me to get away from phones and out of yelling range. I love the serenity of the forest.

Tips on good races: Stump Jump 50K (Chattanooga, TN), Big South Fork Trial Run (Oneida, TN), Shut-In-Ridge Trail Run (Ashville, NC), Mount Mitchell Challenge (Black Mountain, NC), NOC/Subaru 21 Mile Endurance Run (NC), Big Daddy Triathlon (Chattanooga, TN) and Mountain Mist 50K (Huntsville, AL).

Recent Race Accomplishments/Highlights:

2007 Ford Ironman World Championships-Kona, HI

2007 Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon (qualified for The Boston Marathon)

Big South Fork Trail Run

Atomic Man ½ Ironman (Age Group winner)

Great Buckeye ½ Ironman Triathlon (Age Group Winner, 4:42:05, 9th Overall)

Chattanooga Rate Race-4.5 Mile Swim (8th Overall)

River Gorge Trail Run & Hog Pen Hill Climb

Claim to Fame: Ran rim to rim, to rim of Grand Canyon. Alone.


Occupation: Medical Student at the University of Colorado School of Medicine

Why I run:  I grew up tramping around the mountains of Tennessee, and the enthusiasm and direction finding skills of my running friends and brother resulted in some unintentional ultras.

“There is a root communication shared in miles spent in the woods and a seemingly paradoxical camaraderie among runners that comes from individual suffering and elation. I find ultraraces to be a family affair.”

Conversations, jokes, and even silent support abound in every race I’ve run (although the jokes seem to get funnier around mile 70, which is good for me because the only people that seem to laugh at my jokes are ultrarunners and very small children). Even the periods of solitary miles allow time to connect with the inner being through the pain of the body.  Essentially, running is simple, running is primal and running is fun.
John AndersonJohn Anderson

Favorite Runs: Grand Lake Loop Rocky Mtn National Park–a 36ish mile loop up and over the Continental Divide, dropping into Grand Lake for a swim at halfway. Also, running in Prentice-Cooper in the fall.

Tips: Ultras are long.  You will have a rough stretch, and your success is dependent on how you react because it will eventually pass.  You have to train how you race–eat the same foods, run in the dark, run alone, run with a pacer, run through creeks, etc.  Embrace the places where both your body and mind go because they truly are unique and indescribable.

Races/Accomplishments:

6th overall 2007 Wasatch Front 100 23:15

2nd overall 2007 Spring Desert Ultra 50 7:47

2nd overall 2007 Old Pueblo 50 7:29

4th overall 2007 Ashland Mountain Climb

Farthest Projectile Vomiting–2007 Hardrock 100

Plus lots of other high finishes in the last three years in different races (Zane Grey, Leadville, StumpJump, etc.)


Cathi Cannon

Occupation: Graphic Designer

Age: 32

Favorite Run or Race: Cumberland Trail. With over 300 miles to explore, you can’t get bored! Perhaps my favorite segment is along the North Chick segment, which we call the Blue Hole Run – approx 5 miles to a pristine swimming hole that is tucked away from all the day trippers. It is the perfect place to relax in the sun and swim with the fish.

What I like most about running:Being able to immerse myself in wilderness… even if it is just 15 minutes from downtown! The solitude and peacefulness wipes away any stress from the work week.

Cathi Cannon preparing for a bike raceTips for other runners: When new runners hear about my adventures, they think it is entirely out of reach. Hey – we all start somewhere! When I signed up for my first marathon, I could barely get through 4 miles. Sure it takes a lot of time to work up to 2-day races, but nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it.

“Just understand that it takes time, commitment and patience to reach your goals. Believe in yourself and go for it!”

Races/Significant Accomplishments:

Rock/Creek River Gorge Race

Rock/Creek StumpJump 50K Trail Run

Mtn. Mist 50K

Black Mountain Marathon

Shut-In Ridge Trail Run

Hogpen Hillclimb 17k

Overmountain Extreme Adventure Race (30 hr)

Checkpoint Zero Adventure Race (30 hr)

Smoky Mountain Adventure Race (40 hr)

North Georgia Adventure Race (30 hr)

Set woman’s state record (6:33) at 2008 Blue Cross Market Street Mile

+ countless shorter adv races, mtn & road bike races

Coming up in 2008:

Mt. Mitchell Challenge – 40 miler

River Gorge 10miler, Scenic City Marathon, StumpJump 50k

CPZ, OME, NGAR Adv Races

Ultra O-Gaine (a 12hr orienteering race)

* race reports, training stories, and pictures can be found on www.bebackonmonday.com


Jamie Dial with his Tahoe Rim Trail 100 Belt BuckleJamie Dial

Occupation: Activities Coordinator, Vanderbilt University Outdoor Recreation Program, (and part time Air Guitar Instructor)

Favorite Run or Race: Adventure running in the mountains for me please. My favorite run is up around the Maroon Bells in Colorado. I’ve had the opportunity to do the “Four Passes Loop” twice now and can’t wait to do it again. It’s about 27 miles of unbelievable mountain scenery.  In terms of racing I have 2 favorites. For scenery, I think the San Juan Solstice 50 mile in Colorado is the best race in the country and certainly one of the most difficult. You’d better not be afraid of hills as the first climb of the day ascends 5,000 ft and eventually you will spend hours above 12,000 running along the Continental Divide.

“The Stumpjump 50k in Chattanooga has the best swag and prizes of any race I’ve ever been too. If you want to recoup your entry fee with killer running, great food and awesome gear, then sign up for this event.”

What I like most about running: Cutting chunks of dried hammer gel out of my beard after a long run, lancing blisters, and sports drink/electrolyte margaritas. If you aren’t being challenged, then you aren’t growing. Running and ultrarunning offers many challenges including the obvious physical ones. More so, it requires mental tenacity, emotional maturity and to do well year after year you must attain balance in other areas of your life.

Tips for other runners: Find a mentor, hire a coach, run with groups, but ultimately find what is right for you. Be patient because it may take a while, but through enough trial and error, you will get it right, not to mention it’s more fun that way.

Races or Other Significant Accomplishments:

100+ multi-sport events and ultramarathons

The “Grand Traverse” in Teton National. Park- Summer ‘06

Numerous Grade V routes car to car

Married for 7 years

2007 Season:

Mountain Mist 50k, Alabama- 6th

Mt. Mitchell Challenge 40 mile, North Carolina- 5th

Oak Mountain 50k, Alabama- 1st

Appalachian Trail Adventure Run 72 miles, Smoky Mountain National Park

Berryman 50 mile, Missouri- 5th

Chattanooga Mountains Stage Race, Tennessee- 1st

Tahoe Rim Trail 100 mile National Championship, Nevada- 4th

Rock/Creek StumpJump 50k, Tennessee- 7th

Shut in Ridge 18 mile, North Carolina- 15th

2008 Season Plans:

Mountain Mist 50k- Training

Mt. Cheaha 50k- Training

Tom King Half Marathon- Racing

Rock/Creek River Gorge 10.2 mile- Racing

Country Music Marathon- Racing

San Juan Solstice 50 mile- ?

??? 100 mile- Racing

Rock/Creek StumpJump 11 mile- Racing

Shut in Ridge 18 mile- Racing


Wendi Parker-Dial running the Mountain Mist 50kWendi Parker-Dial

Occupation: Artist/Art Teacher

Age: 38

“Trail running (long or short) for me encompasses all aspects of life that keep me motivated and inspired – a peaceful place in nature to be fully present, the physical and mental challenges to keep me strong yet humble, a time to reflect on all that I am grateful for, and a date with my husband.”

The best part about racing for me is crossing the finish line and having my children, Morgan (6) and Conner (3) run to me and celebrate my finish whether I did well or not!

Recent Race Accomplishments:

Runs:

2006

Stump Jump 11 Mile (1st Female)

Monkey Marathon 3:14 (2nd Female)

2007

Mt. Mist 50K (2nd Female; 28th Overall)

Hunters Bend 5K (1st Female)

Franklin Classic 10K (4th Female)

StumpJump 50K (1st Female)

2008

Mt. Mist 50K (2nd Female; 16th Overall)

Other/Triathlons/Duathlons:

2007

Scenic City Triathlon (2nd Female; 1st AG)

Mach Tenn Triathlon (3rd Female;1st AG)

DuRunRun Duathlon (2nd Female)

Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon (11th Female, 1st AG)

Music City Triathlon (2nd Female; 1st AG)


Jim Farmer running the RockCreek.com StumpJump 50K Trail RacelJim Farmer

(Retired Race Team Member)

Age: 38

Occupation: Lead Software Developer for towXchange, Inc.

Passions: I’m an adventure racer at heart, but I love trail races as well.  Ever since I discovered that my 5’8” frame was an advantage on the trails over the “roadies” that beat me consistently on the pavement, I was hooked.  I love the mental aspects of off-road racing in general, especially epic endurance events.  The planning and strategy to optimize your performance, and then rolling with the punches as all those plans turn to mush, is what really gets me juiced.

“I love the simplicity of it all, despite the fact that I crave complexity most of the time.”

Favorite Run or Race: The Stump Jump 50K Trail Run is by far my favorite trail race:  Spectacular views, epic climbs, and a great fundraiser for a worthy cause.  It’s a true test of mind and body.  Although I’m not a native Chattanoogan, I’m definitely a convert.  They say that converts make the best zealots, which is definitely true for me.  There are tons of trail systems to choose from, and all within a few minutes of downtown.  Because I suffer from the adult version of ADHD, I can’t really pick a favorite place to run, because it changes every month.  That’s why Chattanooga is the perfect place for me.

What I like most about running: I can go for hours, exploring in the woods, with just some basic sustenance and a pair of shoes.  You can also socialize on trail runs and still get a great workout in, especially when the hammerheads join you for a little “friendly run”.

Tips for other runners: Know your body and give plenty of attention to injury prevention and proper recovery techniques.  This is especially true as age creeps up on you.  Ego and bravado have little place in endurance sports.  It is the playground of smart athletes.  Be one of them.

Races or Other Significant Accomplishments:

Primal Quest 10-Day Adventure Race

Beast of the East 4-Day Adventure Race

Florida Coast to Coast 3-Day Adventure Race

Too many other adventure races to mention

Race Director for Greenway Challenge Adventure Race

Rock/Creek StumpJump 50K

Rock/Creek River Gorge Race

Mountain Top Half Marathon


DSCN1114Johanna Gartman

School: Homeschool

Age: 15

Current Team Affiliations:

Scenic City Aquatic Club, USAT Southeast Youth Elite Team

Races/Accomplishments:

2007

Ironkids National Champion (Phoenix, AZ)

USAT National Ranking (Age Group 9th)

USAT Southeast Regional Ranking (Age Group 2nd)

Ironkids Atlanta (1st overall female)

Sports Barn Triathlon (2nd overall female/ age group winner)

River Gorge Trail Run –10k ( 2nd overall female)

Clemson Triathlon SC State Championship (age group winner/9th overall)

Orlando Triathlon (age group winner/6th overall female)

Grandman Triathlon Mobile,AL(age group winner/8th overall female)

Scenic City Triathlon (age group winner/4th overall female)

Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon (age group winner)

2006

USA Triathlon Grand Prix Series National Champion

USAT Youth National Championship (5th place) Wiscconsin Dells, WI

“I would like to gain more experience in trail running, and I feel that being a part of the team could provide insight for maturing that goal. It would be a privilege for me to be a part of a team whose members are such intense endurance athletes.”


Michael Green

Michael Green running the RockCreek.com StumpJump 50K Trail RacelAge: 38

Occupation: High School Cross Country/Track Coach, Spray Tech (Golf Course)

Favorite Trails: Prentice Cooper (Rock/Creek River Gorge Trail Race Course) – It is a great trail for a solid run with incredible views of the gorge along the way. Also, the Pinhoti trail is a favorite; it’s a tough trail riding along the ridge, very rocky with a few ups and downs. It’s also only 10 minutes from my front door.

Why I Love Trails:

“The time goes by so much faster when you’re out on a trail by yourself just rolling along a ridge or alongside a cool creek bank.

Favorite Training Partners: Joey Howe and Jay Prater… I loved the Three Stooges when I was growing up!

Notable Races:

Rock/Creek StumpJump 50K Trail Run

Mountain Mist 50k (2005-2008)

Rock/Creek River Gorge Trail Race

1st Overall, 2007 Twisted Ankle Half Marathon

15 other road Marathons including Boston, New York City, and D.C.


Jaclyn GreenhillJaclyn Greenhill

Age: 30

Occupation: Pediatric ER Nurse

Favorite Run: Mesa Trail at Chautaqua Park in Co; Prentice Cooper. There really is not a trail I have run that does not contribute to my overall growing passion for trail running. Each trail provides a different beauty that I cannot find many other places in life. So with that said, all trails are

pretty much my favorite.

What I Love Most About Running:

“There is a simplicity to trail running that you cannot really get with any other sport. You put your running shoes on, drive, or run to that special trail and go. A few seconds later you realize that all of the stresses and worries you had before are no longer there. It is just you and the trail…

Notable Races:

2007 Rock/Creek StumpJump 50K Trail Run – 3rd female

Atlanta Marathon 2003 -2nd place

Efix Adventure race 2004- 2nd place

Blue Ridge Adventure race 2003,2004- 6th place

Iceland half Marathon 2005 -2nd age division

Cohutta 100 mile mt bike race 2005

Carrboro 50K 2006- 2nd female

Holiday Lake 50K 2006- 5th female

Goblin Valley ultra 2006- 3rd in division

Twin Falls ultra 40 miler 2006- 3rd female

Fort Yargo adventure race 2007- 1st all female team

+ several other adventure races, triathlons

Upcoming races in 2008:

Rock/Creek River Gorge Trail Race

Dirty Spokes 12 hr mountain bike race

Oak Mountain 50 K

Scenic City Trail Marathon

Pikes Peak Marathon-?

Transalps stage race-?

Rock/Creek StumpJump 50k


Kathy Johns running Kathy Johns

Occupation:  Medical Assistant

Favorite trail nourishment: Apple Cinnamon Hammer Gel

Favorite Run:  Prentice Cooper Wilderness Area is absolutely unbeatable!  The single-track trail has a variety of terrain and breathtaking views that make it, in my opinion, the epitome of trail running at its best.  It is a personal favorite no matter how many times I do it; a familiar and beautiful playground of forest, rock, and creek crossings.

What I Like Most about Running:  Pushing myself past any limit I thought possible, mentally and physically.  Moments of both pure exhilaration and dire pain have their place in endurance trail running and I love to see what the human body is capable of achieving when pushed to its seemingly maximum threshold.  Not to mention, you get to explore vast areas of beautiful wilderness that most people never have the pleasure of experiencing.

Tips for other Runners“Figure out what motivates you.  Use it to your advantage.  For me, working towards events alleviates the monotony of daily training.  The love of a long Saturday morning run keeps me motivated to never lose my base mileage.  Running is mostly mental.  At any point in time, your mind and emotions can work for or against you.  Get familiar with your mental patterns and learn how to harness them as a tool to keep yourself in the game.”

Significant Races and Other Achievements:

Rock/Creek River Gorge Race

Mountain Mist 50K

NOC/Subaru 21 mile Endurance Run

Rock/Creek StumpJump 50K

Nashville Country Music Marathon, Half Marathon, and other various road races.

Training runs that were often harder than any event!

Goals for ’08:

New personal bests.  More events.  Getting stronger, faster, and wiser.  Enjoying the ability to just get out there!


Matt Karzen running Pikes Peak MarathonMatt Karzen

Athens, GA

Age: 40

Raised in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Matt moved to GA in 2002 to be near his wife’s family. After working as a professional ski patroller at Steamboat, law school and a decade as a D.A., he became the sole proprietor of a small law practice in Athens.

“I am a big fan of Rock/Creek’s outdoor presence in the southeast, particularly their commitment to trail running and preserving our opportunities to get out and get dirty.”

“I also think StumpJump is a killer fun race – well done.  I’ve been running regular and hard for a few years now, after a lengthy hiatus of laziness, early fatherhood and schooling.  I have ramped up my mileage over the past few months – currently at about 70-80 per week, in preparation for the Leadville 100, and assuming good health, I am looking to get some good results this fall and winter at the trail 50K and marathon distances.” Update: Matt did indeed finish Leadville. See the headlines below for his race report.

Races or Other Significant Accomplishments:

2007 Leadville 100 (Under 30 hours)

2005 Pine Mountain 50 Mile Trail Run (13th)

2006 Oak Mountain 50K (11th)

Rock/Creek StumpJump 50K (20th)

Pikes Peak Marathon (under 6 hours)

Heritage Park Xterra Scramble Trail 5K (3rd, 1st Master)

2007 Black Mountain Marathon (13th)

Oak Mountain 50K (7th)

Headlines:

09-17-07: Matt Karzen’s Ultra Gear List (Matt’s gear guide from his experience at the Leadville 100)

08-30-07: Leadville 100 Race Team Report from Matt Karzen



Geno Phillips running the RockCreek.com StumpJump 50K Trail RacelGeno Phillips

Occupation: History Teacher

Why I Run: That is my time to get away and not have any worries.

Favorite Route: 4.5 Mile loop at Harrison Bay State Park.  It is not very difficult, and it offers some great views of the lake. Also, I can run it multiple times at a nice steady pace.

Weekly Miles: 60-70

2007 Trail Race Results:

Rock/Creek StumpJump 11 Miler 1st

Rock/Creek River Gorge 10.2 Mile 3rd

Mountain Top Half Marathon Trail Race 1st

Swamp Stomper 50k  1st

McKay’s Hollow Half Marathon  1st

2007 Road Race Results:

Sports Barn Half Marathon 2nd Overall

Kiawinis Club 5k 1st Overall

King of the Mountain 4 Miler 3rd Overall

Symphony Classic 5k 2nd Overall

Hamilton County Fair 5k 1st Overall

Chickamauga 10 Miler 2nd Overall

Previous Results:

2006 Rock/Creek River Gorge 10.2 Miler  3rd

2006 Rock/Creek StumpJump 50k  6th

2005 Rock/Creek StumpJump 11 Miler  1st

Road PRs:

5k  15:50

10k  32:55

Half Marathon  1:11:50

Marathon  2:34:37

Other: I am a professional boxing referee and judge. I have worked 2 world title fights. I have appeared on HBO, Showtime, ESPN 2, and ABC as a judge and referee.



Tom Sell running the RockCreek.com StumpJump 50K Trail RacelTom Sell

Endurance Athlete

How long? Since 1986

Hometown: Chattanooga, TN

Nickname: Durasell

Favorite Action Hero: Tasmanian Devil

Snack on the run: Gu or Powerbar power gel

Quote to live by:

“I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.” – Jack London

Real job: middle school PE teacher/ wrestling/track coach and head coach Northwest Whitfield High School Cross-Country (boys and girls)

Fame:

Two-time Southern Conference wrestling Champion at UTC

Southern Open and Southern Conference Outstanding Wrestler

Winner of the inaugural Stump Jump 50K

Upcoming Races:

Rock/Creek River Gorge Race

Rock/Creek StumpJump

Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon

Advice to 1st timers:. Endurance athletics is about you ability to suffer. Do not forget to eat drink and have fun.



Matt Sims running the RockCreek.com StumpJump 50K Trail RacelMatt Sims

Age: 35

Occupation: Sales Rep for Patagonia

Favorite Run or Race: My favorite trail run is a 10.6 mile loop in Prentice Cooper Wilderness Management Area in Chattanooga, TN. The trail is a single-track trail with varied terrain and a lot of fantastic views. I find it very peaceful to run in the deep hardwood forests of the south. Creek crossings and technical single-track trails keep it entertaining.

What I like most about running: I find it extremely difficult to do long runs, however I enjoy the tough mental strain that long runs create.

“The beauty in trail running lies in the sports simplicity. Anyone can enjoy it and anyone can become an accomplished runner. Keep it simple and trail running can be fun for all ages.”

Tips for other runners: I think the biggest thing is to know when to say enough is enough. I have really had to make myself not run when I wasn’t motivated. You start feeling guilty about loosing fitness. Ever since I started doing what I “want” or what my body “wants” I have enjoyed running more. And by doing so, have become a smarter, stronger runner.

Races or Other Significant Accomplishments:

1st Place – 2007 Scenic City Trail Marathon

Big South Fork 17.5 mile Trail Run

Rock/Creek River Gorge Race-Former Race Director and Participant

Rock/Creek StumpJump 50K Trail Run-Former Race Director and Participant

Mt. Mitchell Challenge 40 mile trail run

NOC/Subaru 21 mile Endurance Run

Ocoee River Autumn Trail Run

Mount Cheaha 50K in Alabama

Read Matt’s article, “Training for Your First 50K”

Sign up for the race Matt created, the Rock/Creek StumpJump 50K


Natalie Z. Sims

Natalie Sims profile picOccupation: Interior Designer

Favorite Run or Race: All trails!

Training run(s) – I recently enjoyed a 20 +mile trail that looped around the perimeter of the University of the South in Sewanee. Well worth the extra drive time from Chattanooga. Plus there’s a great pizza joint in town for refueling and a deserving cold beer. Lookout Mountain has an amazing trail system. There are lots of variations for short and long loops, easy to technical, well maintained and guaranteed beautiful scenery.

Destination trail runs or races are pretty sweet. Like running in the Grand Canyon definitely tops my favorite list of trail runs and it would yours too. Matt and I are heading to California to run a race in Sierra National Forest among 3000 year old giant sequoias and we also hope to plan a trip to trail run the 170K Tour of Mont Blanc over several days taking us through France, Italy, and Switzerland.

“Its a blessing and a privilege to have the God given ability to experience all that trail running offers for the mind, body and soul and what I like most about trail running is hard to answer. There’s a lot.”

Trail shoes 100 bucks, 4 espresso hammer gels -1 bag cliff blocks and a gatorade 10 bucks, 32 miles – 2 mountains – 4 creek crossings and a stump tripping gut wrenching super-man flying nose dive right after a wildlife siting. PRICELESS! Tips for other runners- If you get injured let it recover! Cross train to keep your sanity and do PT excersises at home to rehab it. You’ll be stronger for it.

Races or Other Significant Accomplishments:

Riverbend Challenge 2001 (1st Place Team)

Big South Fork 2001 17.5 miles (Age Group Award)

Mountain Mist 50K Huntsville AL 2002

Rock/Creek River Gorge Trail Run 10.2 mile

3rd overall female 11 mile Stump Jum p 2004

Twisted Ankle Marathon 2005

Mountain Mist 2005

Shut In Ridge Trail Run- Aheville, NC 2006

NOC/ Subaru 21 Mile Endurance Run 2003, 2006

Rock/Creek StumpJump 50K 6th place woman 2006

Mount Cheaha 50K 1st place woman 2006

1st overall female 2007 Scenic City 10 mile

Stump Jump 50k 10th female 2005, 6th female 2006, 5th female 2007

1st overall female 2006 Mount Cheaha 50K, 5th female overall 2008

2008 Sweetwater 50K

2008 Shadow of the Giants



Stephen Taylor at the Grand Canyon during his Rim to Rim to Rim runStephen Taylor

Occupation: Fitness Trainer and Endurance Coach

Stephen Taylor comes from a competitive running and triathlon background.  After spending the last few years doing 6 Ironman tris, he has found his strongest passion with ultra trail running.

What I like best about running: I like how ultrarunning is an adventure within yourself.  Some people travel the world, and ultra racing has taken me to some beautiful places, but the most interesting things I have learned were about my own capabilities.

“I am especially impressed with the cool culture of ultrarunning.  I have greatly enjoyed training runs with the Rock/Creek Race Team and I am honored to be involved.  The races are so much more chill than triathlons that it is hard to even get motivated to swim and bike.”

Tips for other runners: Learn to use your emotions as a source of information and strength.  If you are dreading training, then your body is telling you something.  If you happen to have a super competitve personality (and I won’t name any names) then you better be especially vigilant to hold back early in an ultra.  Then when it is time for the 4th quarter smackdown, activate whatever emotions you need to endure the suffering.

I credit Jamie Dial with introducing me to trail ultras.  I moved here from Missouri in a bit of a funk after having a bad race in Ironman Arizona.  The first weekend I was in town we ran the Fiery Gizzard Trail with Chad Wamack–in the dark.  I was instantly hooked.  He continues to mentor and push me.  I cherish the many 4th Quarter Smackdown workouts we do.

Stephen’s ultra running highlights:

2007:

2nd Place, North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Mile, Des Moines, IA

Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim (52 miles)

72 Mile Appalacian Trail Run in the Smoky Mountains w/ Jamie Dial

Boston Marathon 2:47 (in a Noreasterner)

Mount Mitchell 3rd

Mountain Mist 3rd

Qualified for 2008 Triathlon World Championships in Vancouver, BC

Won South Midwest Regional Championship Triathlon

Won Cedars at Lebanon Triathlon

Won Rock and Roll Man Sprint Triathlon

Paced Jamie Dial for second 50 miles at Tahoe Rim 100 mile Trail Run

2006:

Stumpjump 50K  Overall Winner (first ultra)

PRs:

Ironman: 9:37

Marathon 2:44

Half Ironman 4:22

Half Marathon 1:17


Chad Wamack

Age: 36

Occupation: Commercial Real Estate Brokerage & Development

Favorite Run or Race: My favorite local trail run is the 16 mile Soddy section of the Cumberland Trail.  It goes in and out of several gorges on the eastern side of the Cumberland Plateau. The terrain is steep and remote with several creek crossings.

What I like most about running: I like spending a long day in the woods. It’s really cool to go out and explore new trails and see areas that most people will never visit.

Tips for other runners: I think you have to challenge yourself. For me that’s what keeps me motivated and pushing what I believe I can do.

Races or Other Significant Accomplishments:

Rock/Creek River Gorge Race

Stump Jump finisher 2004, 2006, and 2007 (10th place)

Upchuck 50K November 2007 Chattanooga TN

Mtn. Mist 50K Trail Run Huntsville, AL

NOC/Subaru 21 mile Endurance Run

Oak Mtn 50K Trail Run Birmingham, AL

24 hours of Moab Utah

Cohutta 100 mile mountain bike race

Many adventure runs chasing the Sims and Whortons around in the woods!!

08 Wamack event calendar:

The Sick Bird February

Rock/Creek River Gorge Trail Race March

Cohutta 100 Mtn bike race April

12 hour mtn bike race in May

Boonies Stage race Trail run June

100K “Double StumpJump” October

Upchuck 50K November

Raising 2 Kids (really just assisting my wife)
Chad Wamack running the RockCreek.com StumpJump 50K Trail Racel



Josh Wheeler running the 2007 Rock/Creek StumpJump 50kJosh Wheeler

Age: 20

Occupation: Extreme Arm-Wrestler, Graduate School Assistant Exercise Physiology Appalachian State University

Favorite Run or Race:

My favorite place to run would have to be right out my front door at Moses Cone State Park in Boone, North Carolina. You could spend hours running through the maze of trails situated in this state park without ever crossing the same path. The first three miles are straight up and then the run levels off for a while, giving your legs time to recover. The best part about this run is definitely the views overlooking Trout Lake and Blowing Rock. Regardless of the weather, this run is always a top priority for me whenever I am around Boone.

What I like most about running:

“I am a running addict. There are not many things I do not like about running.

The freedom and independence running brings after a long day of work or school is most rewarding to me.”

I enjoy being able to eat whatever I want whenever I want. I am passionate about the lifestyle and the running community.

Tips for other runners:

Skip the track work and head out for a tempo run. Build up your threshold and have fun. Train to race but always race your own race. Try to laugh more, its good for you.

Races or Other Significant Accomplishments:

2:46.23 Charlotte Marathon – 3rd Overall 2007

Collegiate Cross Country at Appalachian State – SoCon Champions 2006

#1 Junior in the Southeast for Triathlon 2006

Honorable Mention All-American Triathlon 2006

4th Overall StumpJump 50k 2007

12th Overall, 5th Elite South Carolina 70.3 2007

Cancer Survivor

Josh was inducted into the TN Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2007 >>

Support Josh’s fundraising efforts for the National Brain Tumor Foundation >>

Read Josh’s Trail Running Gear Guide >>

Read a Times-Free Press article about Josh overcoming brain cancer [PDF] >>

Optic Nerve supports Josh and raises funds for cancer research >>


Kris Whorton

Kris Whorton running the Grand Canyon with fellow team member Stephen TaylorAge: 42

Occupation: English Professor


Favorite Run or Race: I’m not sure I have a favorite run because I love running wherever I go, but the diversity of the trails around Chattanooga, especially Skyuka Springs trail, Bluff trail, Edwards Point loop, and Mullins Cove loop, inspires me everyday that I go out.  I’m typically a big fan of new trails and I love running abroad but there are many places I run that are “touchstone” trails, places I need to run sometimes just to feel right in the world.  The Mesa Trail in Boulder, Colorado where I grew up and went to college is one place, Slick Rock in Moab, Utah; various trails in the Indian Peaks in Colorado; and any trail on Monte Sano in Huntsville, Alabama are others.

What I love most about running: Running makes me feel connected and grateful and it helps me keep things in perspective; regardless of my training some runs are challenging and I feel terrible and others feel like I am floating across the earth. The uncertainty is a constant reminder for me to be open to every experience and to be present.

“I love the feeling I have for days after a long run or race where it seems there is nothing I can’t do if I set my mind to it.  And I love that I get stronger, mentally and physically with age, that running gives me more joy now than ever before, and that I can go out any day and run virtually any distance I want.”

Tips for other runners: Enjoy yourself when you’re out running and if you get to the point where you’re not having fun anymore, take a day or two, or a week, and then get back out there and look around and celebrate the fact that you are alive and able to run.

Races or Other Significant Accomplishments:

5 – 100 milers

1st female Kettle Moraine 2002

2nd female Arkansas Traveler 2005

2nd female Umstead 2007 – 18:13

39 ultras – including  1st female and master’s course record Mountain Mist 50K 2007

1st female and course record Black Warrior 50K 2006, 2007

1st female and course record Recover from the Holidays 50K 2006,

2007

1st female and course record Stump Jump 50K 2007

1st female course record Oak Mountain 50K 2001

Various 50K-50 mile top 3 finishes

7-day Stage Race 219 trail miles from Geneva to Basil Switzerland (Swiss Jura), 3rd female 2006

7-day Stage Race 184 trail miles in the Czech Republic (Moravian Ultra Marathon), 2nd female 2007

25 marathons including 1st female overall Chickamauga 2006

1st master’s female Kentucky Derby 2006

3rd female overall Oklahoma City 2001

Ironman Florida 2001

Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim 2007 (47 miles)

2008 Events Planned:

Mountain Mist 50K

Black Warrior 50K

Andrew Jackson Marathon

Kentucky Derby Marathon

Grand Canyon R2R2R

Vermont 100

Headlands 100

Superior Sawtooth 100

Pinhoti 100

FA Chattanooga 50K

Miscellaneous 5K and 10K road races


Randy Whorton running the RockCreek.com StumpJump 50K Trail RacelRandy Whorton

Age: 47

Occupation: Environmental business owner/operator

What I like most about running:

I have likely run enough miles to take me around the globe several times, and I still cannot clearly define what I like most in running.

“My greatest passion is running on a single track trail. It is only then that I truly feel connected to the world.”

The rest of the time I am but a mere participant. There is another key factor that keeps me running; it’s a crazy concept called “being healthy.” I believe that if most people could experience what it feels like to be radically healthy for just one day, they would treat themselves with more respect. Healthy seems to come rather easy for trail runners.

Favorite Run or Race:

This is not a fair question. It’s like asking a parent which is the favorite child. Here is a short list of trails that I can’t get enough of: Pawnee pass to Buchanan pass loop west of Boulder, CO; the Mountain Mist course and race in Huntsville, AL; John Muir trail along the Hiawassee river near Cleveland, TN; the Bluff trail on Lookout Mountain, TN; and it’s hard to beat the Slick Rock trail outside of Moab, UT. My favorite single race event might be Massanutten 100 where my wife (Kris) and I experienced the physical and emotional rollercoaster trip of a lifetime.

Tips for other runners:

Spend as much time as you can running in the wilderness. Run as many different trails as you can and try to get as far away from civilization as possible. Go fast enough to maximize the miles, but slow enough to look around. Do this until you can comfortably run 20 miles, then start running in trail races, then ultras, and run lots of them. After a couple years do a 100 mile race and then your life will change and you will truly understand that anything is possible.

Races or Other Significant Accomplishments:

41 ultras as follows:

26 – 50 K trail races (Mountain Mist – 5 times under 5 hours)

5 – 50 Mile trail races

5 – 100 Mile trail races (Leadville, Massanutten, Mt Rushmore, Kettle Moraine, Arkansas)

7 day 219 Mile stage trail race from Geneva to Basil Switzerland (Swiss Jura)

7 day 184 Mile stage trail (mostly) race in the Czech Republic (Moravian Ultra Marathon)

40 marathons (27 different cities)

One day double dip of the Grand Canyon (rim to rim to rim)

Triathlons:

Semi-professional in 1983

24 Competitive races

5 Ironman’s, including the World Championships in 1983

Other Sports/Interests:

Climbing, Golf, Springboard Diving (college scholarship), High Diving (professional – 4 years), Skydiving (80+jumps), Slackline, Mountaineering, Cave Exploring, Scuba Diving (Rescue certified), Juggling


2006-2007 Race Team Headlines:

11-12-07: Rock/Creek, Local Outdoor Enthusiasts Improve Sunset Park (Randy Whorton volunteered his expertise from his environmental company, Earthscapes, to speed up our trail work)

10-11-07: $4000 Raised at Rock/Creek StumpJump (With a recap of Race Team finishers)

09-17-07: Matt Karzen’s Ultra Gear List (Matt’s gear guide from his experience at the Leadville 100)

08-30-07: Leadville 100 Race Team Report from Matt Karzen

07-31-07: Meet our Newest Race Team Members

07-30-07: Epic Trail Runs ‘R Us: Update on Tahoe Rim Trail 100 and more

07-30-07: Stephen Taylor and Jamie Dial’s epic training run on the AT

06-07-07: Going to Kona: Rock/Creek’s Sheridan Ames

09-05-06: Team Rock/Creek Wins Again!

03-06-06: Rock/Creek Team Places 2nd in Goldrush 24 Adventure Race

Subscribe to our blog feed for updates on the Race Team,

events and races, as well as notification of sales.

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