Running on empty
Local runners compete in sixth annual Huff 'n Puff on the Bluff 15K race
SHEFFIELD – The sixth edition of the Huff 'n Puff on the Bluff 15K race featured unsual weather but the result was similar last Saturday as three-time winner Scott Strand of Homewood won the 9.3-mile race in 52 minutes, 56 seconds.
Strand was one of 120 runners to compete in the race, an annual fundraiser for the Red Cross in northwest Alabama sponsored by the Tennessee River Athletic Club. He also won in 2004 and 2005 and holds the course record (48:44).
The race is usually held the second Saturday in March but was postponed this year until June because of snowy weather and scheduling conflicts.
"All things considered, it was a good race," said third-year race director Joe Quillen. "We were a little disappointed we didn't have more runners but that's understandable because of the humidity and heat, which was probably in the mid-90's. Outside of the top 10 runners, everyone had slower times than usual."
Three local runners competed in the 15K race, which also included a division for two or three-person relay teams. Russellville's Mike Moore, 56, placed in the top 50 overall and second in his age division with a time of 1:25:29, while Red Bay's Leah Shewbart, 31, finished in 1:27:04 to place 57th overall and fourth in her age division. Hodges resident Byron Morrow, 46, also completed the race with a time of 1:44:21 to finish 101st overall and 14th in his age division.
"It was definitely the hottest time I've ever been, but I like that distance because most races are only 5Ks or 10Ks," said Shewbart, a TRAC member. "The Huff 'n Puff is really well-organized, and I've enjoyed going to that race as long as I've been running. I joined TRAC because I wanted to support them because they put a lot of effort into putting on good races and they sponsor all the races I know of around here. I even signed up my whole family this year just to support the group."
For complete race results, visit www.huffnpuff15k.com. The next TRAC race is the Helen Keller Festival 5-Mile and 1-Mile Fun Run Saturday, June 28 at 8 a.m. in Tuscumbia.