May 12, 2017
More than 700 people showed up at Vulcan Materials‘ Norcross Quarry for the Atlanta Quarry Crusher Run on Saturday morning, May 6, 2017, the Gwinnett Daily Post reports. The race series has been around for six years, but it has only been in Atlanta for two years, so most of the runners had never been in a quarry before.
Jaime Lomas, race director for the Atlanta Quarry Crusher Run told the news agency that most runners enjoy the challenge of a unique run slightly longer than a 5K — 3.7 miles — that takes them down into a quarry and back out, adding that “Runners want to do something different. That was kind of the idea when (the race) started, was that we wanted to do something a little different.”
“It’s just the idea of running into a mining quarry,” Kennesaw resident Jeff Stachowiak told the news agency. “I told people I was doing it. They were like ‘Oh, that’s awesome.’” Stachowiak even registered to run a Double Crusher, a 7.4-mile version of the race that takes runners into the quarry and out twice. “It was a bargain. Seriously, when I looked at the price for it, I thought, ‘OK, one time down the hole? OK, that’s fun. But wait, for only $15 more I can do it twice? Done.’”
Vulcan set up the race course with Caterpillar bulldozers, allowing participants to climb on and take pictures with the equipment. Even non-racers were allowed to walk toward the bottom of the quarry and enjoy the view.
“It’s sort of an amazing wonderland if you go down (the quarry),” Louise Radloff, chairman of the Gwinnett County Board of Education, told the news agency, adding that the Quarry Crusher Run was about more than racing through a scenic pit. The run benefits the Meadowcreek school cluster in Gwinnett County and that Vulcan is a familiar partner to the school group. “They’re always interacting in a number of ways,” she continued. “It’s a real partnership. Meadowcreek and Vulcan have just done a lot of things over the years together.”
Meadowcreek High students showed up Saturday morning to show their appreciation for the runners who supported their school and volunteered to help hand out waters at the finish line. “(The runners) came out to support us, so we’ve got to support them,” Sophomore varsity cheerleader Jamia Roberts tells the news agency.
The Meadowcreek High track and cross country team Coach Aimee Walthall ran in the race along with five of her best students. Among them were Biya Halaie, who won the Quarry Crusher Run last year, and Oscar Lazo, who Walthall told the news agency was slated to be the No. 1 runner on the team this coming year. Lazo, a sophomore, placed second in the 3.7-mile race Saturday morning. He told the news agency that he liked the experience, but had a caution for future runners. “It was harder than I thought,” he said. “It was great when you were going down, but when you were coming back up — that’s what kills you.”