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You’re invited to the first Chickamauga Chase Trail Race!

The Chickamauga Chase: 
The 45th running, the Sesquicentennial Commemoration, and introducing the inaugural Trail Race. 

Editor’s Note: We’re excited to announce a trail option for the 45th running of the fantastic Chickamauga Chase. We will make this a part of the Salomon Rock/Creek Trail Series, and we are thrilled to combine forces with the Chattanooga Track Club to make this happen. Below, we would like to share with you a note from race director George Skonberg:

photo courtesy Chickamauga ChaseYou are cordially invited to join us at the Chickamauga Battlefield on Saturday April 20th for the 45th running of The Chickamauga Chase. And for several reasons, this year’s race won’t just be another notch in the fifth decade of this classic event.

This year’s race will mark the kickoff event for the Sesquicentennial Commemoration of the Battle of Chickamauga & Chattanooga. One Hundred Fifty years ago in the autumn of 1863, in and around strategic Chattanooga, some of the harshest and most complex battles of America’s Civil War occurred.

The Confederate victory at Chickamauga in September gave a new hope to the South after devastating defeats at Gettysburg and Vicksburg. Northern forces under the command of U.S. Grant blasted that hope in November when Chattanooga fell, setting the stage for the capture of Atlanta, Sherman’s March to the Sea, and the beginning of the end of the long war.

The campaign for Chattanooga changed the course of our nation’s history, and our Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park became the first of America’s great national military parks, established in 1893 to commemorate the heroism of both North and South. Historians who chronicle America’s story acknowledge Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park as one of the major sites commemorating the Civil War that defined us as a nation.

In my 18th year as race director for The Chase, I hope I have earned the right to make a sincere and special request from all of you who have enjoyed the race over the years and who regularly enjoy our treasured Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park. I am asking for your financial support for this special commemoration. The Chickamauga Chase has committed to making a significant contribution to the Sesquicentennial Commemoration Campaign being conducted by the Friends of the Park. I invite you – and strongly encourage you, to consider helping the campaign by becoming a Sesquicentennial Partner. One Hundred percent of your $150 tax-deductible donation will go to the Friends of the Park, undiluted by race expenses.

Additionally, becoming a Sesquicentennial Partner includes your race entry fee, a Chickamauga Chase ball-cap (cotton or tech, your choice), two race shirts (your choice of cotton or tech), a year’s membership in the Friends of the Park and commemorative gift, advance notification of all activities, seating priority at selected events, the balance of 2013’s membership in the Chattanooga Track Club (new members only), and an invitation to a guided tour of the Battlefield on race weekend conducted by Park Historian Jim Odgen. Please consider this donation during this very special year.

photo courtesy Chickamauga ChaseSomething old is being joined by something new! 2013 will mark the inaugural running of a new event being added to the legacy of The Chickamauga Chase. The Chickamauga Chase Trail Race is being introduced this year, in conjunction with the Salomon Rock/Creek Trail Series.

So now you can choose from a 15K and 5K road race, the Scenic Walk, the Kiddie K, and the exciting, new Trail Race. Not being a trail runner myself, I can’t offer much yet to describe the course. Wooded and moderately rolling, I think the term medium difficulty was used by someone more familiar with trail runs than I am.

The exact course and distance is still a work in progress, but the route is primarily on the trails in the southeast corner of the Park, and the distance will be approximately 7.5 miles. It will be certified and mapped as soon as we have the specifics ironed out with the NPS.

More details will be posted to our website as we have them. The Trail Race has a strict participant cap of 400 runners.

Speaking of participant caps. Our permit with the National Park Service has a hard cap of 2,000 total participants – all events. For reference, last year’s participation was 1,649. Given the addition of the Trail Race, I expect the event to fill in 2013, and fill early. Obviously, it is in your best interest to register early. The last 100 entries into The Chickamauga Chase (#1901-2000) will be available ONLY as a Sesquicentennial Partner. I am hopeful that we fill every available slot!

Race timing and awards will have a slightly different twist this year, as directed by the Chattanooga Track Club. Because of the crowded starts of several races, for awards purposes “chip-time” will be used for age group awards. Gun-times will still determine overall 1-3 Male and Female finishers, and gun-times will be recorded for all participants. We are also adding a new category of Senior GrandMaster to the awards suite, for ages 60 & over.

As always, we can use your help. Please let me know if you want to volunteer, there are a lot of fun jobs open and we’d love to have you!

Visit our website for details and updates, Feel free to call me or email me if you have any questions.

And please, please consider becoming a Sesquicentennial Partner!

George Skonberg
Race Director
george (dot) skonberg (at) ubs (dot) com

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