The Faces Behind the Race
April 8, 2016 | View on Facebook
Jaime Lomas and Merritt McNeely are not your average runners. So when Vulcan Materials Company asked them to organize a 5K race near its quarry in the town of Columbia, South Carolina, they wanted to produce a running experience that was anything but average.
Jaime walked to the edge of the quarry, looked down into the amazing expanse, and thought, “Why don’t we have people run inside the quarry instead of around it?”
In that moment, the Quarry Crusher Run Series was created, becoming the first race in the nation that challenges racers to run down the quarry, through the pit of rocks and rubble, and back up the punishingly steep trail.
Says Merritt, “I was the first person ever to voluntarily run down into a rock quarry and back out again without stopping, and let me tell you, it was painful.” She continues, smiling, “It’s not an impossible race, it just takes a different mindset and game plan to conquer.”
Despite—or perhaps, because of—the run’s promise to be far more challenging than the typical race, Merritt and Jaime were surprised to see how many runners of all levels showed up to the inaugural Quarry Crusher Run. After several years of success in Columbia, the duo is thrilled to expand the race to Vulcan Materials quarries across the country, including the Dolcito Quarry located right here in the Magic City.
“We are so excited to bring the Quarry Crusher Run to Birmingham,” says Jaime. “The Dolcito Quarry is quite unique, even compared to the other quarries in the series, because it challenges runners to run up two hills instead of one.”
For Birmingham runners ready for a new challenge, the Quarry Crusher Run will be happening on June 11 at the Dolcito Quarry in Tarrant City. The race spans 3.7 miles through the entire quarry with “double crusher” option to double up on a 7.4 mile run.
“Quite frankly, the Quarry Crusher Run is unlike anything I’ve ever done,” says Merritt. “I have run three full marathons, a handful of half marathons, and many other races, and there is nothing that compares to this race.”
Adds Jaime, “It may sound scary, but it is not to be feared. It’s a great challenge, and many people walk it–it’s one of those things people need to scratch off their bucket list!”
Ready to crush the quarry? Register for the Quarry Crusher Run in Birmingham on June 11 here: www.quarrycrusherrun.com
April 22, 2016 | View on Facebook
The Quarry Crusher Run Series is one of the most exciting, exhilarating and unique races out there! Co-creators, Merritt McNeely and Jaime Lomas, with the help of Vulcan Materials Company, pride themselves on putting together a race that is both challenging and fun for runners of all levels.
“We have people of all running levels and ages who do it every year, “ says Merritt. “It’s tough, but ironically, also for everyone.”
Elite runner, Alex McDonald originally got involved with running to get back in shape, but quickly found that it was his passion.
“I earned my first age group award in 2009, and I’ve raced almost every weekend since then,” says Alex. “Yes, I’m completely obsessed. I love that rush I get.”
Once he saw a promo video, from creator Merritt, online he knew he had to give the Quarry Crusher Run a try.
“The quarry looked really cool and I realized the race might be the only chance I would get to see it.” The Quarry Crusher Run was everything he had imagined it would be—tough and unique. “It was humbling to be power striding in the middle of a race,” says Alex. “The Quarry Crusher is probably the most unique race in my schedule out of the hundreds I’ve done.”
Tom Savory, a passionate but not your every-weekend-race type runner, decided to run the Quarry Crusher Run after visiting the Vulcan Quarry for a student project.
“The students’ final projects were due the Monday after the race, so I told them I would run to show solidarity,” says Tom. “Rest assured I’d be in more pain then them. And I’m sure I was.” With every step he reminded himself to just do it! “I’ve run the NYC marathon and many 10k and 5k. Step for step, the Quarry Crusher is by far the hardest.”
Kendra Washington was a track and field and cross-country runner in high school and wanted to get back to her running roots. “I signed up for the Quarry because I’m training and wanted a challenge,” says Kendra. She was uncertain of what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised.
“When I first started running down the Quarry it kept getting steeper and steeper,” says Kendra. “When I got to the bottom it was so awesome.” The most rewarding feeling was knowing that she’d just accomplished one of the most challenging runs she’s ever participated in. “As I was approaching the finish line I was super excited! I couldn’t believe I just ran in a Quarry!”
No matter the level or age, the Quarry Crusher Run will ignite a passion for running. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to get see and be inside of a quarry! “This is something that is not your ordinary event,” says Jaime. “ Runners will see a landscape that they can’t normally see, and a challenge we can’t begin to describe.”
Ready to take the challenge? Register for the Quarry Crusher run in Birmingham on June 11 here: www.quarrycrusherrun.com
Media Day Coverage
May 6, 2016 | View on Facebook
We got a sneak peek yesterday under beautiful skies as the Tarrant community and local elite runners turned out for a 1.5 mile “teaser” course at Vulcan Materials’ Dolicto Quarry. The actual race day course will have an approximately 400-500 foot ascent from the quarry floor to the finish and be 3.7 miles long. Or for those who are up for a real challenge can run the Double Crusher, a 7.4 mile exhilarating trek through the quarry.
“The Tarrant City location – or the Dolcito Quarry is going to be a different race than the other quarries in the series,” says Merritt. “It challenges runners to run up two hills instead of one, making it an even bigger challenge!”
This once-in-a-lifetime look inside a magnificent landscape that is usually off-limits to the general public will leave a lasting memory. This is a must see, must do event for everyone to check off their bucket list.
It’s a magnificent course with stupendous views, almost “other-worldly” with craggy granite rock formations and sand. We are excited to participate in this unique run! If you’re looking for a new fitness challenge or to energize your running workout, register for the Quarry Crusher Run today here: www.quarrycrusherrun.com
Vulcan Materials Company
In 2012 Vulcan Materials Company held the first Quarry Crusher Run Series in Columbia, South Carolina. With a steady increase in participants and positive feedback from the community near the Company’s Columbia Quarry, Vulcan decided to extend the unique community outreach opportunity to quarries in Georgia, Maryland and now Alabama! The run is being held in the community of Tarrant on June 11.
“In May 2015, during the monthly Tarrant-Pinson Valley Chamber of Commerce meeting, we proposed the idea of a “fun run” at the Dolcito Quarry, similar to the successful event in Columbia, SC, to attract visitors to the community, and highlight Tarrant’s many positive impacts on the Birmingham metro area,” said Randy Jones, Area Operations Manager, Vulcan Materials Company.
Vulcan Materials is proud to showcase what the community of Tarrant has to offer and is donating proceeds to local schools.
“It is our hope that by sponsoring this special opportunity to run at the Dolcito Quarry in Tarrant City, we will draw visitors to the area and show them what a wonderful community Tarrant is,” continued Jones. “This community event also provides a creative opportunity for our employees to showcase our mining operations, while also benefitting local schools by donating race proceeds to Tarrant City Schools.”
The Quarry Crusher Run is not one to be missed. With the backdrop of a limestone quarry, Dolcito Quarry offers runners of all levels a unique experience to safely run 3.7 miles and change 700 feet in elevation, climbing grades greater than 10%.
To register for the Quarry Crusher Run visit: www.quarrycrusherrun.com