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HomeEventsTwenty-One Races Scheduled for 2011-2012 Tennessee State Parks Running Tour

Twenty-One Races Scheduled for 2011-2012 Tennessee State Parks Running Tour

Oldest state parks running series in nation to kick off at Rock Island October 8th
Tennessee State ParksNashville, TN – The 2011-2012 Tennessee State Parks Running Tour will kick off on Saturday, October 8th, at Rock Island State Park outside McMinnville.  The Rock Island 5 Miler is the first of 21 foot races scheduled at different state parks from October through March.
In its 33rd season, the Tennessee State Parks Running Tour will highlight a number of parks and regions ranging from Roan Mountain, high in the Appalachian Mountains to Meeman-Shelby, located along the Mississippi River.  Every race begins at 11:00am (local time), allowing time for runners to arrive at the designated starting location and to ensure they enjoy peak daily temperatures during the fall and winter seasons.

“The Running Tour started in the late 1970s to fill a void in the race calendar during the winter months and is designed to provide challenging and affordable events at some of our state’s most beautiful locations,” said current State Parks Running Tour Volunteer Director Tomas de Paulis. “With a basic $6.00 pre-registration fee, the tour remains an outstanding, low-cost fall and winter alternative to other running events. We are appreciative of Tennessee State Parks’ partnership and their efforts to make this series possible, including providing meeting facilities and coordinating on-site traffic and emergency support.”
According to de Paulis, the tour encourages runners and volunteers to accumulate Grand Prix points by participating in multiple races. Grand Prix points attained at tour races count toward potential awards in six different age divisions for both female and male participants and are presented at the Tennessee State Parks Running Tour awards banquet following the Fall Creek “Thaw” 15K on March 3rd, 2012.  While this is considered a running series, walkers are welcome to participate and encouraged to start one hour early for longer-distance events. 
Initiated in 1978 with just four events, this unique fall and winter series of foot races is considered the oldest state parks running series in the nation. While a handful of state park staff organized the races in the early years – various running clubs across the state now coordinate the events at state parks in their area, making the public/private partnership between the nonprofit running clubs and Tennessee State Parks a hallmark of the tour.  As in years past, there is a core group that will run in each of the 21 races, but each weekend event also draws from the running community in that area and runners from across the country.
“Tennessee State Parks is pleased to host these popular races and we are thankful for the strong support we receive from local running clubs to maintain the quality race experience runners have come to expect from the tour,” said Deputy Commissioner Brock Hill. “We are also grateful to the thousands of runners who participate each year – boosting state parks and community visitation during the winter months.  We are pleased to serve as their headquarters during the Running Tour, while promoting physical fitness and a healthier Tennessee.”
In addition to determining the race route, running clubs across the state administer timing elements, provide water stops, keep up with the points and buy the awards.  Running clubs involved with the tour include the Frostbite Running clubs of Hermitage, Livingston and Mt. Juliet; the State of Franklin Track Club of the Tri-Cities; the Mach Tenn Running Club of Tullahoma; the Jackson Roadrunners; the Middle Tennessee Milers; the Jones Creek Road Runners of Dickson; the Crockett Runners of Lawrenceburg; the Oak Ridge Track Club; the Carpet Capital Running Club of Cleveland; the Tennessee Valley Road Runners of Waverly; and the Memphis Runners Track Club.
Pre-registration is $6.00 (without commemorative shirt) or $19.00 (with long-sleeved / logo shirt).  Race-day registration is $13.00 and does not include a shirt. For additional information about the Tennessee State Parks Running Tour, including a 2011-2102 race schedule, course descriptions and registration, please visit www.tnstateparks.com/RunningTour.


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