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Southern 6 trail race at SAU Feb. 22

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Rock/Creek and Southern Adventist University are teaming up for a trail race. Race organizers stand at the head of the Biology Trail, where the race will take place. From left are Wilderness Trail Running Association President Randy Whorton, Rock/Creek marketing director Mark McKnight, SAU corporate foundation relations director Joy McKee, SAU Adventure Program coordinator Steve Bontekoe and SAU director of Outdoor Leadership Mike Hills.

Rock/Creek and Southern Adventist University are pairing up to put on the Southern 6 trail race Feb. 22. The race is the 10th in Rock/Creek’s annual trail running series.

“Rock/Creek did not have a race in this side of Hamilton County,” said Joy McKee, corporate foundation relations director for SAU.

The Sunday race means Seventh-day Adventists can participate as well. Rock/Creek’s other races are on Saturdays.

The Southern 6 will take place at SAU’s Biology Trail.

“It’s just beautiful,” said Mark McKnight, marketing director for Rock/Creek. The trail has typical Chattanooga-area features including hills and a stream.

Proceeds from the race will benefit SAU’s Outdoor Leadership program.

McKee said the race will also encourage volunteers to help maintain the Biology Trail.

“We believe the more community exposure, the more individuals will step forward to make sure the trail is preserved,” she said.

Trail running stemmed from road runners who got bored of the pavement. McKnight said it’s mentally challenging and faster than hiking.

“You can see so much more of the area you’re going into,” he said.

McKnight said some runners can hop across a creek like nobody’s business. Others have endurance for the hills.

“It’s just something for everyone,” he said.

Wilderness Trail Running Association President Randy Whorton will time runners at one steep stretch to name a King of the Hill.

McKnight said trail running is full of beginners and most people do not run the whole time.

Rock/Creek founded the WTRA, also known as The Boonies, to promote the sport in Chattanooga.

“We really felt there was an under-served community of trail runners,” said McKnight. “Chattanooga has a wealth of resources in terms of trail running opportunities.”

McKnight said trail running events help maintain existing trails, increase trail access and give people one more reason to get out and enjoy a little natural beauty.

IF YOU GO:

WHAT: The Southern 6 Rock/Creek and SAU 6K trail race.

WHEN: Sunday, Feb. 22 at 2 p.m.

WHERE: The race will start at the Iles P.E. Center, 4870 University Dr., in Collegedale.

COST is $25, $20 for SAU students.

FOR MORE INFORMATION and to register visit www.rockcreek.com/southernsix.

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