By GERRI GRADY
The Cherokee Runners staged its third annual Sunset 5K and Fun Run on Thursday, July 4. Even with the pouring rain, everyone had a great time. Runners from as far away as Oklahoma, Florida and New Jersey competed, along with fifteen new runners from the Cherokee Runners Couch to 5K program.
Tyler Wike, of Bryson City, took first place with a time of 16:54:6. Matthew Climbingbear, an EBCI tribal member, was second with a time of 18:46:6 and Brian Vincent, of Rome, Ga., came in third with a time of 19:05:1. The first female finisher was Mandy Meyer, of Asheville, with a time of 21:03:0.
A full listing of race results can be found at https://www.leetiming.com/Calendar2013.html#bookmark8.
The Cherokee Runners related it would like to thank its sponsors and volunteers for their help. “Without it, the race could not go on. The Cherokee Indian Police Department provided exceptional traffic control for volunteers that placed cones. Cones were provided by Cherokee Mechanical who also provided the flat beds that carried them. Tribal EMS, and Tribal Fire Department personnel were also on hand to provide support and safety measures.”
Vice Chairman Bill Taylor was on hand to help start the race, while Wolftown Rep. Mike Parker competed in the event and Yona Wade, of the Remember the Removal Riders, led the runners from his bicycle.
Event sponsors included: Cherokee Enterprises Inc., Cherokee Mechanical, Owle Construction, Executive Office-EBCI, David and Linda Raiford, Golden Dezign, FootRX of Asheville, Cherokee Preservation Foundation, Dr. Clifford Mault, Cherokee Health Mart Pharmacy, EBCI NRE, Jimmy Oocumma Electrical, Robin and Steph Swimmer, Deb Bradley, BlackRock Outdoor Co., Food Lion, Cork & Bean of Bryson, and All About You Salon in Waynesville. Event partners included: Jeremy Wilson (photographer), David Lee-Lee Timing, Simply Tees, Sound of Music, Cherokee Bottled Water, Cherokee Indian Fairgrounds (Howard Wahnetah), Cherokee DOT and A Wo Ha Li Drum Group. The Cherokee Runners holds memberships in the Road Runners Club of America and USA Track and Field Association.
The Cherokee Runners would like to spotlight the Couch to 5K group that completed their first 5K. Couch to 5K is a 12-week training program that conditions runners progressively and provides instruction and advice on injury prevention, nutrition, hydration and self-assessment. This year’s group was the largest and had the most 5K registrants in the 3 year history of the program.
“Congratulations to all of the new runners! Coaches provided by the Cherokee Runners have been certified by the Road Runners Club of America and American Track & Field Association,” Cherokee Runners officials commented.