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2009 Rock/Creek Race Team

Rock Creek Race Team Members Jim Farmer and Tom Sell running the River Gorge Trail Race; c. mcknightphotography.comWe’re proud to introduce you to the Rock/Creek Race Team, a gifted group of endurance athletes who have been proudly waving the Rock/Creek banner at adventure races, trail marathons, ultramarathons, and other events over the years. We have sales reps, small business owners, several educators, two husband-and-wife teams, and they are all passionate runners who have traveled the country and across the globe to attend unique events. These guys and gals are well acquainted with suffering, testing their mental limits, and pushing their bodies and gear to the limit of what’s possible.
Our race team members’ experience and feedback help us tailor our product offerings to core enthusiasts like yourself. If you see any of these folks at a race, introduce yourself! You never know, you might be the next member of the team.

Team Members (Click name to see full profile)

Males Females
Sheridan Ames Cathi Cannon
John Anderson Wendi Parker-Dial
Jamie Dial Johanna Gartman
Matt Karzen Jaclyn Greenhill
Michael Green Kathy Johns
Matt Sims Natalie Sims
Chad Wamack Kris Whorton
Josh Wheeler
Nick Whited
Randy Whorton
John Wiygul

For 2009, we’ve added one new member, John Wiygul, who becomes our youngest male team member at 19 years old. John won the recent Upchuck 50k. He has been running our races for a few years now and has plenty of experience with the other team members, so we look forward to more impressive results form him. Welcome to the team John!
2008 Race Team Headlines:

12-09-08: Race Team Report: Pinhoti 100 Mile Trail Run

11-21-08: Upchuck 50k Trail Race Report & Photos

10-20-08: Race Team Report from Two Lakes Trail Run

10-13-08: $9,000 Raised for Trails at 2008 Rock/Creek StumpJump 50k

09-03-08: Rock/Creek Race Team Member on Podium at Triathlon Championships

08-25-08: Rock/Creek Race Team Wins Flatlanders Division at Wild West Relay

06-16-08: Our Youngest Race Team Member, Johanna Gartman

05-31-08: Josh Wheeler Wins Age Group at Florida Ironman 70.3

05-01-08: Rock/Creek Race Team Members Take Southeast Regional Championship Titles

04-28-08: Rock/Creek Runners Win Sweetwater 50k & Half Marathon

03-24-08: New Race Team Members, Early Season Victories

03-11-08: Jaclyn Greenhill Joins Rock/Creek Race Team

03-10-08: John Anderson Wins Old Pueblo 50 Miler

03-07-08: Wheeler Wins Half Marathon, Continuing Rock/Creek Race Team’s Winning Streak

03-03-08: More Photos of Mt. Cheaha 50k

02-27-08: Race Team Dominates Cheaha 50k

02-18-08: Black Warrior Race Report: Kris Whorton Wins

02-05-08: Kathy Johns Joins Rock/Creek Race Team

01-17-08: John Anderson Joins Rock/Creek Race Team

01-17-08: Cathi Cannon Joins Rock/Creek Race Team

01-08-08: Race Team Report (Video): Grand Canyon R2R2R
2008 Race Team Page >

Click here for headline archives from 2006-2007 >

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The Rock Creek Race Team is sponsored, of course, by, but we’d also like to thank our other sponsors and partners: Patagonia, SmartWool, Hammer Nutrition, the Wilderness Trail Running Association, and the Cumberland Trail Conference. The Race Team wouldn’t be the same without their support. If you’re interested in sponsoring the team, please e-mail [email protected] Attn: Mark McKnight.

Sheridan “51 Cards” Ames

DSC01359-cropOccupation: Construction, Project Manager

Age: 47

Background: AAU youth swimming, middle and long distance road and trail racing, triathlons and long distance swimming events.

What motivates me to train: A very stressful job and raising two independent teenagers. Logging long hours in the woods allows me to get away from phones and out of yelling range. I love the serenity of the forest.

Tips on good races: Stump Jump 50K (Chattanooga, TN), Big South Fork Trial Run (Oneida, TN), Shut-In-Ridge Trail Run (Ashville, NC), Mount Mitchell Challenge (Black Mountain, NC), NOC/Subaru 21 Mile Endurance Run (NC), Big Daddy Triathlon (Chattanooga, TN) and Mountain Mist 50K (Huntsville, AL).

Recent Race Accomplishments/Highlights:

2007 Ford Ironman World Championships-Kona, HI

2007 Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon (qualified for The Boston Marathon)

Big South Fork Trail Run

Atomic Man ½ Ironman (Age Group winner)

Great Buckeye ½ Ironman Triathlon (Age Group Winner, 4:42:05, 9th Overall)

Chattanooga Rate Race-4.5 Mile Swim (8th Overall)

River Gorge Trail Run & Hog Pen Hill Climb

Claim to Fame: Ran rim to rim, to rim of Grand Canyon. Alone.

Wasatch Speedgoat 50kOccupation: Medical Student at the University of Colorado School of Medicine

Why I run:  I grew up tramping around the mountains of Tennessee, and the enthusiasm and direction finding skills of my running friends and brother resulted in some unintentional ultras.

“There is a root communication shared in miles spent in the woods and a seemingly paradoxical camaraderie among runners that comes from individual suffering and elation. I find ultraraces to be a family affair.”

Conversations, jokes, and even silent support abound in every race I’ve run (although the jokes seem to get funnier around mile 70, which is good for me because the only people that seem to laugh at my jokes are ultrarunners and very small children). Even the periods of solitary miles allow time to connect with the inner being through the pain of the body.  Essentially, running is simple, running is primal and running is fun.
John Anderson

Favorite Runs: Grand Lake Loop Rocky Mtn National Park–a 36ish mile loop up and over the Continental Divide, dropping into Grand Lake for a swim at halfway. Also, running in Prentice-Cooper in the fall.

Tips: Ultras are long.  You will have a rough stretch, and your success is dependent on how you react because it will eventually pass.  You have to train how you race–eat the same foods, run in the dark, run alone, run with a pacer, run through creeks, etc.  Embrace the places where both your body and mind go because they truly are unique and indescribable.



1st overall Old Pueblo 50 miler  7:20

2nd overall Zane Grey 50 miler  9:38

2nd overall Wasatch Speedgoat 50k  5:56

1st overall Rock/Creek Stumpjump 50k  4:19

Grand Lake Traverse Rocky Mtn National Park


6th overall 2007 Wasatch Front 100 23:15

2nd overall 2007 Spring Desert Ultra 50 7:47

2nd overall 2007 Old Pueblo 50 7:29

4th overall 2007 Ashland Mountain Climb

Farthest Projectile Vomiting–2007 Hardrock 100
Race schedule 2009:

Moab 50k–Feb 2009

Collegiate Peaks 50 miler–April 2009

Jemez 50 miler–May 2009

Hardrock 100 miler–July 2009 (if I get in)

Bighorn 100 miler (if I don’t get in Hardrock)–June 2009

Leadville, Wasatch 100 or Plain 100

StumpJump 50k–Oct 2009

Lookout Mtn 100k–Dec 2009

Cathi Cannon

Stump Jump 50K & 11 mile Trail RunOccupation: Graphic Designer

Age: 33

Favorite training spot: Cumberland Trail. With over 300 miles to explore, you can’t get bored! Perhaps my favorite segment is along the North Chick segment, which we call the Blue Hole Run – approx 5 miles to a pristine swimming hole that is tucked away from all the day trippers. It is the perfect place to relax in the sun and swim with the fish.

What I like most about running: Being able to immerse myself in wilderness… even if it is just 15 minutes from downtown! The solitude and peacefulness wipes away any stress from the work week.

Tips for other runners: When new runners hear about my adventures, they think it is entirely out of reach. Hey – we all start somewhere! When I signed up for my first marathon, I could barely get through 4 miles. Sure it takes a lot of time to work up to an ultra, but nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it.

“Just understand that it takes time, commitment and patience to reach your goals. Believe in yourself and go for it!”

2008 Races/Significant Accomplishments:

Rock/Creek River Gorge Race, 6.5mile (2nd, womens open)

Rock/Creek StumpJump 11 mile Trail Run (4th, womens open)

Black Mountain Marathon (10th, womens open)

Blankets Dirty Duathlon (3rd womens overall; 2nd AG)

Shut-In Ridge Trail Run (2008: 15th, womens open)

Tsali Challenge Offroad Triathlon (4th women’s solo event; 2nd women’s team relay)

Greenway Challenge (4th, womens open)

Waterfront Triathlon (1st, womens relay)

Set woman’s age group state record (6:33) at 2008 Blue Cross Market Street Mile

Leadville 100 mile Mountain Bike Race – finisher!

Cohutta 65 mile Mountain Bike Race (5th, womens open)

Black Bear Rampage Mountain Bike Race, 44 miles (1st, womens sport 34 & under)

Race Director, YMCA Strong Adventure Race

Vasque Ambassador

National Geographic Adventure Magazine, September

Other highlights:

– Featured in Competitor Southeast magazine, April 2007

– 2007 Ultra O-gaine, 12hr event (1st female solo, 2nd solo overall)

– 2007 Overmountain Extreme Adventure Race (3rd, elite division)

– 2007 Mountain Mist 50k (6th AG; 17th womens open)

– 2007 Black Mountain Marathon (11th, womens open)

– 2007 Rock/Creek StumpJump 50k (9th womens open)

– 2007 Tsali Challenge Offroad Triathlon (4th women’s solo event; 3rd women’s team relay)

– 2006 Panther Creek Xterra (1st AG)

2009 Schedule (a work in progress!):

Rock/Creek Trail Series

Tsali Frost Foot

Black Mountain Marathon

Blankets Dirty Duathlon

Trans-Rockies ?!!

Trail Running & Mountain Biking training camp in Austria

Grand Canyon: Rim to Rim to Rim

Shut-In Ridge Trail Run

* race reports, training stories, and pictures can be found on

Jamie Dial with his Tahoe Rim Trail 100 Belt BuckleJamie Dial

Occupation: Activities Coordinator, Vanderbilt University Outdoor Recreation Program

Favorite Run or Race: Adventure running in the mountains for me please. My favorite run is up around the Maroon Bells in Colorado. I’ve had the opportunity to do the “Four Passes Loop” twice now and can’t wait to do it again. It’s about 27 miles of unbelievable mountain scenery.  In terms of racing I have 2 favorites. For scenery, I think the San Juan Solstice 50 mile in Colorado is the best race in the country and certainly one of the most difficult. You’d better not be afraid of hills as the first climb of the day ascends 5,000 ft and eventually you will spend hours above 12,000 running along the Continental Divide.

“The Stumpjump 50k in Chattanooga has the best swag and prizes of any race I’ve ever been too. If you want to recoup your entry fee with killer running, great food and awesome gear, then sign up for this event.”

What I like most about running: Cutting chunks of dried hammer gel out of my beard after a long run, lancing blisters, and sports drink/electrolyte margaritas. If you aren’t being challenged, then you aren’t growing. Running and ultrarunning offers many challenges including the obvious physical ones. More so, it requires mental tenacity, emotional maturity and to do well year after year you must attain balance in other areas of your life.

Tips for other runners: Find a mentor, hire a coach, run with groups, but ultimately find what is right for you. Be patient because it may take a while, but through enough trial and error, you will get it right, not to mention it’s more fun that way.

Races or Other Significant Accomplishments:

100+ multi-sport events and ultramarathons

The “Grand Traverse” in Teton National. Park- Summer ‘06

Numerous Grade V routes car to car

Married for 7 years


TBA, VERY EXCITED! My fitness is coming back after a long summer break!

2008 Races

Mtn. Mist 50k

Mt. Cheaha 50k- 1st  Course Record

Chickasaw Trace 15k Trail- 1st

Hunters Bend 5k- 1st

Country Music Marathon

San Juan Solstice 50m

Vanderbilt Invitational Cross Country 8k

2 Lakes Trail Run- 4th

Team Nashville 10 miler- 3rd

Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon

2007 Season:

Mountain Mist 50k, Alabama- 6th

Mt. Mitchell Challenge 40 mile, North Carolina- 5th

Oak Mountain 50k, Alabama- 1st

Appalachian Trail Adventure Run 72 miles, Smoky Mountain National Park

Berryman 50 mile, Missouri- 5th

Chattanooga Mountains Stage Race, Tennessee- 1st

Tahoe Rim Trail 100 mile National Championship, Nevada- 4th

Rock/Creek StumpJump 50k, Tennessee- 7th

Shut in Ridge 18 mile, North Carolina- 15th

Wendi Parker-Dial

Wendi Parker-Dial running the Mount Cheaha 50k Occupation: Artist/Art Teacher

Age: 39

“Trail running (long or short) for me encompasses all aspects of life that keep me motivated and inspired – a peaceful place in nature to be fully present, the physical and mental challenges to keep me strong yet humble, a time to reflect on all that I am grateful for, and a date with my husband.”

The best part about racing for me is crossing the finish line and having my children, Morgan (7) and Conner (4) run to me and celebrate my finish whether I did well or not!

Recent Race Accomplishments:



Mt. Cheaha 50K (1st Female)

CCC 15k Trail Run (1st Female)

Two Lakes Trail Run (1st Female)

Flying Monkey Marathon (1st Female)

Mt. Mist 50K (2nd Female; 16th Overall)


Mt. Mist 50K (2nd Female; 28th Overall)

Hunters Bend 5K (1st Female)

Franklin Classic 10K (4th Female)

Rock/Creek StumpJump 50K (1st Female)


Rock/Creek StumpJump 11 Mile (1st Female)

Monkey Marathon 3:14 (2nd Female)



Scenic City Triathlon (2nd Female; 1st AG)

Mach Tenn Triathlon (3rd Female;1st AG)

DuRunRun Duathlon (2nd Female)

Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon (11th Female, 1st AG)

Music City Triathlon (2nd Female; 1st AG)

Johanna Gartman

004School: Homeschool

Age: 15

Current Team Affiliations:

Scenic City Aquatic Club, USAT Southeast Junior Elite Team, Chattanooga Patriots Cross Country Team, Rock/Creek Race Team



USAT Youth Elite National Championship (3rd overall female) Colorado Springs, CO.

USAT Southeast Regional Ranking (Age Group 1st)

USAT National Ranking (Age Group 6th) currently

Chattanooga Cross Country League Runner of The Year

Scenic City Triathlon (1st overall female) Chattanooga, TN.

FCA 5k (1st overall female) Chattanooga, TN.

Buster Britton Triathlon Alabama State Championship (2nd overall female) Birmingham, AL.

Clemson Triathlon SC State Championship (age group winner) Clemson, SC.

Rock ‘ N Rollman Sprint Triathlon (3rd overall female) Macon, GA.

PTC  Sprint Triathlon (3rd overall female)

Attended USAT US National Select Camp/ Pan American Invitational Camp (San Antonio, TX.)


Ironkids National Champion (Phoenix, AZ)

USAT National Ranking (Age Group 9th)

USAT Southeast Regional Ranking (Age Group 2nd)

Ironkids Atlanta (1st overall female)

Sports Barn Triathlon (2nd overall female/ age group winner)

River Gorge Trail Run –10k ( 2nd overall female)

Clemson Triathlon SC State Championship (age group winner/9th overall)

Orlando Triathlon (age group winner/6th overall female)

Grandman Triathlon Mobile,AL(age group winner/8th overall female)

Scenic City Triathlon (age group winner/4th overall female)

Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon (age group winner)


USA Triathlon Grand Prix Series National Champion

USAT Youth National Championship (5th place) Wiscconsin Dells, WI

“I would like to gain more experience in trail running, and I feel that being a part of the team could provide insight for maturing that goal. It would be a privilege for me to be a part of a team whose members are such intense endurance athletes.”

Proposed 2009 Races:

5/16/09 ITU/PATCO Pan American Junior Elite Championship Oklahoma City, OK

7/18/09 USAT Strawberry Fields Junior Elite Cup Oxnard, CA

8/8/09 USAT Junior Elite National Championship Colorado Springs, CA

9/9-9/13/09* ITU Sprint Distance Age Group 16-19 World Championships Gold Coast, Australia

*if she qualifies

Local Race Schedule TBD (ie. Scenic City Triathlon, trail runs, road races)

Michael Green

IMG_9330Age: 38

Occupation: High School Cross Country/Track Coach, Spray Tech (Golf Course)

Favorite Trails: Prentice Cooper (Rock/Creek River Gorge Trail Race Course) – It is a great trail for a solid run with incredible views of the gorge along the way. Also, the Pinhoti trail is a favorite; it’s a tough trail riding along the ridge, very rocky with a few ups and downs. It’s also only 10 minutes from my front door.

Why I Love Trails:

“The time goes by so much faster when you’re out on a trail by yourself just rolling along a ridge or alongside a cool creek bank.

Favorite Training Partners: Joey Howe and Jay Prater… I loved the Three Stooges when I was growing up!

Notable Races:

Rock/Creek StumpJump 50K Trail Run

Mountain Mist 50k (2005-2008)

Rock/Creek River Gorge Trail Race

1st Overall, 2007 Twisted Ankle Half Marathon

15 other road Marathons including Boston, New York City, and D.C.

Jaclyn Greenhill

DSC_6577Age: 30

Occupation: Pediatric ER Nurse

Favorite Run: Mesa Trail at Chautaqua Park in Co; Prentice Cooper. There really is not a trail I have run that does not contribute to my overall growing passion for trail running. Each trail provides a different beauty that I cannot find many other places in life. So with that said, all trails are

pretty much my favorite.

What I Love Most About Running:

“There is a simplicity to trail running that you cannot really get with any other sport. You put your running shoes on, drive, or run to that special trail and go. A few seconds later you realize that all of the stresses and worries you had before are no longer there. It is just you and the trail…

Notable Races:

2007 Rock/Creek StumpJump 50K Trail Run – 3rd female

Atlanta Marathon 2003 -2nd place

Efix Adventure race 2004- 2nd place

Blue Ridge Adventure race 2003,2004- 6th place

Iceland half Marathon 2005 -2nd age division

Cohutta 100 mile mt bike race 2005

Carrboro 50K 2006- 2nd female

Holiday Lake 50K 2006- 5th female

Goblin Valley ultra 2006- 3rd in division

Twin Falls ultra 40 miler 2006- 3rd female

Fort Yargo adventure race 2007- 1st all female team

+ several other adventure races, triathlons

Upcoming races in 2008:

Rock/Creek River Gorge Trail Race

Dirty Spokes 12 hr mountain bike race

Oak Mountain 50 K

Scenic City Trail Marathon

Pikes Peak Marathon-?

Transalps stage race-?

Rock/Creek StumpJump 50k

Kathy Johns

Kathy stump jumpAge: 28

Occupation:  Sales/Marketing

Favorite trail nourishment: Apple Cinnamon Hammer Gel

What I Love About Running:

“On the trail, everything gets stripped down to the essentials. I love what the physical act of trail running does for me mentally and spiritually. Moments of pure exhilaration and desperation have taught me more about myself than I thought possible. The longer I run, the more I find I have to learn- a great metaphor for life!”

Favorite Trails:

For me, a good trail is any mixture of the following: some climbs, technical stints, natural beauty, and the feeling that I have managed to escape the “outside” world. Prentice Cooper in the winter is one of my favorite things. There is nothing like moving across single-track terrain with the River Gorge in full view, with the feeling that I’m out there discovering something while the rest of the world sleeps- not to mention the well deserved breakfast and coffee afterwards!

Tips for Other Runners:

Ultras are your own experience. Celebrate the discovery of things that work for you, and learn to let your failures add to the experience. Enjoy the unknown of what lays in front of you.

Races or Other Significant Accomplishments:

Upchuck 50K 4th female 2008

Rock/Creek StumpJump 50K

Sweetwater 50K 6th female 2008

Mt. Cheaha 50K 9th female 2008

Forest Park 30K 2nd female 2008

Mountain Mist 50K

NOC/Subaru 21 mile Endurance Run

Nashville Country Music Marathon

Goals for 2009:

I would love to see my trail running expand this year and give me the chance to do some longer events in different parts of the country. Maybe the Mt. Hood PCT 50-mile (since I am a NW native). Besides that, I hope to enjoy what the southeast has to offer, including:

Rock/Creek Trail Series; including River Gorge Race, Scenic City Trail Marathon, Chattanooga Stage Race, StumpJump 50K, Upchuck 50K and Lookout 100K, Mt. Cheaha 50K ?

Other local events that come up and sound like a good time!

Matt Karzen

matt-karzenResidence: Athens, GA, with son Sam & wife, Pam

Age: 42

Occupation: Self-employed criminal defense attorney

“I am a big fan of Rock/Creek’s outdoor presence in the southeast, particularly their commitment to trail running and preserving our opportunities to get out and get dirty.”

“I also think StumpJump is a killer fun race – well done.”
I was raised in Colorado, where I developed a love for romping up and down uneven terrain. In high school and college I was an alpine ski racer, at 17 reaching a top 50 age group ranking in the Downhill. After college, I spent 3 years as a professional ski patroller in Steamboat Springs (best job in the galaxy, but rough on the knees). Georgia resident since 2002.

In 2005, having moved to Georgia where the skiing isn’t quite as good, I caught a permanent case of trail running disease. In my first trail ultra, the 2005 Pine Mountain 50 miler, I finished 13th and was forever changed. When I met the folks at Rock/Creek in 2007, I found a group that not only shared a passion for the dirty goodness of the trail, but actively sought to inspire people to get out of the rat race and into the human race.

What I love about trail running, and especially long distance trail running, is this: Rumbling through the dirt, mud, trees, rocks, streams, ascents and descents exposes those places in life where the colors are brightest and the limits are clearly visible. Races beyond standard marathon effort are particularly inspiring, because for me, that is where the mind truly takes over the body, for better or for worse, and “suck it up” takes on a whole new meaning. There is no place to hide after 30 miles.

“There is no place to hide after 30 miles.”

Running Accomplishments

Completed several ultra endurance running events/races, including:

Leadville Trail 100

Pikes Peak Marathon

Oak Mountain 50K (7th place OA)

Black Mountain Marathon (13th OA)

Rock/Creek StumpJump 50K (4th Master, 2008)

Twisted Ankle Trail Marathon.

Several top 5 finishes in local trail races, 5K and 10K distance.

2008 Season

My 2008 season was basically a long recovery, starting about 10 seconds after finishing the 2007 Leadville Trail 100. The depth of the trauma, as much or more mental than physical, after 29 hours of running at an altitude over 10,000 feet was a serious reality check, at least for me. Several bouts with ‘runner’s fatigue’ (a nice phrase for feeling like a lazy slug), and a nagging back injury kept any real training sporadic until about mid-July. I had some good results at local shorter races (top 10). In the big events, a mental error cost me huge on day 3 of the Rock/Creek Stage Race (60 minute off-course detour), but I did put together two solid efforts: The 2008 Rock/Creek StumpJump 50K, finishing as the 4th Master and clocking a sub 6 hour time, and the Pikes Peak Ascent in brutal conditions, pushing through a blizzard and dodging the lightning at 13,000 feet for a sub 4 hour climb.

2009 Season – Tentative Schedule

Various “tune-up” shorter trail races in January and February

North Georgia Appalachian Trail 8 hour Run, February (Training)

Oak Mountain Trail 50K, March (Race)

Rock/Creek River Gorge Trail 10.2, April (Race)

Sweetwater Trail 50K, April (Race)

U.S. Army Ranger Run Trail 15K, May (Training)

Twisted Ankle Trail Half-Marathon, May (Training)

Steamboat Marathon (Colorado), June (Race)

Rock/Creek 3 day Trail Stage Race, June (Race)

Leadville 100 or Pikes Peak Marathon, (Colorado), August (Race)

Rock/Creek StumpJump 50K, October (Race)

Rock/Creek Upchuck 50K, November (Volunteer)

USMC Toys for Tots Trail Half Marathon, November (Race)

Rock/Creek’s Lookout Mountain 100K, December (Race or Volunteer)

09-17-07: Matt Karzen’s Ultra Gear List (Matt’s gear guide from his experience at the Leadville 100)

08-30-07: Leadville 100 Race Team Report from Matt Karzen

Tom Sell running the StumpJump 50K Trail RacelTom Sell

Endurance Athlete

How long? Since 1986

Real job: middle school PE teacher/ wrestling/track coach and head coach Northwest Whitfield High School Cross-Country (boys and girls)

Hometown: Chattanooga, TN

Nickname: Durasell

Favorite Action Hero: Tasmanian Devil

Snack on the run: Gu or Powerbar power gel

Quote to live by:

“I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.” – Jack London


Two-time Southern Conference wrestling Champion at UTC

Southern Open and Southern Conference Outstanding Wrestler

Winner of the inaugural Stump Jump 50K

Two time Chattanooga Track Club Runner of the Year

2007 Region 7-AAAA Georgia Cross-Country Coach of the Year

2008 Chattanooga News Times Free Press Boys Area Cross-Country Coach of the Year

Upcoming Races:

Rock/Creek River Gorge Race

Rock/Creek StumpJump

Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon

Snake Gap Mountain Bike Time Trials

2009 Chattanooga Stage Race

3 Days of Syllamo Trail Stage Race

Advice to 1st timers:. Endurance athletics is about you ability to suffer. Do not forget to eat drink and have fun.

Matt Sims

Age: 35

Occupation: Sales Rep for Patagonia

DSC_6714Favorite Run or Race: My favorite trail run is a 10.6 mile loop in Prentice Cooper Wilderness Management Area in Chattanooga, TN. The trail is a single-track trail with varied terrain and a lot of fantastic views. I find it very peaceful to run in the deep hardwood forests of the south. Creek crossings and technical single-track trails keep it entertaining.

What I like most about running: I find it extremely difficult to do long runs, however I enjoy the tough mental strain that long runs create.

“The beauty in trail running lies in the sports simplicity. Anyone can enjoy it and anyone can become an accomplished runner. Keep it simple and trail running can be fun for all ages.”

Tips for other runners: I think the biggest thing is to know when to say enough is enough. I have really had to make myself not run when I wasn’t motivated. You start feeling guilty about loosing fitness. Ever since I started doing what I “want” or what my body “wants” I have enjoyed running more. And by doing so, have become a smarter, stronger runner.

Races or Other Significant Accomplishments:

1st Place – 2007 Scenic City Trail Marathon

Big South Fork 17.5 mile Trail Run

Rock/Creek River Gorge Race-Former Race Director and Participant

Rock/Creek StumpJump 50K Trail Run-Former Race Director and Participant

Mt. Mitchell Challenge 40 mile trail run

NOC/Subaru 21 mile Endurance Run

Ocoee River Autumn Trail Run

Mount Cheaha 50K in Alabama

Read Matt’s article, “Training for Your First 50K”

Sign up for the race Matt created, the Rock/Creek StumpJump 50K

Natalie Z. Sims

DPP_0169Occupation: Interior Designer

Favorite Run or Race: All trails!

Training run(s) – I recently enjoyed a 20 +mile trail that looped around the perimeter of the University of the South in Sewanee. Well worth the extra drive time from Chattanooga. Plus there’s a great pizza joint in town for refueling and a deserving cold beer. Lookout Mountain has an amazing trail system. There are lots of variations for short and long loops, easy to technical, well maintained and guaranteed beautiful scenery.

Destination trail runs or races are pretty sweet. Like running in the Grand Canyon definitely tops my favorite list of trail runs and it would yours too. Matt and I are heading to California to run a race in Sierra National Forest among 3000 year old giant sequoias and we also hope to plan a trip to trail run the 170K Tour of Mont Blanc over several days taking us through France, Italy, and Switzerland.

“Its a blessing and a privilege to have the God given ability to experience all that trail running offers for the mind, body and soul and what I like most about trail running is hard to answer. There’s a lot.”

Trail shoes 100 bucks, 4 espresso hammer gels -1 bag cliff blocks and a gatorade 10 bucks, 32 miles – 2 mountains – 4 creek crossings and a stump tripping gut wrenching super-man flying nose dive right after a wildlife siting. PRICELESS! Tips for other runners- If you get injured let it recover! Cross train to keep your sanity and do PT excersises at home to rehab it. You’ll be stronger for it.

Races or Other Significant Accomplishments:

Riverbend Challenge 2001 (1st Place Team)

Big South Fork 2001 17.5 miles (Age Group Award)

Mountain Mist 50K Huntsville AL 2002

Rock/Creek River Gorge Trail Run 10.2 mile

3rd overall female 11 mile Stump Jum p 2004

Twisted Ankle Marathon 2005

Mountain Mist 2005

Shut In Ridge Trail Run- Aheville, NC 2006

NOC/ Subaru 21 Mile Endurance Run 2003, 2006

Rock/Creek StumpJump 50K 6th place woman 2006

Mount Cheaha 50K 1st place woman 2006

1st overall female 2007 Scenic City 10 mile

Stump Jump 50k 10th female 2005, 6th female 2006, 5th female 2007

1st overall female 2006 Mount Cheaha 50K, 5th female overall 2008

2008 Sweetwater 50K

2008 Shadow of the Giants


Chad Wamack

Age: 37

Occupation: Commercial Real Estate Brokerage & Development

Favorite Run or Race: My favorite local trail run is the 16 mile Soddy section of the Cumberland Trail.  It goes in and out of several gorges on the eastern side of the Cumberland Plateau. The terrain is steep and remote with several creek crossings. Check out the Upchuck 50k description here.

What I like most about running: There is something unique about propelling yourself forward independent of any mechanical advantage. Trail running allows you to be seriously engaged with the terrain and topography of the mountain. I come away from a long trail run knowing I really experienced what the trail had to offer. Ultra runners are tough and motivated and I really like those qualities.

Tips for other runners: I think you have to challenge yourself. For me that’s what keeps me motivated and pushing what I believe I can do.

“If you’re not first you’re last” -Ricky Bobby

Races or Other Significant Accomplishments:

Rock/Creek River Gorge Race 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007

Rock/Creek StumpJump finisher 2004, 2006, 2007 (10th place), 2008

Upchuck 50K November; 2007 & 2008 (race director 2008)

Mtn. Mist 50K Trail Run Huntsville, AL

NOC/Subaru 21 mile Endurance Run

Oak Mtn 50K Trail Run Birmingham, AL

24 hours of Moab Utah

Cohutta 100 mile mountain bike race 2006 & 2008

Wild West Relay Colorado 200 miles – 6 person

Tsali 6 hour Mountain Bike Solo

2009 Wamack event calendar:

Rock/Creek River Gorge Trail Race March

Cohutta 100 Mtn Bike Race April

6 Hour Mtn Bike Race May

Chattanooga Mountain Stage Race Trail Run June

TransRockies Stage Race Colorado August

Rock/Creek StumpJump 50k October (“Double StumpJump”??Always wanted to pull that off)

Upchuck 50K November

Adventures with my two girls, Ruthie & Mary, in the woods and on the river.

Nick Whited

Bullrun_run imageAge: 30

Occupation: Substance Abuse Counselor for the Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services.

Favorite Run or Race: One of my favorite runs is in Damascus, VA where I run a big loop on a few trails, the Appalachian Trail (5 miles uphill); then 2 screaming miles downhill on the Backbone Rock Trail; then uphill for 3 miles on the Iron Mountain Trail in TN; then follow it back to the VA Creeper Trail and head back into Damascus; this is a staple 18 mile route; Another route is in the rural area of Burkes Garden, VA where I can run to the AT via a dirt road then go any direction with a large amount of options.

My favorite race(s) would have to be The Mount Mitchell Challenge (40 Miler).  It has the makings of a championship event and is not a far drive; another would have to be the Frosty 50k in Winston Salem, NC because it is low key and organized great.

What I like most about running: The challenge of getting out everyday and enjoying the scenery.  The feeling of nerves and fatigue on race day and when they are both gone after the starting gun.

Tips for other runners: Don’t overtrain; enjoy the journey; and hire a coach – it will make a difference in your running at any level.

Races or Other Significant Accomplishments:

4:17 mile PR

Currently working on my PhD in Pastoral Care Counseling.

2008 Season:

Frosty 50k 4th

Bull Run 50 Miler 8th

Rattlesnake 50k – 2nd

New River Trail 50k 4th

2009 Season Plans:

Frosty 50k

Mount Mitchell 40 Miler

Umstead 50 Mile

Chattanooga Mountains Stage Race

Charleston 15 mile

Stump Jump 50k

JFK 50 Mile

IMG_9680Josh Wheeler

Age: 20

Occupation: Graduate School Assistant Exercise Physiology Appalachian State University

I am an undergraduate pre-medical student at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. I am currently majoring in exercise physiology with minors in biology and chemistry. I plan to attend medical school and have aspirations of entering into a dual degree M.D./Ph.D program. Long term, I see myself working in a clinical setting with cancer patients and trying to solve biomedical problems in a research based environment.

I got my start in endurance sports at an early age. I ran my first marathon on my thirteenth birthday and completed my first ultra-marathon by the age of 16. I wrestled throughout high school and was inducted last year into the USA Wrestling Hall of Fame. During my senior year of high school, I was diagnosed with brain cancer and was told I would never be able to wrestle again. I shifted my athletic pursuits towards excelling in triathlon and have not looked back since. My first year on the triathlon circuit, I was ranked the top junior in the Southeastern United States and received All-American status nationally.

The following year marked my freshman year in college and I managed without ever having completed a full season in of cross country in high school to walk onto Appalachian State’s cross country team. I ran in the top ten on the team the entire season as we eventually won the Southern Conference title. That year I competed at both national competitions in Triathlon and placed in the top 100 overall each time. However, it has really been this year that I have managed to breakout on the endurance scene. Over the last year, I have been able to drop over thirty minutes on my half-ironman PR, improved my Olympic Distance PR by more than ten minutes and finished in elite level times at every stand alone running competition I have entered.

Favorite Run or Race:

My favorite place to run would have to be right out my front door at Moses Cone State Park in Boone, North Carolina. You could spend hours running through the maze of trails situated in this state park without ever crossing the same path. The first three miles are straight up and then the run levels off for a while, giving your legs time to recover. The best part about this run is definitely the views overlooking Trout Lake and Blowing Rock. Regardless of the weather, this run is always a top priority for me whenever I am around Boone.

What I like most about running:

“I am a running addict. There are not many things I do not like about running.

The freedom and independence running brings after a long day of work or school is most rewarding to me.”

I enjoy being able to eat whatever I want whenever I want. I am passionate about the lifestyle and the running community.

Tips for other runners:

Skip the track work and head out for a tempo run. Build up your threshold and have fun. Train to race but always race your own race. Try to laugh more, its good for you.

Race Results 9/30/2007 – 11/08/08

South Carolina Half-Ironman, 9/30/07 Total Time: 4:42:37

1st Age-Group (M18-24), 5th Elite, 14th OA (out of 750)

The South Carolina Half-Ironman marked my first race at the Half-Ironman Distance. I managed a race best run after battling the wind, hills and heat to finish in the top five elites overall.

Rock/Creek StumpJump 50k 10/06/07 Total Time: 4:41:26

4th OA (out of 500)

After running off course twice, I managed to finish fourth overall against a who’s who of the US ultra-marathon scene. The day recorded the hottest temperature in history for the sixth of October. This was the week after my first half-ironman race and marked only my second race at the 50k distance.

Charlotte Thunder Road Marathon 12/8/07 Total Time: 2:47:38

3rd OA (out of 5500)

The Charlotte Marathon was only my second race at the marathon distance. I trained specifically for this race for two weeks. I ran off the front alone for the entire race until the final three miles to finish third overall and qualify for an elite start at the Boston Marathon in 2009.

Scenic City Half Marathon 3/1/08 Total Time: 1:14:56

1st OA (out of 500+)

I used this race to determine pacing for the Florida 70.3 in May. I lead from the start to the finish to win by over a minute and a half on an extremely difficult course.

Florida Great Escape Triathlon 3/9/08 Total Time: 1:19:27

17th OA (out of 500+)

I raced in the elite field against some of best triathletes in the world. The entire Canadian Olympic Team was present along with a strong showing of USATs best ITU athletes not to mention a mix of ironman champions. First triathlon of the 2008 season, splitting one of the fastest 5k run splits of the day.

Collegiate Triathlon Nationals 4/19/08 Total Time: 2:07:33

43rd OA (out of 750+)

I qualified and raced in the first elite wave for this race. I had one of the quicker bike/run splits of the day for a very challenging course against some of the best competition in the US.

Ford Ironman Florida 70.3 5/19/08 Total Time: 4:30:44

1st AG (M18-24), 29th OA (out of 1995), 14th OA amateur

I targeted this race early in the year in order to qualify for Clearwater 70.3 World Championships. I had a great swim/bike/run in extremely hot conditions that saw numerous World Champions DNF. I collapsed at mile 12 of the run due to heat but was able to crawl across the finish line to win my age-group.

Duke Half-Ironman 9/14/08 Total Time: 4:32:19

5th OA (out of 750+)

Both the bike and the run course proved to be extremely challenging. I had a great bike/run split to finish top five overall against a very tough professional field.

Toronto Goodlife Half-Marathon Total Time: 1:16:05

Top American finisher, 13th OA (out of 5000+ people)

This was my first international race. I led the race for about two miles and ended up splitting an extremely fast initial 13k. I had a very solid finish against a very tough professional field through downtown Toronto, Ontario in extremely cold conditions.

Clearwater World Championships 70.3 Total Time: 4:12:30

9th AG (18-24), 56th Amateur, 104th OA

I had a great race and a solid finish in what turned out to be the most competitive age group at this year’s world championships. Knowing that I am capable of a ten minute faster run off the bike than what I split this year at Clearwater is encouraging because it means next year I will be in contention for an overall top ten amateur finish.

2009 Proposed Schedule

Dasani Half Marathon

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Myrtle Beach, SC

Snickers Marathon

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Albany, GA

New Orleans 70.3

Sunday, April 5, 2009

New Orleans, LA

Collegiate Triathlon Nationals

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Luddock, TX

Florida 70.3

Sunday, May 17th, 2009

Clermont, FL

*Olympic Distance Triathlon

*Sprint Distance Triathlon

Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon

Sunday, July 12th, 2009

Chattanooga, TN
*Most event sites have not posted their 2009 schedules, but I was able to design my schedule up to the start of the summer.

Please feel free to visit my race blog at
Previous races:

2:46.23 Charlotte Marathon – 3rd Overall 2007

Collegiate Cross Country at Appalachian State – SoCon Champions 2006

#1 Junior in the Southeast for Triathlon 2006

Honorable Mention All-American Triathlon 2006

4th Overall StumpJump 50k 2007

12th Overall, 5th Elite South Carolina 70.3 2007

Cancer Survivor

Josh was inducted into the TN Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2007 >>

Support Josh’s fundraising efforts for the National Brain Tumor Foundation >>

Read Josh’s Trail Running Gear Guide >>

Read a Times-Free Press article about Josh overcoming brain cancer [PDF] >>

Optic Nerve supports Josh and raises funds for cancer research >>

Kris Whorton

Pinhoti-1Age: 43

Occupation: English Professor

Favorite Run or Race: I’m not sure I have a favorite run because I love running wherever I go, but the diversity of the trails around Chattanooga, especially Skyuka Springs trail, Bluff trail, Edwards Point loop, and Mullins Cove loop, inspires me everyday that I go out.  I’m typically a big fan of new trails and I love running abroad but there are many places I run that are “touchstone” trails, places I need to run sometimes just to feel right in the world.  The Mesa Trail in Boulder, Colorado where I grew up and went to college is one place, Slick Rock in Moab, Utah; various trails in the Indian Peaks in Colorado; and any trail on Monte Sano in Huntsville, Alabama are others.

What I love most about running: Running makes me feel connected and grateful and it helps me keep things in perspective; regardless of my training some runs are challenging and I feel terrible and others feel like I am floating across the earth. The uncertainty is a constant reminder for me to be open to every experience and to be present.

“I love the feeling I have for days after a long run or race where it seems there is nothing I can’t do if I set my mind to it.  And I love that I get stronger, mentally and physically with age, that running gives me more joy now than ever before, and that I can go out any day and run virtually any distance I want.”

Tips for other runners: Enjoy yourself when you’re out running and if you get to the point where you’re not having fun anymore, take a day or two, or a week, and then get back out there and look around and celebrate the fact that you are alive and able to run.

Races or Other Significant Accomplishments:

8 – 100 milers including:

1st female Pinhoti 2008

1st Master’s Female Superior Sawtooth 2008

2nd Master’s Female Vermont 2008

2nd Female Umstead 2007 – 18:13 / world’s fastest 100 mile trail time for female over 40

2nd female Arkansas Traveler 2005

1st female Kettle Moraine 2002

44 ultras, including:

1st female and master’s course record Mountain Mist 50K 2007; 1st Master’s female 2006, 2007, 2008.

1st female and course record Black Warrior 50K 20, , 06, 2007, 2008

Master’s female Shadow of the Gi, ants 50K 2008

st female and course record Recover from the Holidays 50K 2006, 2007

1st female and course record Stump Jump , 50K 2007

1st female course record Oak Mountain 50K 2001

Multi-day events:

7-day Stage Race 219 trail miles from Geneva to Basil Switzerland (Swiss Jura) – 3rd female 2006

7-day Stage Race 184 trail miles in the Czech Republic (Moravian Ultra Mar, athon) – 2nd female 2007


28 marathons including:

1st female overall Andrew Jackson Marathon 2008

1st female overall Chickamauga 2006

1st master’s female Kentucky Derby 2006

3rd female overall Oklahoma City 2001


Ironman Florida 2001

Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim 2007 (47 miles)
2009 Events Planned:

Mountain Mist 50k

Black Warrior 50k

Mississippi 50

Umstead 100

Kentucky Derby Marathon

Other ultras and adventures as yet undetermined

Randy Whorton

River Gorge Trail Race Age: 48

Occupation: Environmental business owner/operator

What I like most about running:

I have likely run enough miles to take me around the globe several times, and I still cannot clearly define what I like most in running.

“My greatest passion is running on a single track trail. It is only then that I truly feel connected to the world.”

The rest of the time I am but a mere participant. There is another key factor that keeps me running; it’s a crazy concept called “being healthy.” I believe that if most people could experience what it feels like to be radically healthy for just one day, they would treat themselves with more respect. Healthy seems to come rather easy for trail runners.

Favorite Run or Race:

This is not a fair question. It’s like asking a parent which is the favorite child. Here is a short list of trails that I can’t get enough of: Pawnee pass to Buchanan pass loop west of Boulder, CO; the Mountain Mist course and race in Huntsville, AL; John Muir trail along the Hiawassee river near Cleveland, TN; the Bluff trail on Lookout Mountain, TN; and it’s hard to beat the Slick Rock trail outside of Moab, UT. My favorite single race event might be Massanutten 100 where my wife (Kris) and I experienced the physical and emotional rollercoaster trip of a lifetime.

Tips for other runners:

Spend as much time as you can running in the wilderness. Run as many different trails as you can and try to get as far away from civilization as possible. Go fast enough to maximize the miles, but slow enough to look around. Do this until you can comfortably run 20 miles, then start running in trail races, then ultras, and run lots of them. After a couple years do a 100 mile race and then your life will change and you will truly understand that anything is possible.

Races or Other Significant Accomplishments:

45 ultras as follows:

27 – 50K trail races (10 at Mountain Mist – 5 times under 5 hours)

5 – 50 Mile trail races

7 – 100 Mile trail races – two in 08, Vermont (22:32 34th out of 266) & Superior (30:12 9th out of 36)

7 day 219 Mile stage trail race from Geneva to Basil Switzerland (Swiss Jura)

7 day 184 Mile stage trail (mostly) race in the Czech Republic (Moravian Ultra Marathon)

42 marathons (27 different cities)

One day double dip of the Grand Canyon (rim to rim to rim)


Semi-professional in 1983

24 Competitive races

5 Ironman’s, including the World Championships

Other Sports/Interests:

Climbing, Golf, Slackline, Mountaineering, Cave Exploring, Scuba Diving, Juggling

Plans for 2009:

Mountain Mist 50K

Black Warrior 50K

Mississippi 50M

Oak Mtn 50K

Kentucky Derby Marathon

…and others to be determined later. Many on short or no notice.

IMG_5388John Wiygul

Age: 19

Occupation: Pre-dental student, UTC

I’m originally from Memphis, TN, but I have lived in the beautiful city of Chattanooga most of my life.  I did my first 50k trail race in 2006 and have been hooked ever since.  I have competed in many triathlons, marathons, ultra-marathons, and finished two Ironman races.

My proudest achievements this past year were the Florida Ironman where I finished 4th in my age group with a time of 10:09 and taking 1st place at the Upchuck 50k.  Some of the races I look forward to this next year are the Rock Creek Trail Series, Eagleman 70.3, Augusta 70.3, and some other triathlons.

When I’m not training for triathlons or trail running, I enjoy rock climbing.  I have been climbing since I was 12 years old.  It is the first sport I found a passion for.  Climbing has taken me to the most beautiful places in the U.S. and Europe.  I feel right at home when I’m high up on a desolate cliff.

I love endurance sports; it’s what I live for.  The times I feel most alive are when I push myself farther than I ever thought possible.  I look forward to this next year with the Ro, ck Creek Race Team

2006-2007 Race Team Headlines:

11-12-07: Rock/Creek, Local O, utdoor Enthusiasts Impro, ve Sunset Park (, Randy Whorton volu, nteered his expertise from his environmental company, Earthscapes, to speed up our trail work)

10-11-07: $4000 Raised at Rock/Creek StumpJump (With a recap of Race Team finishers)

09-17-07: Matt Karzen’s Ultra Gear List (Matt’s gear guide from his experience at the Leadville 100)

08-30-07: Leadville 100 Race Team Report from Matt Karzen

07-31-07: Meet our Newest Race Team Members

07-30-07: Epic Trail Runs ‘R Us: Update on Tahoe Rim Trail 100 and more

07-30-07: Stephen Taylor and Jamie Dial’s epic training run on the AT

06-07-07: Going to Kona: Rock/Creek’s Sheridan Ames

09-05-06: Team Rock/Creek Wins Again!

03-06-06: Rock/Creek Team Places 2nd in Goldrush 24 Adventure Race

Subscribe to our blog feed for updates on the Race Team,

events and races, as well as notification of sales.


Team Rock Creek Outfitters Wins Again at the Challenge 4

Team Rock Creek Pulls a Hat Trick Victory at Fall Creek Falls

Life is (Not Always) An Adventure Race: The StumpJump 50K

There’s no ‘I’ in Adventure Race Team

Why I Love Adventure Racing…

How to Train for a 50K

Cotton vs Synthetic

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