By GERRI GRADY
The Cherokee Runners staged the 3rd annual Moccasin Run on Sunday, Feb. 23 with 19 runners completing the 10 miles from Straight Fork Bridge to the Acquoni Expo Center track. Safety for the race was provided by the Cherokee Indian Police Department, Tribal EMS and Tribal Natural Resource Enforcement.
Jimmy Oocumma finished first with a time of 1:14:37 followed by Vanessa Grant at 1:16:15, while Charlie Myers came in third with 1:16:27. Gabe Crowe placed fourth with a time of 1:17:41 and first-time Moccasin Runner, Chad Cooper, placed fifth with 1:18:05.
Susan Paul, the second female to finish, came in with a time of 1:29:42. Overall, finishers for the males were Jimmy Oocumma, Charlie Myers and Gabe Crowe, while Vanessa Grant, Susan Paul and Skye Littledave were the top three female runners.
Volunteers for the event included Big Cove Rep. Perry Shell, Pam Sneed, Elnora Thompson, Christi Climbingbear, Lamont Squirrell, Stephan Swimmer, Eddie Swimmer and Gerri and Sean Grady. The group would like to recognize the cooperation and assistance of the Tribal Building Rental program for allowing the race to finish at the Expo Track, and a big thank you to Big Cove Community for supporting this annual event. The group also thanks Robin Swimmer for donating funds to purchase this year’s event tee-shirt.
There were several first time runners including Donna Nelson, of Winter Park, Fla., who stated, “This was such an awesome race! I can’t wait to come back. All the Cherokee Runners are tremendous people. And of course, thank you my friend, Susan, for introducing me to a whole new world.”
The Cherokee Runners will begin a new Couch to 5K in April in preparation for the annual Sunset 5K that will be held on July 4. Anyone interested in the Cherokee Runners or its programs may email email@example.com, check out the Cherokee Runners Facebook page, or visit the website at www.cherokeerunners.com.