By GERRI GRADY
Five members of the Cherokee Runners ended their sixteen-week training with the Atlanta Marathon and the Greensboro Marathon. Jimmy Oocumma, Angel and Priscilla Squirrell, and Robin Swimmer completed the Atlanta Marathon (26.2 miles) on Sunday, Oct. 27. Oocumma completed the run in 3:40, Priscilla Squirrell in 4:32, Swimmer in 5:03 and Angel Squirrell in 5:40, while Chris Reed completed the Greensboro Marathon in 5:11. Also from Cherokee running the Atlanta Marathon was Thomas Benedict.
Stephan Swimmer ran the 5K on the same morning and Sean and Gerri Grady worked mile 14 as road monitors during the event.
Robin Swimmer stated, “This was the most difficult marathon that I’ve ever ran. I was surprised at how hilly the course was and was so glad when I crossed the finish line!”
Priscilla set a PR with her time of 4:32, taking more than an hour off of her previous time in the 2012 Marine Corps Marathon last year.
On Saturday, Oct. 25, a Cherokee Runners team competed in the Power of Pink 5K in Asheville. The Cherokee Runners team included Elnora Thompson, Mike Parker, Shayna Ledford and Carolina Oocumma. Elnora Thompson and Carolina Oocumma both placed in their age groups. The Power of Pink is a fundraiser that helps underprivileged women in Haywood County to get mammograms. In addition to the Cherokee Runners team, Julie Dixon-Lambert also completed the race.
The Cherokee Runners are seeking members (and others) that are interested in running the 2014 Smoky Mountain Relay. The SMR is a 2-day event that covers 212 miles. Runners begin in Transylvania County and run non-stop to Nantahala Outdoor Center in Swain County. It is an excellent event that takes teamwork and perseverance. Each team consists of twelve members and will require team fundraising activities to help pay for gas and van rental. If you are interested, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The registration fee will go up closer to the date of the race.