Coal Creek Cross Country Challenge
October 8, 2000
By Bruce Kirschner and Randy Luallin
After 4 days of rain and overcast skies the heavens opened up the morning
of October 8 to welcome back the second annual Coal Creek Cross Country
Challenge (CCCCC). But it took some time for the arriving race
participants to realize that they were not in West Virginia. Sure,
a mass of rabbits, chickens, and crowing roosters were running quite
free on the Luallin Ranch in east Louisville, but this was actually
CCCCC World Headquarters.
Runners were treated to a course gloriously abloom in full fall foliage
and brilliant blue skies with wonderfully cool temperatures in the
high 40s. After literally running through the Coal Creek, this
year's runners didn't have to cross a freshly plowed field like last
year, which was now re-vegetated but still a bit mushy from the week's
rain. This year's racers also had to contend with navigating
themselves through a repaired barbed wire fence. The only reported
injury was a visiting runner from Michigan who attempted to hurtle Coal
Creek ('Hey, I used to steeplechase...'), only to fall short, slip on
some creek rocks, and badly twist his ankle.
Early race leaders Darren No Name (last name was smudged off finish
line tag...sorry), Charley Perez, and Dan Black crossed the barbed wire
fence okay, but in the wrong place and headed off course for at least a
mile. They were immediately followed by a group that made a successful
course correction and lead the rest of the field in the right direction.
Scott Chamberlin was the official men's race winner in 36:10. CMRA
Master Times editor Laurie Nakauchi-Hawn was the women's overall winner
Meanwhile, the three off-course runners (who would have finished 1-2-3)
soon found their way to the finish. Although officially placing further
back in the pack, Darren No Name and Perez still won top age group awards
(while Black received an age group gold medal concession). But even
these unofficial top 3 all conceded that this was what cross country
was really all about -- if you go off course it's only fair you don't
place on top.
This year's event more than doubled the number of participants from last
year. Perhaps largely due to booking it a week after the Race for the
Cure this year and not on the same exact day as in 1999.
Many thanks to all the volunteers. Rosalia and Jerry Murch did
a fine job with the registration. Jim Price ably handled timing
duties with Joe Baird taking on finish line and scoring work. Joe
Sanchez jumped in on equipment logistics. Nate Pierce did fine as
pace biker (and even succeeded in securing open cattle gates along
the way) and reported thoroughly enjoying the assignment. Most
of the Luallin family came out in force again to support the event,
with Donna Luallin (mom), Lori Dill (sister), Gary Luallin (brother),
Luke, Jacob, and Zack Luallin (nephews), and Caleb Luallin (son) helping
out. Other volunteers along the course and at the finish were Cyndra
Dietz, Rollie Erickson, Paul Kirschner, Michael Rossol, Scott Rossol,
and Sam Kirschner. Our appreciation to the Arvada Great Harvest
Bakery's Barry Sparks, Louisville's Blue Parrot Restaurant, and the
Old Louisville Inn for prize drawing merchandise. A very special
thanks once again to Odell Brewing Company Sales Manager Rick Newell,
who distributed beer samples to participants and contributed t-shirts,
six-packs, and hats to age group winners (and a case of beer each to
the overall male and female winners)!
We hope to double participation for this event again next year, so please
talk it up in the next 12 months to every runner and racewalker you know!!