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Daniel Lucas, Rock/Creek Race Team


Age: 35
Number of years running: 4
Location: Chattanooga, TN
Occupation: IT Project Manager

Favorite trail race(s):
Lookout Mountain 50-miler

Favorite trails to train on:
Anything on Lookout!

There are so many trail options from the Ruby falls area that I usually start there (Jira, Gum Springs, Sunset, Skyuka, etc..). Another reason I love running on Lookout is that there are so many fantastic choices for post run recovery calories all within a few minutes of the trailheads. Some of my favorites include Mojo Burrito, Moccasin Bend Brewery and Pasha Coffeehouse… OK, I usually visit them in that order. If I’m having a rough day I may punish myself with a few miles of the Stump Jump course on Signal Mountain. That tends to give me some perspective on things.

Favorite trail running shoe:
Brooks Pure Grit, but I’m open to new things

Lifelong running goals:
I hope to inspire, encourage, coach and support as many people as I can to live a healthy lifestyle that includes an appreciation for outdoor activities that take place in the solace of our local trails. And also… not to get lost every other time I go running.

I never saw any point in running. Throughout my 20’s and into my early 30’s I had a pretty bad back which prohibited running so I just latched onto that excuse. On a bet with a buddy, I did a 5k just before my 31st birthday. The next few years involved lots of road races and triathlons. After my divorce I found that the sights, sounds and feel of running on trails brought back the child-like desire and satisfaction that comes with being more in tune with nature. I run trails because it adds balance to my physical and emotional well-being.

2012 season summary:
2012 was the year I discovered my passion for trailrunning. It started with my first 50k (Black Warrior in February) and ended with the Lookout 50 Miler in December. Walking across the finish at the Lookout 50 Miler was truly a magical moment. The whole race was so well done and all the organizers and volunteers worked so very hard to ensure everyone had what they needed. In the latter half of 2012 I became more involved with the Wild Trails crew and was involved in stuffing or handing out race packets on many of the Rock Creek events. Watching Randy Whorton dismantle the finish line structure after a race is a thing of beauty and grace. I’m pretty sure he could do it blindfolded in less than 5 minutes

People like Dreama Cambell, Michael Scott and Kris Whorton set a high benchmark for sacrificing their personal time and resources to ensure that others have access to a plethora of wonderful trail experiences. They host, support and monitor all sorts of training runs and events to ensure that everyone has a great time and gets home safe.

I find running for a cause to be especially motivating. This year Ginny Smith, Missy Emerling and I worked with the Wild Trails crew to put on the first ‘Trails and Ales’ fundraiser. The focus was on having fun, enjoying the trails and good beer. Ok, the majority of focus may have been on the latter, but it was all for a good cause. We will definitely be repeating the fundraiser this year, but our goal is to have twice as many participants.

Agreeing to an aggressive fund raising goal for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society really took me out of my comfort zone. It was scary and overwhelming. I learned that stress is often reduced simply by taking action (in this case just getting started with fundraising and quit dreading it). I also became more comfortable with the idea of hearing people say “No”. Capping off the fundraiser by completing the San Diego Marathon was an especially fulfilling and rewarding experience that I will always treasure.

Proudest running accomplishments:
Competing in the Stage Race last year really gave me a lot of confidence in what the mind and body were capable of. I consider it the trail running demarcation which really gave me hope for completing ultra’s in the future. I pushed harder every day and was really surprised with how enjoyable the whole multi day race experience was. I also made some great friends in the process.

StumpJump was truly an epic experience. Every trail runner should add that race to their bucket list.

I consider the 2012 Lookout 50 miler to be among one of the best days of my life.

Planned races for 2013:
1: All Rock Creek Races including Wild Trails training and fundraising events
2: Leadville 100
3: Mountain Mist
4: Black Warrior
5: Rev3 tri in Knoxville
6: Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon