By GERRI GRADY
The Cherokee Runners would like to say thank you to the Cherokee Indian Police Department, Cherokee Tribal EMS, Tribal Risk Management, Cherokee DOT, Tribal Council, Tribal Executive Office, the event volunteers and the runners for ensuring a safe and successful 2012 Moccasin Run. The group would also like to thank the people of Big Cove Community for allowing this event to take place and for helping with aid stations.
Runners and volunteers gathered at Saunooke’s Village on Sunday, Feb. 26 at 6am to be shuttled to Straight Fork Bridge in Big Cove. Big Cove Rep. Perry Shell shuttled runners to the start line and the run began at 7am. Aid stations were manned by members of the Cherokee Runners and their families and were set up at the old school in Big Cove, Eddie Swimmer’s driveway, and at the new Cherokee school. Volunteers at the finish line provided fruit and light refreshments, as well as water and hot chocolate for runners and volunteers.
Although the Moccasin Run was not a competitive race, volunteers kept finish times for the runners. First in was Joe Smith with a time of 1 hour, 11 minutes (7 minute, 6 second pace), followed by Michael Henson with 1 hour 12 minutes (7 minute, 12 second pace). Other runners that participated in the event: Cliff Mault (1:15), Jim Oocumma (1:15), Skye Littledave (1:25), Stephan Swimmer (1:28), Clement Calhoun (1:33), Alicia Jacobs (1:45), Angel Squirrell (1:45), and Sean Grady (1:48). At the aid station near the new school, runner Angel Squirrell was observed to have clumps of ice built up in her hair from sweat mixed with temperatures in the 20s.
All participants in this event had a good time whether volunteering or running.
Cliff Mault said, “I’m glad I ran this course, it is a great idea to bring it back.” Other runners stated that Big Cove Road is a nice course with just enough hills to make it challenging. Sean Grady wanted to particularly thank Tribal EMS for following the last runner as it provided an additional sense of safety on the curvy road.
Cherokee Runners meet each month on the 1st an 15th at the Age Link conference room. If you are interested in running or walking, you are welcome to join. All you need is a commitment to fitness.