If you haven’t signed up for the Salomon CITYTRAIL Race yet, ask yourself why not. Salomon’s concept is that you don’t have to live near a trailhead to get off the roads. All you have to do is maximize your off road running as much as possible by learning to run safely in the city, in concert with vehicles. This means you can run out your front door and find a great course with challenges that are unique to your city. CITYTRAIL races and routes aren’t actually on roads, but on the alleys, sidewalks, stairs, parks and trails or dirt you can find in your city.
Salomon has introduced this new series via races throughout cities in Europe---starting with Lyon, France where the concept became a reality.
“It was a great success,” Salomon Outdoor Consumer Marketing Manager, Josh Korn said. “From the success with that race, we now have CITYTRAIL Canada, CITYTRAIL Germany, CITYTRAIL Austria and so on. In the U.S. we knew Minneapolis, San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, and Chattanooga could help us get this cool concept out there.”
“We choose Chattanooga because we felt a partnership with a targeted active community — a running community — would be ideal,” Korn adds. “We wanted to bring the mountain and trail running mentality to a more urban environment, and Chattanooga, with its great scenic features, its bridges, its thriving riverfront and interesting outlying areas, it just made sense to put together a great course that encompasses the whole CITYTRAIL spirit.”
The result is a two race event starting from the Northshore in Coolidge Park at 8:00am on October 25th. For the 30K, you’ll cross the river via the scenic Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge and make your way along the Riverfront before heading to the UTC campus. If you’ve never heard of Cardiac Hill, you’ll get to know it well as you run up its stairs. You’ll also tour historic Engel Stadium, the Chattanooga Zoo and Jim Frost Stadium, the National Cemetery, the historic Chattanooga Choo Choo and Lookout Stadium. Of course you’ll explore alleys and gardens, parks, and other off-the-beaten path locales before you cross back over the Tennessee River to join the 10k course at Stringer’s Ridge . This urban park is a rare gem in a downtown setting, offering miles of mountain biking, hiking, and running trails as well as great views of the city and Lookout Mountain. After three miles of rolling, wide and single-track dirt trails, you’ll head back out through a neighborhood and make your way to the park and the finish line.
In addition to exploring new avenues, the CITYTRAIL Race will shake things up for you by forcing you to pay attention to where you’re running and what is around you. The course is open, meaning traffic won’t be managed, so you’ll want to take necessary precautions (e.g. look both ways).
While you’re out on the 10K or 30K, you’ll find aid stations with snacks and fluids, but you should plan on a water bottle. When you’re on trails, nature or urban, you never know when you’ll have an opportunity to drink so you want to be prepared.
If you haven’t signed up the day before the race, don’t worry. You can do so race day. You’ll get a unique Salomon tech t-shirt, a post-race meal provided by Whole Foods, a custom pint glass, one free post-race beer (if you can prove that you are old enough), and free admission to the final celebration of the RiverRocks festival . The CITYTRAIL race, with its goal of showcasing Chattanooga’s interesting off road yet urban running options, will not only test your fitness but it will serve as the perfect end to RiverRocks.
“In putting the course together,” Randy Whorton, Wild Trails Executive Director says, “we wanted to focus on the wild and naturally beautiful areas not only surrounding the city, but also within it. We wanted to inspire people to think differently about their city, to find the challenges and inspiration that is all around us.”
“Come on out and experience this inaugural event,” Korn says. “Be part of a new way of thinking about how to access your great city without ever getting in a car.”