By GERRI GRADY
The month of July was very active for members of the Cherokee Runners. We ran in Charlotte’s River Bound 15K, Folk Moot, the Joyce Kilmer 5K and 10K, the Beat the Heat 5K in Winston-Salem, and our youngest member Matthew Climbingbear, competed in the Indigenous Games.
Sean and Gerri Grady ran the 15K River Bound trail run in Charlotte in mid-July and Gerri placed second in her age group. On the same day, Elnora Thompson competed in Winston Salem in the Beat the Heat 5K. This was Elnora’s first competitive run after being out with a foot injury. The following weekend, Chad Bowman, Skye Littledave and Elnora Thompson competed in the Folk Moot 5K in Waynesville. Both Skye and Elnora placed 1st in their age groups in Folk Moot. Last weekend, runners Stephan and Robin Swimmer, Chad Bowman and Skye Littledave competed in the Bele Chere 5K while Bruce Toineeta, Kendall Toineeta, Anthony Toineeta, Jordon Thompson, Michell Hicks, and Avery Mintz ran in the inaugural Joyce Kilmer 5K. Elnora Thompson competed in the Joyce Kilmer 10K and placed 1st in her age group. Each runner from Cherokee placed in the Joyce Kilmer events.
Matthew Climbingbear ran in his first national competition, the Indigenous Games, held a few weeks ago in Milwaukee, and placed 3rd in the 800M, 1500M and the cross country event. At age 12, Matthew is the youngest member of the Cherokee Runners and the smallest competitor in his events at the Indigenous Games.
While the competitions were going on during July, Cherokee Runners were also training daily and running long on the weekends. The group ran the 8-miler on Round Bottom, 11 miles at Cades Cove, and 10 miles on Tow String/Smokemont. The Tow String run ended with a swim in the river at the Tow String Bridge. Long runners include Angel and Lamont Squirrell (and Fluffy), Jimmy Oocumma, Gerri and Sean Grady, Pam Sneed, Joe Smith, Robin Swimmer, Will Tramper, Lucky Hodges and Brian Driver.
Cherokee Runners group is open to anyone, no matter the fitness level. Meetings are held on the 1st and the 15th of each month at Age Link at 5pm. Please join us. All you need is a commitment to fitness and a love of walking or running.