Norris Dam Challenge 12K

Tennessee Running Tour Archives

Sam Culbertson is telling a joke at the start of Norris Dam Challenge 12K.

Course Description

Start and finish at Park Headquarters of Norris Dam State Park, Norris. Starting downhill with the first steep uphill at half a mile. Then a 300 feet elevation drop to crossing the dam followed by 150 feet uphill to the camping area of Norris Park. Circling the park then back the same way. Considered the most challenging course of all the Running Tour before The Bat. It is a hill runner’s delight.

Course History

It is another of the old races on the Tour, starting in 1985. Bob Wichner was the Race Director. It was the first Running Tour race to offer hot food afterwards in 2000, when Tracy Paul, Oak Ridge Track Club, became the Race Director. Infamous for being the only Running Tour race that has encountered a fatality. In 1986 a runner from Oak Ridge suffered cardiac arrest at mile 1. In 2002 the course was altered to start and finish in Norris because of Park closings that year. Known to have the best chili afterwards, made even better by the chili-cooking contest instigated in 2006. You vote by leaving your spoon at the favorite pot. In 2012 the course did not go through the campground due to construction. Instead, it went to a turnaround on Norris Dam Road. In 2015 Carolyn Johnson became Race Director. Dorn Kyle was the Race Director from 2017 until the discontinuation in 2020. The Park Manager consider it unsafe to have the race open for traffic.

Course Record

1994               J Young                                             38 54 CR       Marsha Morton-Elkins         49 12

2005               Eric Vandervort                                41 30              Johanna Siemon                  47 04 CR

Dorn Kyle


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Results 1992

Results 1993

Results 1995