The Chattanooga Track Club

Promoting Running and Fitness in Chattanooga

Headwind Slows Market Street Miracle Mile
By JOHN HUNT
Posted: Saturday, April 23, 2011

CHATTANOOGA, TN--There appears to be no limits as to what 70-year-old Sergio Bianchini can do.

 

Forget about his age.  He may well be on up in years, but he doesn’t act like it and he certainly doesn’t run like it.

 

He was just one of the participants in the Market Street Miracle Mile on Saturday morning in downtown Chattanooga.

 

He was 14th in his race involving males over 40 and he had the 29th best time of the day with his 6:34.

 

But for the fourth time in the past five years, he broke a state record with his performance.  And to think that it came on the morning after playing tennis for two hours on Friday night and then not getting into bed until around 1 a.m.

 

Not a bad day’s work for anyone.

 

“I played tennis for two hours last night and then stayed up until 1, but I’m always pleased with my results,” Bianchini said shortly after completing the distance.

 

“I ran a 5:58 two years ago.  There were a couple of guys I was hoping to beat today, but I just couldn’t stay with them.  The main thing was the state record and I got it without much problem,” he added, knowing that the previous mile record for 70-year-old men was 6:53.

 

Lee University senior Caleb Morgan posted the fastest time of the day with a 4:37.  That was the best in the men’s 19-39 age group and was 18 seconds better than Ross Tillman.

 

Tim Ensign was third fastest with his 4:58 while Cole Whitaker was next with his 5:01.  Joe Sneed rounded out the top five with his 5:10.

 

There was a tie for the top spot among the fastest women as 11-year-old Alison Anderson of Hixson and 19-year-old Elizabeth Gean of Fort Smith, Arkansas were the class of their field with a 6:04.  Gean is a freshman at Lee University.

 

The Vradenburghs claimed the next three spots with 16-year-old Karla 18th overall in 6:06, 20-year-old Kiersten in 22nd with a 6:14 and 10-year-old Kathryn in 34th with a 6:57.

 

Morgan, like Bianchini, wasn’t at home resting on Friday night.  He too may have been a little bit on the tired side.

 

“I did a 5K race on the track at Vanderbilt last night in 15:47, so I was a little tired today,” Morgan said following his win.

 

“Today, I just wanted to win and wasn’t really worried about the time.  It’s a little slow, but that’s okay,” he added, noting that he ran 70 miles this week.

 

Ensign is a 48-year-old speech writer for IBM who’s been an outstanding runner for many years.  He’s been a dominant performer in the Master’s division in recent years and he was hoping to break a good friend’s record on Saturday.

 

“I’m tired and a little bit disappointed,” Ensign said after his time of 4:58 came up about 10 seconds short of Joe Johnson’s record 4:48.

 

“I was shooting for Joe’s record, but I just couldn’t do it.  I didn’t pace myself right.  I passed the quarter-mile mark in 68 seconds and knew I had gone out too fast, but I guess his record will stand for a while.

 

“I never raced a mile on the road until last year, but I’m happy to still be competing.  I ran a 4:45 on the track two weeks ago and thought I had a shot, but today was a nice event,” Ensign added.

 

Sneed is a 44-year-old pastor at a new church in Hixson.  He loves the shorter distances, but he also knows the demands of racing for one mile.

 

“I ran a 4:56 here five years ago, but that was five years ago with Kevin Croft.  I’m in good shape right now, but just not great shape.  A mile race is an all-out sprint, but I still think I can break five,” he added.

 

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@comcast.net)


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