Michael Plummer, Rock/Creek Race Team

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MICHAEL PLUMMER

Age: 39
Number of years running: 11
Location: Chattanooga, TN
Occupation: Mental Health Therapist

Favorite trail race(s):
Jim Bridger 50k, Devil’s Backbone 50-miler, Upchuck 50k

Favorite trails to train on:
Bluff Trail, Mountain Beautiful Trail, Skyuka Trail — Chattanooga, TN

Favorite trail running shoe:
Altra Superior

Lifelong running goals:
To focus on growing my trail running ability while avoiding injury… I’m looking to expand my trail racing outside of the Chattanooga region. Maybe trail races outside of the United States.

Biography:
I grew up in Kentucky and Illinois. As a kid, I always gravitated to the woods, and much of that time was spent alone. For me there is something life-giving about being along in wild places.

After college, I moved West and worked for a therapeutic wilderness program for teens. I kicked around Utah, Colorado and California on my weeks off, climbing whatever I could while living out of my truck. I wandered up to Alaska for a while, before returning to the continental US. In 2002, my best friend and I biked across the country unsupported. It was a fantastic journey, and a shared experience that deepened our friendship.

Following that trip, I started running more. Something changed in me; suddenly, I was able to run long distances without the pain of shin splints, which had plagued me since running cross-country in high school. I signed up for my first half-marathon, and finished very well.

Next, I took a job as a crew leader for the Montana conservation corps and moved to Mozeman, MT. While in Montana, I took up trail running. The first race I entered was the Jim Bridger 50k; with over 12,000 feet of elevation gain, it was a real challenge for me. I just hoped to finish, but instead took 2nd place overall!!

I had found something I loved to do, and do well. I continued to race in Bozeman for a while, then moved to Seattle for grad school.

While in grad school, I did very little trail running, but have returend to what I love since relocating to Chattanooga last year. I researched Chattanooga, and subsequently made it my home. St. Elmo is home now, and without a doubt the place to live in Chattanooga as a trail runner!

2012 season summary:
Volunteered regularly with Wild Trails, clearing trails prior to races. I am also a trail rover for the National Park Service. Lately, I have been working on coordinating a relationship between Wild Trails and the Park Service. Some 2012 results:

Rock/Creek StumpJump 50k, 4th place
Rock/Creek UpChuck 50k, 1st place (CR)
Lookout Mountain 50-miler, 4th place

Proudest running accomplishments:
Winning second place in my first 50k. Setting a new course record for the Upchuck 50k!

Planned races for 2013:
Land Between the Lakes 50, the whole Rock/Creek Race Series.

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