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The Long Runners Club was established by the CTC in 2013 to recognize those members who had accomplished some amazing things in 2012 pertaining to running, things that were separate and apart from the traditional Runner of the Year points races. After seeing how well this went over, the CTC decided to continue with Long Runners in order to inspire its members to not only grow as runners, but to encourage them to create their own adventures and, by doing so, build confidence and a zest for life. There are five Long Runner Challenges posted on the CTC website. They’re not easy and it might take a while to accomplish some of them, but in the end it’s not about the destination… it’s about the journey.
Last year, five intrepid CTC members completed two of the Long Runner challenges despite the restrictions imposed by the pandemic: the Annual 50 Miler Challenge and The Annual 100 Miler Challenge. The Long Runners Committee felt that those members deserved to be recognized in some form or fashion, but the CTC had way more expenses last year than race revenues so what could we do? Just when the Committee decided that the 2020 awards would probably be painted rocks bearing each Long Runner’s name and the word “congratulations,” a CTC benefactor, who is also a Long Runner, decided to generously step in and donate the awards – which also happen to be very appropriate for the strange 2020 season. They have been aptly named the “2020 CTC Long Runners Golden Toilet Paper Awards” and are the creation of DalenDesigns3D on Etsy. Our unique Long Runners 2020 Special Achievement Award is the creation of USAStatues on Etsy. So… without further adieu, please join the CTC in congratulating our 2020 Long Runners!
NOAH COCHRAN (The Warrior)
2020 Long Runners Golden Toilet Paper 100-Miler Award for the Merrill’s Mile 24-Hour Endurance Run in Dahlonega, Georgia on July 3, 2020
21 year-old Noah is man on a mission. He will tell you that he wants to run because he loves it, and because he wants to be the best. It’s not hard to imagine that, over the next several years, the talented Noah will only become stronger. Having raced over 640 miles this year – despite the pandemic – Noah completed a total of 16 trail races and ultras between January and October of 2020, was the overall winner in 12 of them and of those 12, ten were 50K or longer. He has no favorite races or distances, and says he loves running any distance, on any surface, in any condition – but for him it’s still “the longer the better.” He prefers out-and-back races or loop races over the point-to-point kind, however, because point-to-point generally requires an early morning bus ride. Nevertheless, Noah has such a zest for racing that he says his body doesn’t feel like it’s ready to wrap up and go home until after he crosses the finish line. Even if he has a “bad” race, Noah is still glad he ran it because every race is always a learning experience. Noah is a purist and wears neither sunglasses, headphones nor Garmin. He prefers to choose a race based upon the challenge it offers over anything else. If he had to give someone one piece of advice about running long, it would be, “Don’t think, just run.” His relationship to running in one word: “Complex.” (Maybe someday he’ll tell us about that.) If you want to compete against Noah, be prepared, because no matter how tired he is, he is always shooting for a PR and says he “would rather die than quit!” Noah’s quote to run by: “The best competition I have is against myself to become better.”- John Wooden. Congratulations to Noah for successfully completing the Long Runners 100 Mile Challenge in 2020! His achievement is recognized with what appears to be an actual-sized roll of engraved golden toilet paper – but this one is for display purposes only!
CHRIS NETHERLAND (The Strategist)
2020 Long Runners Golden Toilet Paper 50-Miler Award for the Merrill’s Mile 48-Hour Endurance Run in Dahlonega, Georgia on July 3, 2020
Chris Netherland chooses his ultras based on the scenery, probably so he can keep himself entertained by contemplating nature while he is spending hours on his feet. He completed his very first ultra when he ambitiously signed up for The Pistol 100K Ultra Run in Alcoa, TN in January of 2014, and it definitely challenged him. Not only was it a tough distance (62.14 miles), Chris became exhausted and hypothermic after several hours out in the frigid cold and with ten miles to go, he couldn’t take another step. Fortunately, The Pistol has a great setup and it’s also very generous with its 100K finish times. Chris was determined to finish, so he decided to nap and regenerate for a couple hours on the inside bleachers of the Alcoa Middle School located at the start/finish line. When he awoke, although perhaps not totally refreshed and revitalized, he was energized enough to successfully finish the last ten miles of his 100K. Chris has participated in many CTC races since then and each year he has gotten stronger. His relationship to running in one word? “Strategy!” During the 2020 season, Chris completed the Long Runners 50 Mile Challenge during the Merrill’s Mile 48 Hour Ultra in Dahlonega, Georgia, earning himself a coveted limited edition Golden Toilet Paper Award. Although the 50 mile roll is slightly smaller than the 100-Mile roll, it still serves the same function!
TRUMAN SMITH (The “T-Man” – and “T” stands for “Terminator”)
- 2020 Long Runners Golden Toilet Paper 50-Miler Award for the Merrill’s Mile 24-Hour Endurance Run in Dahlonega, Georgia on July 3, 2020
- Lifetime Achievement Award – 200 Marathons
Truman Smith, grandfather, former football player and former weightlifter, has proven over the past many years that big guys can be exceptional runners. At the 2013 CTC Banquet celebrating the 2012 racing season, Truman was recognized during the very first Long Runners presentation for having completed a marathon in each of the 50 states, a marathon on each of the 7 continents, a 50-mile race, and 100 lifetime marathons. In 2016 he was given the first (and only, to date) CTC “Grand Slam Award” by also completing his first 100-miler at The Pistol Ultra in Alcoa, Tennessee, on a frigid January weekend. After many years of competition, this veteran runner currently has no specific training run plans… he simply decides to let his feet take him how far and fast they want him to run on any given day. He also supplements his running with a little weight training and bicycling. By the time most people are finished with their daily run, Truman has only just warmed up after three miles and is ready to slog it out for however long it takes. One trick that keeps him from quitting when the going gets tough? Posting his upcoming race or mileage on social media… because then he has to put his money where his mouth is! His favorite type of race is long, slow and flat. He states that, years ago, he might have chosen a race for the challenge, but these days it’s more for the convenient location – and he prefers a “pretty” race where he finishes strong rather than a PR which may result in an injury. If he had to give someone one piece of advice about running long, it would be to start slow and finish strong. His relationship with running, in one word? “Dedication.” Favorite song lyrics to run by: 'My rig's a little old but that don't mean she's slow. That's flame from her stack and that smoke's blowing black as coal.' If he could recommend ANY running related item to a new runner, it would be…a mental exam. Truman has completed 304 racing miles this year alone, including four ultramarathons of 50K or more in distance. His favorite distance is actually 26.2 miles, and he is not only recognized this year for having completed the Long Runners 50 Mile Challenge at the 2020 Merrill’s Mile 24-hour race in Dahlonega, Georgia, he is recognized as well for having achieved his 200th lifetime marathon, in Chattanooga, in March of 2020. He earns the coveted limited edition Golden Toilet Paper 50-Miler Award, as well as a unique “Golden Shoe Award” to highlight his lifetime completion of 200 Marathons – and counting. Congratulations, Truman, on your two outstanding 2020 accomplishments!!
KARA TEICHROEW (The Conqueror)
2020 Long Runners Golden Toilet Paper 50-Miler Award for the Maria’s Spring Fling 24-Hour Endurance Run in Powder Springs, Georgia on August 29, 2020
Although you’d never guess it, this first-time Long Runner (and only female qualifying during the 2020 season) is a mom of seven and a grandma of two. She’ll also tell you that she’s in long-term drug and alcohol recovery, and that running plays a big part in maintaining her sobriety and sanity. Kara has definitely got what it takes to be a motivator and a role model. She’s completed 268 in-person racing miles this year, including three ultramarathons of 30K or more in length, with her furthest distance (and Long Runner qualifier) being 70 miles at Maria’s Spring Fling on August 29 in Powder Springs, GA. Kara prefers a mountain trail over a road any day, and an out-and-back course over a loop course or a point-to-point, although it’s primarily the scenery and the challenge that she looks for in a race. Although she loves to get out the door and just run, she prefers to stick with a plan when training for something specific. On days she doesn’t run, she likes to kick-box. Her favorite races are not about getting a PR – but about seeing others crush their goals. Personally, she prefers to have a “pretty” race with a strong finish rather than a PR. Her own biggest racing challenge to date was the ironically-named Mulberry Meltdown in December of 2019, a race that she ran on her birthday. During the event, she collapsed, had a seizure, went into a coma and had to be airlifted out of the Cohutta Mountains. She has no memory of anything from that day, but she didn’t let it stop her! If she had to give one piece of advice to first-timers, she would tell them that “It WILL suck at some point, but there’ll be so many more points that are beautiful and don’t suck. Just get through the suck and take loads of mental pictures and notes on beautiful parts of the run.” Quote to run by: “Be somebody nobody thought you could be.” Her biggest motivation during the 2020 pandemic year to get out the door and run? “I try to run in as many new and beautiful places as I can. I started posting pictures from my runs, and a friend who is homebound because of health issues began looking forward to my posts because it’s as close to the nature she loves as she can to get right now. I love that my runs can brighten her day along with mine. So, when I feel like skipping a run, I think about how blessed I am to be able to run and how my friend would love to be able to do what I sometimes take for granted.” Congratulations on a great year, Kara!! The CTC Long Runners Committee is thrilled to present you with a one-of-a-kind, limited edition 50-Miler Golden Toilet Paper Award, to be used for display purposes only!
RICHARD WESTBROOK (The Adventurer)
2020 Long Runners Golden Toilet Paper 100-Miler Award for the Vol State 500K (314 miles), from Dorena Landing, Missouri to Castle Rock, Georgia, starting July 9, 2020
Richard Westbrook, another grandfather and former football player (turned running coach and endurance athlete), states he runs in order to “be a better version of myself in my world...and I'm still working on that.” His most memorable achievement was completing the 1992 Runner's World Trans America Footrace from Huntington Beach in California to Central Park in New York City, but he didn’t stop there. As of the date this was published, he has a running streak of 17,197 days (or 47.08 years), and he’s currently listed as Number 5 on the U.S. Running Streak Association’s Men’s Active Running Streak List. He completed 319 in-person race miles during 2020, not including virtual races, and one of those was the “Last Annual Vol State 500K Road Race, an annual (despite the name) epic journey on foot starting from Dorena Landing, Missouri – just above the uppermost corner of northwest Tennessee - to Castle Rock, Georgia at the top of Sand Mountain - just outside of our neighboring city of South Pittsburg, Tennessee. Richard has made this pilgrimage eight times now, and in 2020 he completed the 500K (about 314 miles) in 9.72 days. Richard’s favorite races are of marathon distance or longer, which is not surprising given that his motto is “Pain is weakness leaving the body,” and he prefers the point-to-point variety because they “add an element of adventure.” When preparing for a grueling point-to-point endurance event such as the Vol State, he prefers “a generalized plan based on distance with components interjected daily and weekly relative to variables such as weather, season, time of day, fatigue level, and upcoming races scheduled.” He admits that he has gotten lost on a race before, and specifically recalls that the 2019 Vol State Road Race had him off course both physically and mentally…at one point, he had no idea where he was, even though he’d run the course several times in past years. States Richard: “The maps on my phone saved me, otherwise I'd probably still be out there somewhere on the back roads of Tennessee.” When Richard is asked for the point at which his body tells him it’s ready to wrap up a long race and go home, he states that the “collapse point” usually comes somewhere after three-fourths of the distance has been run. “After that, it is just bone, muscle, blood and guts, with the heart and mind kicking ass.” He’d rather run a “pretty” race and finish strong than run a PR which could result in an injury. Says Richard, “If injured, I might not be able to run the next day... and then there goes my running streak.” His relationship with running in one word: “Symbiosis.” Quote to run by: “To be what he is, man must run.” (Coach Ken Doherty, Penn State University). Biggest motivation during the 2020 pandemic year to get out the door and get his run on? Sunrise. When he’s not putting in long miles, he either sleeps… or does whatever his wife tells him to do. Congratulations on your accomplishment, Richard!! The Long Runners Committee is proud to present you with its special full-sized engraved Golden Toilet Paper roll recognizing you for your 2020 100-Mile achievement!!
Thank you, all 2020 Long Runners, for allowing us to continue the tradition! May you run long, and forever stay strong!