A Spectator's Guide to RiverRocks 2015: Week 2

Jeff Bartlett
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If you’ve never heard of RiverRocks, this is the year for a change. October marks the 6th year of the festival in the Scenic City, and there’s something for everyone whether you plan to participate in an athletic event or spectate, listen to music, or watch a film. If you choose one of the signature athletic events, plan to see amateur and elite athletes facing the challenges of the terrain and each other. Whatever your interest, whatever you put on your schedule, plan to be inspired. This guide to RiverRocks is designed to help you plan your time during one of the best months to live and play in Chattanooga.

Week 2

Chattanooga Head Race

Saturday / October 10 / Ross' Landing / 7:30am

The view of the racers from Walnut Street Bridge is one of the best you can get.
The view of the racers from Walnut Street Bridge is one of the best you can get. Cameron Flanders

RiverRocks outdoor events continue bright and early Saturday, October 10th at 7:30am as the Chattanooga Head Race gets underway at 9:00am and goes on until about 5:00pm. Over 1,600 rowers from around the Southeast converge on the riverfront to represent their crews, their clubs, and their schools. The best vantage point for the Head Race is the Walnut Street Bridge, where you can see the course for two miles upriver. You can also bike, walk, or run to points on the Riverwalk and see the event, or go to the finish line by Ross' Landing. Because each race is a time trial between boats and teams in the same class, the Head Race is an exciting and memorable event.

Lula Lake 5 Points 50

Saturday / October 10 / Lula Lake Land Trust / 8am

Thomas Turner racing through a section of water at the 2014 5-Points 50
Thomas Turner racing through a section of water at the 2014 5-Points 50 Jeff Bartlett

If you’re wanting to get out of the city and into the woods Saturday morning, October 10th, head to the Lula Lake Land Trust for the 8:00am start of the Lula Lake 5 Points 50. Combining some of the sweetest singletrack in the country, with short paved sections, multi-use trails and hills, turns, switchbacks, and climbs, this challenging long-distance race is already a classic.

Swim the Suck 10 Mile

Saturday / October 10 / Suck Creek Boat Launch / 8am

An aerial view of the 2014 Swim the Suck
An aerial view of the 2014 Swim the Suck Swim the Suck

Swim the Suck , hosted by The Chattanooga Open Water Swimmers and Outdoor Chattanooga gets underway on Saturday, October 10 at 8am. The start is at the Suck Creek Boat Launch on U.S. 27 South/1907 Suck Creek Road. There’s a gravel lot with plenty of parking for spectators who can then follow swimmers downriver. There are several locations on Mullins Cove Road, most notably the Pot House, where spectators can park and hike down along the river trail and watch swimmers go by. The race ends at Living Water, and then the after party begins.

High Point Speed Climb

Saturday / October 10 / High Point Climbing and Fitness / 3pm

High Point Climbing and Fitness

If you’re looking for something fun and challenging to fill up your Saturday afternoon, High Point’s Speed Climbing competition gets underway at 3pm. The competition is open to everyone, so you can try your skill on two fun speed routes on the Upper Deck and two 15 Meter IFSC speed routes on the Lower Deck Speed Walls.

Urban/Nature 10k

Sunday / October 11 / Coolidge Park / 8am

A lone racer near Stringers Ridge
A lone racer near Stringers Ridge Ry Glover

Mix the best of road running and trail running with the  Urban/Nature 10K  on Sunday, October 11th at 8am. The race starts and finishes at the scenic juncture of Coolidge Park and Renaissance Park under the Market Street bridge. Runners enjoy river views, as well as wetlands and interesting trails before heading into a bungalow-filled neighborhood and the urban trails of  Stringers Ridge . Catching the finish from the twin hills at Renaissance Park is about as exciting as it gets for spectators!

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