By GERRI GRADY
ASHEVILLE – Members of the Cherokee Runners competed in the Asheville Citizen-Times Half Marathon and 5K on Saturday, Sept. 14. Robin Swimmer, Angel and Priscilla Squirrell, Jimmy Oocumma, Marlene Arch and Samantha Ferguson completed the 13.1 mile half while Stephan Swimmer, Gerri and Sean Grady and Lamont Squirrell completed the 5K.
The course is challenging for both races as Asheville is well-known for its steep and lengthy hills. It has been said that “the course is hills with a bit of flat at times.” The runners from Cherokee represented the Tribe well with Priscilla Squirrell coming in 4th in her age group.
In addition to this event, Elnora Thompson ran the Southeastern Tribes 5K at Kituwah. She was joined by Cherokee Runner Mike Parker for his first 5K race. The course is mostly flat but also includes challenges with course layout.
Thompson said, “Hats off to my cousin Eddie Swimmer for the run at Kituwah this morning. Even though I took the wrong turn, not once, but twice, it was an excellent run!”
Several Cherokee Runners have been training for the last few months for the Marine Corps Marathon which will take place on Sunday, Oct. 28 in Washington, DC. Several runners participated in a long run starting at Heintooga and ending at Round Bottom in early September. This run will be repeated in mid-October as the last long run before the marathon.
Speedwork sessions and hill work will be conducted in coming weeks. These sessions occur on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6pm with speedwork held at the high school track while hills are conducted at Unto These Hills. Anyone is welcome to come and work out. Upcoming races include the Harvest Half & 5K and the Atlanta Half Marathon.
The next regular meeting of the Cherokee Runners will be held at 6:30pm at the Age Link conference room on Monday, Oct. 1. All runners and walkers are encouraged to join. It does not matter the fitness level – only a willingness to improve fitness through walking or running. See the Cherokee Runners Facebook page or visit www.cherokeerunners.com.