Tarrant City Schools benefit from Vulcan Materials’ Quarry Crusher Run

Birmingham, Vulcan Materials, Quarry Crusher Run
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Birmingham, Vulcan Materials, Quarry Crusher Run
Vulcan Material Company’s Quarry Crusher Run 2018. Photo via Pat Byington.

On April 28, runners across Birmingham took to the starting line to “Rock the Quarry” in Vulcan Material Company‘s third Annual Quarry Crusher Run.

The race was held at the Vulcan Materials Dolcito Quarry in Tarrant City, with all proceeds from the event benefiting Tarrant City Schools.

What does it mean to “Rock the Quarry”?

Haven’t heard about the Quarry Crusher Run Series? If you’re someone who is interested in community, raising money, adventure and challenging yourself, then the Quarry Crusher Run is the ultimate race series for you.

In addition to the Birmingham area, the Quarry Crusher Run Series takes place in Columbia, SC, Atlanta, GA and San Antonio and San Diego, CA. For 2018, Nashville, TN was also added to the list.

Unlike other nation-wide races, the Quarry Crusher Run Series allows private access to exclusive landscapes that not only test the strength and endurance of the human body, but also leave a lasting impression on each and every participant due to their incredible beauty.

Vulcan Materials, Quarry Crusher Run
Dolcito Quarry in Tarrant City. Photo via Pat Byington.

During the race, participants were required to run/jog/walk down the quarry, through rocks and rubble, then follow the punishingly steep trail all the way back up.

The race spanned 3.7 miles. The winner, Kenneth Atchison of Talladega, AL crossed the finish line in 29.02 (29 minutes two seconds).

Forty-one brave racers signed up for the more grueling Double Crusher Run. For this race, runners had to tackle the course twice for a total of 7.4 miles. Darrell Webb of Oneonta, AL won the Double Crusher in 55.44 (55 minutes 44 seconds).

Although the race is no easy feat, it has continued to grow each year. This year, 300 people registered to “Rock the Quarry”, with even more showing up the day of the race to participate in the challenge.

So how did Vulcan Materials in Birmingham become involved in the Quarry Crusher Run Series?

According to Randy Jones, Area Operations Manager of Central Alabama for Vulcan Materials, the idea to help local schools was brought to life three years ago.

Birmingham, Vulcan Materials, Quarry Crusher Run
Quarry Crusher Run 2018. Photo via Pat Byington.

“We had a division president that challenged us to come up with a B.H.A.G.— a big, hairy, audacious goal,” said Jones. “We found out that our Columbia Quarry in South Carolina had started doing a Quarry Crusher Run to build community involvement and give the public the chance to see a rock quarry. So we said, oh, how about instead of a rock quarry, we’ll do a quarry crusher run and all the proceeds that we raise go to the Tarrant City School System.”

To do this, Vulcan Materials teamed up with Eggplant Event Productions of Columbia, SC.

“[Eggplant Event Productions] started the Quarry Crusher with Bob Johnson, a long-time Vulcan employee, in Columbia, SC, eight years ago,” said Jaime Lomas, Eggplant race coordinator for the Quarry Crusher Run Series. “It’s been so exciting. Vulcan really paired well with us and decided that we should take the show on the road one day. After about four years, we decided it was a great way to invite people into Vulcan’s quarry to see the great work that they do.”

Nearly $15,000 was raised for Tarrant City Schools during the first two years of the run; the amount raised in 2018 is still being tallied.

Participants of all kinds

Think Vulcan’s Quarry Crusher Run is only for the youngest and toughest athletes? Judy Webster, Vulcan retiree, squashes this theory.

Birmingham, Vulcan Materials, Quarry Crusher Run
Judy Webster, Vulcan retiree and race participant. Photo via Pat Byington.

Webster is 78 years old and has competed in three quarry runs. As she did in her first two Quarry Crushers, Judy came in first place in her age division this year.

“My first year [participating in the Vulcan Quarry Crusher Run] was four days before my seventy-seventh birthday,” said Webster. “Everybody at church, when I told them I came in first place in my age group, they were all congratulating me, patting me on the back. But I said, ‘But I was the only one in my age group.’”

Webster worked for Vulcan Materials for 26 years, and after retiring has spent the past 23 years working on and off for the company.

“It’s a good company to work for and a lot of good people to work with,” said Webster.

Think you have what it takes to “Rock the Quarry”? Click here for details on upcoming Quarry Crusher Runs happening in Birmingham.

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