Rock/Creek today announces that registration is open for the 10.2 mile Rock/Creek River Gorge Trail Race and the Rock/Creek StumpJump 50k, two popular trail races both presented by Salomon.
These two races are the foundation of Rock/Creek’s highly successful involvement in the Chattanooga trail running scene over the past 15+ years. Instrumental in not only promoting, but enhancing the quality of our community’s outdoor experiences, these two races have grown exponentially over the past decade as more adventurous Chattanoogans venture to experience the beauty of the vast trail systems available at our city’s doorstep. But, with unfettered growth comes the adverse associations of impact–on our trails with erosion, on infrastructures with commitment to resources, and, on a personal level, the quality of those experiences on the trail.
As race director Brian Costilow explains, “in 2015, Rock/Creek will return these races to their ‘roots’, focusing on both the runner experience and the quality of that experience. As such, we have made the decision to focus upon the original single distances that each of these trail races was founded upon…theRock/Creek River Gorge Trail Race will be a 10 mile run and the Rock/Creek StumpJump 50k will only include the 50k distance. We will also reduce the number of total participants at each race, placing a registration cap at a number that is more sustainable and evokes a more intimate and inspired experience. Registration for both will open on January 1st, 2015 to signal a fresh start to the year, and to help you with your New Years resolutions.”
While these two races will be the primary focus of Rock/Creek’s official race efforts, the retailer plans to offer more short distance runs, fun-runs, night runs and other community-oriented events throughout the coming year. Interested parties are invited to join the Rock/Creek Meetup group at http://www.meetup.com/Rock-Creek-Rock-Stars. Focusing down to these two marquee events will also allow for more involvement with other core outdoor communities, including paddling, backpacking, climbing, and cycling. As previously announced, Rock/Creek is now the title sponsor of the 28th annual 3 State 3 Mountain Challenge, a bike century with deep roots in Chattanooga.
Run every year since 2001, The Rock/Creek River Gorge 10 mile race has become a local favorite and has also been covered by Running Times. Trail Runner Magazine recently named the race to it’s “21 Destination Trail Races for Your 2015 Bucket List.”
Taking place on the scenic Mullens Cove Loop in Prentice-Cooper State Forest, just outside Chattanooga, Tennessee, this 10.2 mile trail running race is run entirely on single track (except for the half-mile start on forest roads). With inspiring bluff views of the Tennessee River Gorge, a lush forest landscape featuring giant hemlocks and thick rhododendrons, this is considered by locals to be one of the most beautiful runs in the area–complete with plenty of cascading streams, moss-covered rocks, and gnarly roots. Runners will also encounter the infamous and challenging feature known as the “rock garden” along Short Creek. Costilow says “Come prepared for unpredictable spring weather, the potential for slick footing, and the most fun you’ve ever had in the woods!”
This race is a great opportunity for R/C StumpJump 50k runners to preview the middle portion of that course, for competitive trail racers to test their limits on one of the most trails around, and for new trail runners to experience a classic Chattanooga trail run.
Registration for the March event will be capped at 200 participants.
In its 13th year, the Rock/Creek StumpJump has become a cult classic among southern trail runners since its inception in 2002–a year after its sister race began, the River Gorge. Last year’s race was the RRCA National Championship for the ultra distance. This race takes place on the beautiful single track trails of Signal Mountain, then crosses Suck Creek and loops around the scenic bluff-lines and lush coves of Prentice Cooper State Forest. With over 4400 feet of elevation gain, and a very healthy smattering of Tennessee sandstone on the trails, this ultra marathon provides a challenging yet beautifully rewarding course that has become a “bucket list” race for many a trail runner across the country.
Registration of the Rock/Creek StumpJump 50k will be capped at 300. This event is also part of the larger community festival, RiverRocks. The vendor fair prior to the race brings vendors from across the outdoor industry to Coolidge Park.
Proceeds from both races will benefit the Tennessee River Gorge Trust in association with Southeast Youth Corps for trail and trailhead maintenance in Prentice Cooper State Forest and TRGT properties. Sponsors include Salomon, Suunto, Get Out Magazine, Patagonia, Toyota of Cleveland and Capital Toyota, and SmartWool.