Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon is a 26.2-mile (42.2 km) road race in Percy Warner Park, the larger of the Warner Parks in Nashville, Tennessee.[1] It was created to be among the top five most difficult road marathons in the United States, and was designed to be somewhat anti-establishment and grassroots in character.[2] In particular, the Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon is consciously not part of any running series and is neither certified nor sanctioned by the USATF, but is the standard 42.195 kilometres (26.219 mi) . A runner cannot use this race to qualify for the Boston Marathon. This marathon was initially dreamt up by a broad array of Middle Tennessee runners and was first described on an internet message board dedicated to Middle Tennessee runners. The original organizers included Trent Rosenbloom, The Nashville Striders, Peter Pressman, Diana Bibeau, and others.

The marathon was inaugurated on November 19, 2006, with 97 runners.[2][3][4] In the inaugural running, the first place male runner finished in 2:50:25, and the first place female finisher in 3:11:05.[5] The marathon's second running took place on November 18, 2007 with 174 runners from 29 states, two Canadian provinces, and one from Italy. In 2007, the overall male winner cut 4:50 off the course record by finishing in 2:45:35.[6] In 2008, four runners broke the previous course record, when Ben Schneider set a new 9:10 minute course record by winning with 2:36:25[7] on a sunny 30–40 degree day. Ben had successes in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 when he returned to defend his title. In 2012, Olympic Trialist Leah Thorvilson became the first woman to break 3 hours on the course.[8][9][10][11] The race is run in Percy Warner Park in Nashville, TN – one of the country's largest public city parks. It is one of the hardest road marathons in the country according to many runners,[12] and has been named the best marathon in Tennessee.[13]

The marathon starting and finishing line is located at 7601 Highway 100 South, Nashville, TN, 37221. Coordinates: 36°03′59″N 86°54′02″W / 36.066255°N 86.900418°W / 36.066255; -86.900418 (36.066255, −86.900418).


The marathon's creator asserts that the marathon's name honors a local legend about flying monkeys.[2] According to the legend, the flying monkeys are an endangered cryptid often confused with large owls and hawks. Before 1939 the monkeys were supposedly commonly seen throughout the Southeastern United States, with large populations living in middle Tennessee and Appalachia. The legend states that, following 1939, the flying monkeys were hunted to the point of near-extinction.

Race history[edit]

Year Date Finishers Weather Theme
2017 November 19 324 Mid 40s, partly cloudy Twelve Monkeys
2016 November 20 308 Sunny and 30 at the start, 49 at the finish This is the Year of the Monkey
2015 November 22 324 Sunny and 26 at the start, 45 at the finish The Tenth Annual Monkey Games
2014 November 23 298 59 degrees, frequent rain squalls and wind A Dance with Monkeys
2013 November 24 313 9 degree wind chill, never broke freezing Faster than a Speeding Banana
2012 November 18 285 35-55 degrees, cerulean skies We've Got Big Hills
2011 November 20 275 60 degrees, torrential downpours Think Monkey
2010 November 21 232 75 degrees, hot sun peace, love and hills – monkey groovy
2009 November 22 205 65 degrees, clouds Episode IV: A New Hope
2008 November 23 193 35 degrees, sunny carpe simiam. seize the monkey.
2007 November 18 173 50 degrees, dense fog not flat. not fast. not certified. flying monkey attacks. you have got to be bananas.
2006 November 19 97 40 degrees, clear saving the flying monkeys, one hill at a time

Results history[edit]

Year Top Men Top Women
First place Second place Third place First place Second place Third place
2017 Mick Brown 3:13:59 Eric Waterman 3:15:26 Wilson Meads 3:16:06 Caroline Grunenwald 3:14:18 Meredith Smith 3:34:00 Sarah Heck 3:36:25
2016 Alex Payne 2:50:51 Dustin Dutton 2:57:19 Chuck Engle 3:05:44 Meredith Smith 3:35:04 Andrea Bonaccorsi 3:45:12 Kris Rehm 3:46:37
2015 Scott Wietecha 2:42:17 William Martin 2:43:05 Peter Volgyesi 2:57:31 Traci Falbo 3:18:03 Sara Maltby 3:19:00 Meredith Smith 3:27:26
2014 Gary Krugger 2:44:41 Olaf Wasternack 2:50:20 Scott Bennett 3:00:23 Meredith Smith 3:33:24 Jennifer Chaffin 3:54:33 Julieann Storm 3:54:54
2013 Ben Schneider 2:38:38 Keaton Morgan 2:44:38 Olaf Wasternack 2:48:18 Meredith Smith 3:21:05 Traci Falbo 3:23:47 Elizabeth Reinhart 3:32:46
2012 Ben Schneider 2:34:17 * Olaf Wasternack 2:45:48 Gary Krugger 2:45:58 Leah Thorvilson 2:59:36 * Meredith Smith 3:22:38 Traci Falbo 3:24:15
2011 Ben Schneider 2:38:38 Gary Krugger 2:55:51 Feb Boswell 3:00:36 Traci Falbo 3:13:49 Meredith Smith 3:26:51 Candice Schneider 3:31:04
2010 Ben Schneider 2:38:27 Chuck Engle 2:54:43 Josh Hite 2:55:40 Traci Falbo 3:21:20 Catie Caldwell 3:23:50 Meredith Smith 3:26:52
2009 Ben Schneider 2:38:56 Ted Towse 2:50:03 Josh Hite 2:54:12 Samantha Wood 3:17:36 Candice Chappell 3:24:56 Rachel Randall 3:32:23
2008 Ben Schneider 2:36:25 ** Chuck Engle 2:37:25 Jeff Scovill 2:38:39 Wendi Parker-Dial 3:15:31 Carmen Zimeri 3:42:31 Sara Maltby 3:43:17
2007 Chuck Engle 2:45:35 ** Jeff Edmonds 2:58:17 Pete Mueller 2:59:29 Michelle Didion 3:20:13 Emily Ryan 3:39:55 Tanya Savory 3:44:19
2006 Jeff Edmonds 2:50:25 ** Richard Bailey 2:55:54 John Brower 2:56:31 Jessica Southers 3:11:05 * Wendi Parker-Dial 3:14:17 Erin Barton 3:55:07

Current course record, by gender, denoted by asterix; prior course record by double asterix.

The Warner Parks[edit]

The Warner Parks, one of eighty parks owned and operated by the Nashville Metropolitan Board of Parks and Recreation, are located in southwest Davidson County in the Harpeth Hills.[14] The Parks comprise a vast rolling woodland in the heart of the Nashville community, and are situated just 9 miles (14 km) from downtown. Surrounded by urban and suburban settings on all sides, the Warner Parks include the adjoined Percy and Edwin Warner Parks, together encompassing nearly 3,000 acres (12 km2) of forests, fields, hills, valleys and wetlands. The Warner Parks together make up one of the largest city parks in the country. While the parks have walking and nature trails, the singular draw for runners is their extensive network of paved running routes.

Snaking through the 2,058 acres (8.33 km2) Percy Warner Park is the 11.2-mile (18.0 km) Main Drive. "The 11.2",[15] as the locals call it, winds its way through the tree-shaded Park, covering over 1,500 feet (460 m) of elevation gain and loss with grades of up to 10–12% at times, with occasional open fields and densely forested glades. The route goes by scenic overlooks of Nashville, various sports and recreation areas, and quiet picnic pavilions. Runners also pass the Iroquois Steeplechase, one of the country's oldest grassy horse tracks.[16]


  1. ^ "Marathon Guide's entry for Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon". Marathonguide.com. Retrieved December 18, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c "The Inaugural Marathon in the magazine Marathon and Beyond". Marathonandbeyond.com. Retrieved December 18, 2011.
  3. ^ Runners World Article "Land of Oz". Google Books. Retrieved December 18, 2011.
  4. ^ "Marathon Maniacs story on the 2007 Monkey Marathon". Marathonmaniacs.com. Archived from the original on November 22, 2011. Retrieved December 18, 2011.
  5. ^ http://www.harpethhillsmarathon.com/Runners/finishers2006.html
  6. ^ http://www.harpethhillsmarathon.com/Runners/finishers2007.html
  7. ^ http://www.harpethhillsmarathon.com/Runners/finishers2008.html
  8. ^ http://www.harpethhillsmarathon.com/Runners/finishers2009.html
  9. ^ http://www.harpethhillsmarathon.com/Runners/finishers2010.html
  10. ^ http://www.harpethhillsmarathon.com/Runners/finishers2011.html
  11. ^ http://www.harpethhillsmarathon.com/Runners/finishers2012.html
  12. ^ Chattahoochee Road Runners Newlsetter story[dead link]
  13. ^ "The 10 Best Marathons in Tennessee". Run It Fast. February 3, 2011. Retrieved December 18, 2011.
  14. ^ The Warner Parks
  15. ^ "The 11.2". Harpethhillsmarathon.com. Archived from the original on February 24, 2012. Retrieved December 18, 2011.
  16. ^ "The Iroquois Steeplechase". The Iroquois Steeplechase. Retrieved December 18, 2011.

External links[edit]