The Wild Side – June 2015

Thunder Rock 100 Mile Race Report

After the inaugural Thunder Rock 100 last year several of the key volunteers, including my wife, suggested that we should skip a year of hosting the event in 2015 due to the nearly 3 pages of improvements that were needed to make this a world class event. At the risk of losing some really great volunteers and perhaps more importantly, good friends, my stubbornness prevailed and I am thrilled to report that it is clear at least from the race management team, we truly have one of the best ultra endurance events in the country. The main reason that I can say that with confidence is that the great ultras are mostly due to the great landscapes that they are run on and we had little to do with that other than some basic trail maintenance.

Thunder Rock 100 2015

The next best thing about truly great ultras is the attitudes of the volunteers. We nailed it in this area. I am not sure how we got so lucky, but I can’t thank our volunteers enough. My appreciation also goes out to the runners for not being mean to our volunteers. Other than a few grumpy moments that are of course expected, all of the runners were really awesome, especially considering the unfortunate fact that only half of the field finished.That brings me to the main surprise of the run. I knew that it would be harder than last year with the direction of the course reversed, resulting in nearly 2,000 feet more climbing but I never would have guessed that the finish rate would have gone from almost 80% last year to 50% this year. It is crystal clear that we cannot advertise this as a good beginner 100 miler. An additional reason for the reduced finish rate was apparently a result of people having wet feet for a longer period of time and I believe that we can improve on that for next year.

Finally, my deep felt appreciation goes out to the Raft One folks. They opened up their home to us in a huge way, which allowed for perhaps the best finish line experience with close proximity to showers, comfortable beds and the friendliest staff of people anywhere. If you want to take a closer look at the Thunder Rock 100, head over to the Race Page that will give you links to photos, results, blog posts and all of the social media links. Thanks to all that helped make one of the best weekends we have ever had.

Thunder Rock 100 2015

Upcoming Races

Still Hollow Half Marathon 2015

Still Hollow Half Marathon & 10K – August 1, 2015

The Enterprise South Nature Park is the venue for the Still Hollow Half Marathon & 10K set for August 1st, 2015. This is a fun and fast event and really great introduction to trail racing. The 1/2 marathon and the 10K races both start at the same time with everyone running the 10K section of the course featuring wide, soft and gently rolling pedestrian only trails. The second half of the longer race is on the non technical bike trails winding through a more remote area of this widely diverse and heavily wooded nature park. Don’t wait to sign up because the entry fee goes up 10 bucks on July 1. Now is a great time to be training for this race. Check out the race page for all the details.


Cumberland Trail Update

Trail work continues and how to get involved!

Cumberland Trail work - Wild Trails Conservation - Chattanooga trail maintenance

Wild Trails is well into the construction of a 12 mile section of the Cumberland Trail which will link the North Chickamauga creek trail basically to the top of the Signal Mountain plateau. We have logged more than 400 volunteer hours on the trail yielding more than 2 miles of trail completed and an additional 2 miles of trail in various degrees of completion. We have moved camp twice and are gearing up to move again in the next month or so.

Cumberland Trail work - Wild Trails Conservation - Chattanooga trail maintenance

Our mission is to have this entire section built by as many volunteers in the neighboring cities as possible. What a fantastic place and activity to bond with family, friends and co-workers. Another key motivator is the reality that we are building something great that will be enjoyed long after we are gone. For more information and a fine piece of non-fiction about the Cumberland Trail, read this excellent Roots Rated article written by Kris Whorton. If you have any interest in helping, just reply to this email and we will contact you with the details.

Cumberland Trail work - Wild Trails Conservation - Chattanooga trail maintenance

Membership Signup

If you haven’t already signed up for a Wild Trails Membership now is the perfect time to do it! Unlike many other non-profit organizations, Wild Trails offers more than a thank you note. Your tax deductible donation will continue to allow Wild Trails to improve, protect and expand our nature trails as well as direct programs that empower our citizens and visitors to use them.

Find out about all the benefits of a Wild Trails Membership and SIGN UP today.


Volunteer Opportunities

Our amazing volunteers are the backbone of what Wild Trails is all about. Thank you to everyone who has volunteered on a Wild Trails Race Series event or who has put sweat equity into a local trail work project! If you’re ready to join with us, simply email us at info@wildtrails.org to sign up for one of the upcoming events below. It’s quick and easy to get involved.

Chattanooga Mountains Stage Race – Times on June 19th, 20th, 21st

Still Hollow Half Marathon & 10K – Times on August 1st

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