(Rockwall) October 18, 2012 – Cool, rainy weather on October 6 didn’t put a damper on the good times at the 4th Annual Rib Rub and Run event in Downtown Rockwall – a smokin’ hot barbecue competition and a fun run.
“We had a fantastic turn-out with a couple thousand visitors over the course of the day and 34 official BBQ teams!” said Bethany Golden, the city’s Main Street Manager and the event’s coordinator.
New this year was the People’s Choice Contest sponsored by Buffalo Wild Wings. For entrants to do their magic on, they donated 400 pounds of wings. Tasting tickets were $5 for five wings plus an additional ticket to vote for their favorite. The honor went to Smoke on the Water fromMesquite.
“This will be an annual contest,” explained Golden. “We sold 1,500 tickets in the first two hours! It was a huge success.”
Contest award-winner Gary Allen of Smoke on the Water called the competition “a blast.”
“We were blown away with the amount of people that turned out from the community for this event,” Allen wrote in an e-mail to Golden. “This is one of the better competitions that we participated in this past year, and we will be back next year.”
Grand Champion was Rockwall resident Brandon Caldwell of Right On-Que. This was his third year for the event, Caldwell said. This year Brandon was helped by his dad Randy, but quickly noted with a laugh that, “I’m the cook!”
Winners of the Robert Cook Best in Show Award were Melissa Holland of Rod Holland’s Rockin Ribs 2. Cooks were Jodi Vinson and Michael Wallace.
The late Robert Cook was an advocate for downtown and a dedicated Rib Rub volunteer.
“He helped every step of the way from fundraising to checking in BBQ teams at 5 a.m. on cold Saturday mornings,” said Golden. “Because he had such spirit, we thought it was perfect to present our most spirited BBQ Team with an award in his name.”
The award was presented by his wife Linda Cook, who donated funds to the event in her family’s name.
Prize money paid out to the three top BBQ teams in each category (pork spare ribs, baby backs and country style) totaled $1,345. The Rib Rub contest was sanctioned by the International Barbeque Cookers Association.
Music by the Colin Boyd Band, food, beer and wine-tasting contributed to the great day that also included a popular run.
There were 230 runners – 60 in the 10k and 170 in the 5k, sponsored by the Rockwall Running Center. Included in the event was the group ABLE Running that assists physically challenged athletes to complete races.
10k participant Steve Bickford tagged the run as “very runner friendly.”
“It was very well marked and had plenty of volunteers working it,” said Bickford, who runs with the 7 Hills Running Club in Huntsville. “I have never been to Rockwall before, just came to see my son for his birthday, but there were plenty of folks telling me where to go…I had a great time and will be back.”
All race results are posted on www.rockwallrunningcenter.com under race results.
Submitted by Judy Evans.
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