Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Quite the Hoo Hah

Oconee County has its share of unique events, but we can always use a few more. I was fortunate to be a participant in one on Saturday that hopefully will become an annual tradition: the Bishop Backyard Hoo-Hah Half Marathon hosted by Amy and Bob Parrish.

I think the Hoo Hah is actually a first of sorts for Oconee. While we have had a few trail half marathons, to my knowledge we haven’t had a half marathon road race in Oconee. Fortunately for Oconee, Amy decided that instead of traveling to Atlanta for one the more well known half marathons (including the up coming Thanksgiving Day half), she and some family and friends would host their own.

Participants met at Amy’s house on New High Shoals road, quickly registered and traveled (via the trailer pictured) to the race start at the intersection of New High Shoals and Union Church Road. The route was scenic and flat – traversing country roads through Bishop, along Colham Ferry Road and back to Amy’s house. The energy of the 20+ participants was fantastic, as was the support crew, which provided water and encouragement all along the course.

The energy level was appropriate, since the definition Amy gave us for Hoo Hah was “an uproarious commotion.” While it’s hard to be uproarious in the middle of a 13 mile run, we all did our best. Finishers were greeted by enthusiastic young cheerleaders and seasoned volunteers, and everyone got to break the finish line tape. First prize was a pack of country ham, grits, and a coffee mug. First male finisher was Michael Williams of WOW Boot Camp fame; top female was Julie Osborne followed by former UGA all-american runner Erin Jones Repac.

An added bonus: the early start allowed everyone to enjoy beautiful weather and get back home without losing the entire day, as often happens for traditional long road races. Here’s to another Hoo Hah next year!!!!


Michael Williams 1:32:25

Brian Brodrick 1:32:26

Julie Osborne 1:51:20

Erin Repac 1:57:25

Tia Chandler 1:58:42

Jack Murray 2:00:42

Teena Wilhelm 2:05:06

David Ducan 2:08:14

Wade Shields 2:08:15

Melissa Pearson 2:09:33

Teresa Guthrie 2:12:11

Elizabeth Patrick 2:12:11

Tammy Gilland 2:12:11

Mary Carroll Murray 2:22:58

Holly Fowler 2:22:58

Deborah Dietzler 2:42:22

Amy Parrish DQ - I knowingly and purposefully cut off 0.30 miles of the race ....oops!

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