Coldwater race draws runners from across state
by Eddie Burkhalter
Jul 28, 2013 | 3314 views |  0 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A group of runners is shown in the Coldwater Crush Trail Run on Saturday morning. (Anniston Star photo by Stephen Gross)
A group of runners is shown in the Coldwater Crush Trail Run on Saturday morning. (Anniston Star photo by Stephen Gross)
Under threat of rain, 25 runners assembled atop Coldwater Mountain Saturday morning to compete in one of three races that day, the course a mix of steep climbs and sharp descents on the popular mountain trail.

The Coldwater Crush Trail Run is one of nine races this year in the Alabama Trail Running series, held by About Time Events, a sporting events promotion company.

Runners in the 5K, 10K and 20K race courses battled for series points Saturday, many saying they plan to race in all nine this year.

Christopher McCoy drove from Tuscaloosa to run in Saturday’s race. He was the first of the 5K runners to cross the line, finishing in 33:02.

McCoy runs in each of the races put on by About Time Events, and placed first overall in the series last year.

“I hope to repeat it this year,” McCoy said, after coming across the finish line.

The Coldwater Mountain Trail is a challenging course for runners, McCoy said, but that’s what makes it fun.

As McCoy cooled down after his run, several of those behind him crossed the finish line complaining of hornet stings they received at a particular point on the wooded course. McCoy, however, came away unscathed.

“I was the first through, so I must have disturbed them and they got everybody behind me,” McCoy said.

The first runners’ race held on Coldwater Mountain was the XTERRA Coldwater Trail Run in December 2012. The first 12 miles of the trail opened in June 2012, and the trails, designed by expert trail developers at the International Mountain Biking Association, have continued to grow in size since then.

Saturday’s race was the first of two the company held over the weekend. Professional mountain bikers from across the south were to attack the course this morning as part of the company’s Alabama Mountain Bike Series, with 10 races planned this year. Today’s would be the first pro mountain bike race on Coldwater.

Charlotte Elkins drove from Wetumpka to support her friend Brent Hines, 57, who ran the 5K Saturday.

“He loves cross country and trail running,” Elkins said. Hines also plans to run in each of the series races this year, Elkins said.

Elkins moved to Alabama from Utah a decade ago, and said she has made good use of Alabama’s outdoor recreational opportunities, from the Chief Ladiga Trail to Coldwater Mountain and the state’s rivers.

Anniston resident Lynde Nanson, 37, has run on Coldwater trail regularly since it opened.

Nanson ran in Saturday’s 20K and said she wouldn’t be competing in today’s mountain bike race, but she’d likely show up to watch others compete.

“Because I have no idea how they do it. How are they not going to kill each other,” Nanson said, speaking of the treacherous task of racing down a narrow path through the woods, inches away from other racers.

Chris Bowers, one of the owners of About Time Events, has raced mountain bikes for about 20 years.

Bowers said he’s watched the sport of mountain biking continue to develop in Alabama over the last several years, and the Coldwater trail has become a major part of it, he explained. The trail runs were an addition to his company’s mainstay of hosting mountain bike races.

“What we do is a business, but our passion is cycling…and promoting these places in Alabama,” Bowers said. Helping promote the state’s trail systems, like Coldwater, comes hand in hand with his work, he explained.

“People travel from all over Alabama because they’re going for series points,” Bowers said. “And it gets them to so many trail systems that they’ve never been to before, and it raises awareness of those trail systems.”

Staff writer Eddie Burkhalter: 256-235-3563. On Twitter @Burkhalter_Star.

Race results:

5K race results

Top male overall

Christopher McCoy – 33:02

Top female overall

Cindy Kuehn – 41:15

40-49 year-old division

Keith Knable – 34:17

50-59 year-old division

Mark Kuehn – 38:16

Brent Hines – 46:03

10K race results

Top male overall

John Wellborn – 46:25

Top female overall

Nicole McCarthy – 1:19:26

20-29 year-old division

Eric Wright – 56:09

30-39 year-old division

Chris Randall – 50:10

Greg Brockwell – 52:22

Jonathan Henry – 58:15

40-49 year-old division

Mark McIntyre – 1:03:08

50-59 year-old division

Glenn Ingram – 56:30

20K race results

Top male overall

Gene Hood – 1:26:13

Top female overall

Starletlynn Meyer – 1:32:23

20-29 year-old division

Trey Stewart – 1:27:40

Ben Uzzell – 1:32:47

Jon Pate – 1:32:50

30-39 year-old division

Adam Stimpson – 1:49:16

Lynde Nanson – 1:55:11

Amanda Williams – 2:18:50

40-49 year-old division

Dennis Davis – 1:32:38

50-59 year-old division

Wayne Phillips – 1:37:23

60+ division

Bruce Green – 2:21:29
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