Chatsworth, GA –The 2nd Annual Tear Drop Half Marathon was won by a college student runner from North Carolina; 19-year old Steven Anhold, of Montreat, NC (Montreat College) in a time of 1 hour, 11 minutes, 02 seconds, besting last year’s winner by almost 7 minutes. Cindy Hutcheson, 34, of Dahlonega, GA was the half marathon female champion, covering the course in a time of 1:37:03. Rounding out the top-3 males were Mr Anhold’s teammate Rylan Hincher, Montreat NC, 1:13:02 and Jabe McCoy, Hayden AL, 1:16:34. 2nd and 3rd females were Whitney Spillers, Demorest GA, 1:38:07 and Susan Welch, Atlanta GA, 1:38:22. By finishing under 1:15:00 both Montreat College students qualified NAIA National Championships.
The 5K champion was by 13 year old Darrion Thomburgh, of Sturgis, MI in a time of 20:02. 34-year-old Abbie Sanford of Chatsworth was the 5K female champion.
Both the Half Marathon and 5K course we’re slightly changed from last year and to much applause. The 1/2 did a 3-mile out and back loop on top of Fort Mountain and by the time the runners we at the bottom of Fort Mountain, near the Stallion Service Station they had just over a mile to the finish. The 5K started on Hwy 52, as well near the intersection of Stonehinge Rd.
Bob Dalton, 62, of Fayetteville, GA, won the half marathon male master’s division in a time of 1 hour, 26 minutes, 44 seconds and was 5th place overall. Holly Kimsey, 40, of Jasper, GA, won the half marathon female masters division in a time of 1 hour, 44 minutes, 46 seconds.
Over 300 runners finished the half marathon, with a majority of the participants coming from the metro-Atlanta area and also from 13 different states (AL, CA, FL, GA, MA, MI, MS, NC, ND, OH, SC, TN, VA). The farthest traveled is from Los Angles, CA.
Once again event sold out area hotels and filled local restaurants, and runners also stayed in nearby Dalton and into Gilmer County. Finishers were treated to smoked pulled-pork BBQ (BBQ by George, Decatur, Ga) and beer donated by Cold Creek Growlers (Eton, GA) for 21 and older participants. The race-course started on top of Fort Mountain. Westbound GA Hwy 52 was closed to road traffic for over an hour on Saturday morning April 30th. As part of the Georgia Department of Transportation permitting guidelines, the use of electronic messaging signs and numerous detour signs were posted to minimize traffic inconveniences resulting from the event for local residents.
The event organizer has heard wonderful feedback from the participants regarding the race and how welcoming the city of Chatsworth and Murray County has been for their race experience. Once again, the Murray County Commissioners Office support Brittany Pittman, Tommy Parker and Matthew Sanford (race volunteer) was crucial for allowing the race to occur on county roads and the use of county sheriffs. The Murray County Chamber’s help from Dinah Rowe (race volunteer) was also instrumental in connecting partnerships. Lastly, Chatsworth Police Department Chief Josh Etheridge’s enthusiasm and support for ensuring a safe, well-managed event is unparalleled in the experience of the race organizer.
Participant Matt Davis wrote on IWeLife’s Facebook page “The Tear Drop Half Marathon was spectacular! This was my first half marathon, and even though I don't have anything to compare it to yet, I can't imagine a better event. The organizers did a great job, all the volunteers were helpful and friendly, and the course was everything I hoped it would be from the description on the event website” Another fan Nick Olson shared “The tear drop half was a well run event with amazing scenery and a nice course.”
Spectator Will Bruner (supporter his wife who ran the ½ marathon) shot an amazing aerial video of the race and surrounding areas to share with all of us!
The impact this event on the local economy is hard to gauge, however the event organizers spent well over $5000 with Murray County business and personnel. Factoring what nearly 400 participants spent over the weekend as well as the promotion that went into marketing the event and the city of Chatsworth around the region are the intangibles that can only be estimated at this point.
We’re already looking forward to the 3rd annual in spring of 2017 and seeing how much more we can improve the event and grow the race!
The event also benefited a local charity, Murray Arts Council, and raised $1,285 on their behalf through a portion of the registration fees, sponsorship, payment for volunteer support, and by participant donations. Runners that donated $25 or more received a signed 8x10 photograph of Fort Mountain by local businessman Benny Huggins.
To learn more about the Tear Drop Half Marathon & 5k and Charity Challenge please visit www.teardrophalf.com
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Below is chart representing from where the registrants were from by “credit card address"
Check out these awesome pictures from the race!