UPDATE: The summit is coming back for 2015! See the details on the 2nd Annual Rock/Creek Trail Running Summit here.
Independently-owned specialty outdoor retailer Rock/Creek today announces that the Women’s Trail Running Summit in August sold out within minutes. A group of 30 trail-running women will gather in August to foster new connections, discuss female participation in trail running, and develop them as ambassadors of the sport.
Today, Rock/Creek announces that all spots for the newly-created Women’s Trail Running Summit are taken. Registration opened up at noon on Tuesday and all remaining spots were secured by trail-loving women within 20 minutes. Now, 30 participants are looking forward to spending the weekend together from August 22-24th in the woods near Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The running community’s response to the original event announcement has been overwhelming. A roster of 30 female trail runners will travel to the Ocoee from neighboring states: Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, and, of course, Tennessee. Rock/Creek is especially excited to welcome four runners from Texas, Florida & Mississippi to cover most of the Southeast and beyond. The organizers wanted to ensure the most diverse group of women possible for informed, productive discussions. Before the registration opened up to the public, the organizers went through race results, volunteer lists, and survey results and selected a people from different running backgrounds, age groups, and geographic regions. These selected individuals were specially invited prior to the public opening. All remaining spots are now taken. Women who did not get in are invited to secure a spot on the wait list to fill in for cancellations.
The summit in August will provide an opportunity for a new network of trail running women to be formed. Beyond that, the organizers hope to motivate attendees to extend this new network by acting as advocates for the sport. As Rock/Creek Race Team member Erin Hannen explains: “We hope to build trail running ambassadors and encourage them to carry their love for trails out to their communities in order to nourish the sport.”
Earlier in April, Hannen approached Rock/Creek owner Dawson Wheeler about the lack of women at trail races sponsored by the company. Erin, Dawson, and several Rock/Creek staff met, brainstormed some possible explanations, and hypothesized that the biggest concern for women might be in venturing into the woods in training for these races, rather than any issue with competing in the the races themselves. After a survey produced more than 700 responses, and with a few more weeks brainstorming, the Rock/Creek Women’s Trail Running Summit was born. Neither did it take long to find passionate trail runners to contribute to the summit. It truly is an “event by women for women,” as Hannen states.
Since then, the leadership team around Erin Hannen worked together to shape up the schedule for the summit. From trail runs in Eastern Tennessee to swimming and stand-up paddleboarding on the Ocoee, to healthy food and new friends — it will be a lot of fun. With all the outdoor play time planned, participants shouldn’t forget there is more involved in the inaugural Rock/Creek Women’s Trail Running Summit: The aim is to discuss some of the apparent barriers to female participation in trail running and postulate ways to bring these boundaries down. There also will be sessions covering injury prevention, proper stretching, safety issues and of course gear. Yoga clothing brand prAna will bring an early morning yoga session to the summit and Smartwool will talk about merino wool gear with the runners.
Rock/Creek is an independently-owned specialty outdoor retailer based in Chattanooga, Tennessee. With over 25 years of brick-and-mortar experience and a growing online gear store, the Internet Retailer “Second 500” retailer offers only the very best outdoor apparel and equipment from top brands like Marmot, Horny Toad, The North Face, prAna, Salomon and Smartwool. Besides trail running, Rock/Creek’s experts service travel, hiking, backpacking, camping, climbing, kayaking and SUP, tenkara fly fishing. Rock/Creek’s staff love seeing ordinary people do extraordinary things in life through outdoor recreation.