Published On: Mon, Apr 23rd, 2012

Two Cherokee Runner teams complete Smoky Mountain Relay




     The 2012 Smoky Mountain Relay took place April 20-21.  This year’s race was 212 miles from the Pink Beds in Pisgah National Forest to the Nantahala Outdoor Center. 


Sean Grady and Jimmy Oocumma finish the 2012 Smoky Mountain Relay on Saturday, April 21. (Photo courtesy of Gerri Grady)

    Teams could range in number from six (ultra runners) to 12.  The Cherokee Runners had two teams to compete.  Team one (Cherokee Runners) included:  Stephan and Robin Swimmer, Sean Grady, Jimmy Oocumma, Brian Driver, Marlene Arch, Cliff Mault, Samantha Ferguson, Thomas Benedict, Tom Baker, Skye Littledave and Christina Bryant.   Team two (Tsalagi Runners) included Angel and Priscilla Squirrell, Dawna Paul, Forrest Samuels, Gerri Grady, Chad Bowman, Lucky Hodges, Michael Henson, Clement Calhoun, Will Tramper, Julie Dixon, Kris Lewis and Dickie Woodard.  

     In addition to volunteers, Pam Sneed and a friend named Bob, Lamont Squirrell ran as an alternate as well as volunteering.  Both teams completed each of the 36 legs by 6:45pm on Saturday from a 5:45am start on Friday, often running in pairs. 

     The group would like to thank Big Cove Community for helping with the registration for Clement Calhoun.  Also a big thank you to Jim Brendle, organizer of the Smoky Mountain Relay, for a well-marked course for 2012.   Also, thank you to all Cherokee Runners that helped with yard sales to raise money for van rental. 

     While the Smoky Mountain Relay was in progress, Elnora Thompson competed in the 2012 Dupont half marathon in Asheville.  Congratulations to her on winning first in her age group.  Also competing in the Dupont Half from Cherokee was Brian Burgess.  Great job!

     A reminder that the Couch to 5K training will begin on April 29.  Interested people should e-mail or for details on start times.  The group has regular meetings on the 1st and the 15th of each month at 6:30pm.  Anyone is welcome to join.  Planning is underway for the 4th of July Sunset 5K.