With temperatures dropping below 23 degrees along the river under blue skies, almost 800 enthusiastic 10K runners took the challenge to qualify early for the Peachtree Road Race during the 12th Annual Chattahoochee Challenge Race on Saturday, Feb. 2.
Overall and Masters male and female finishers and first, second and third place finishers in 13 age groups received awards after the race in the cozy Kingfisher Hall surrounded by vendors and sponsors while they enjoyed plenty of post-race treats. Whole Foods Market provided fresh fruit and Caribou Coffee served hot coffee as the runners assembled for the awards. The first place winners received memberships to the Nature Center, CNC hooded sweatshirt coupons and ice chests, plus other prizes and all winners received medals.
Joshua Farris, 23, from Alpharetta, Georgia, won the Overall First Place position for men with a time of 33:29, beating last year’s overall time.
"The race was fast, the weather was chilly but along the river, the scenery was beautiful. I’m so happy to have won," Farris said.
The Overall Men’s Masters Winner, Curtis Scott Whitney, 46, had a time of 39:12. Kelly Conron, 27, of Roswell won the Overall award for women with a time of 41:28 and the overall Women’s Master winner was Heather Prymak of Marietta, 41, with a time of 43:22.
During the race, even with record cold temperatures, the weather was clear and the runners were intent on completing the race to get their best times to qualify for the Peachtree Road Race, get the coveted t-shirts and swag bags. Volunteers serving water to runners on Azalea Drive alerted them to the fact that their water was freezing as it splashed on the asphalt, so runners were advised to be safe by throwing it onto the grass instead. B 98.5 Radio provided musical entertainment. The race was presented by Big Peach Running Company, and other sponsors included the city of Roswell; Waffle House; Aurora Cineplex; Plum District and Whole Foods Market. The chips provided to each runner ensured their official times would be properly calibrated for their qualification to the Peachtree Road Race. Official results from the race will be posted to www.active.com and to the CNC website at www.chattnaturecenter.org.
The CNC's next race, the Possum Trot 10K Race, will take place on Saturday, June 1, just in time to warm up for the Peachtree. Proceeds from the races benefit the work of the Chattahoochee Nature Center, a 127-acre, private non-profit facility dedicated to environmental education and interpreting the Chattahoochee River Watershed. More than 140,000 visitors each year enjoy the Nature Center’s Discovery Center and environs and learn about this eco-system. Chattahoochee Nature Center hours are Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. -5 p.m. and Sunday noon-5 p.m. For more information on programs or directions, visit www.chattnaturecenter.org.