The Chattanooga Track Club

Promoting Running and Fitness in Chattanooga

Former UTC Runners Berry,Marchant Win Riverbend 10K Saturday
By JOHN HUNT
Posted: Saturday, June 18, 2011
A record number of partipants gathered below Cameron Hill Saturday morning for the annual BlueCross Riverbend 5K and 10K runs.

 

It was cooler than in recent days, but deceptively humid, but for an early Saturday morning in the middle of June, it wasn’t bad.

 

And as you might expect, college runners dominated the results in both races.

 

There was some good news and some bad news associated with Saturday’s competition.  The good news was that the race started on Gateway Avenue, up the hill from First Baptist Church, which allowed for a fast, downhill start.

 

The bad news was that the runners had to turn right on Sixth Street and finish going uphill, although they didn’t have to go as far up as where they started.

 

Chris Berry was the class of the 10K field as the 22-year-old covered the 6.2-mile course in 31 minutes, 48 seconds, which calculates to a 5:08 pace per mile.

 

Bryson Harper was the runner-up in 33:44 while Jack McAfee was third in 34:21.

 

Lanni Marchant was the women’s 10K winner and 13th overall with a time of 37:22, which is a 6:01 pace.

 

Marla Bailey was the runner-up in 40:33, which was 22nd in a field that  included 335 finishers.

 

Andy Baksa, a 27-year-old UT-Knoxville graduate who’s in physical therapy school at UTC, was the 5K winner in 15:46 while former UTC runner Andy Highlander was the runner-up in 16:41.

 

Anneli Uys, a 23-year-old two-time Southern Conference Runner of the Year who graduated from UTC in December, was the female 5K winner as she covered the 3.1-mile route in 18:30, which is a 5:58 pace.

 

Elizabeth Dull, a 34-year-old Chattanoogan, was the female runner-up in 19:59, which was 20th in the field that included 642 finishers.

 

Berry is a native of Murfreesboro who ran for UTC and is now working on his MBA here.  He won the 10K at the SoCon outdoor championships last year with a 30:42.

 

Even though his winning time wasn’t close to his personal best, it was more than good enough to win Chattanooga’s biggest 10K race.

 

“I started out with Andy (Baksa) because I knew he would be running hard and that I would get off to a good start,” Berry said minutes after crossing the finish line.

 

“I just wanted to have fun, but I also wanted to win.  Taking part in a race like this is a great way to break up my training and it’s always nice to be around a lot of people.  I wasn’t really concerned with time,” he added.

 

Harper, also 22, is a fifth-year senior at Bryan College who is working this summer as a counselor at the McCallie Sports Camp. 

 

“I haven’t really taken a break after track season.  I’m accepting my time as it was good to run a race, but he (Berry) was out front from the beginning as I was playing catch up the whole time.

 

“I just wanted to have fun, so it was good to get out and race.  I felt like I was in no-man’s land,” Harper added, knowing that he was almost two minutes behind Berry while being almost a minute ahead of the next runner.

 

Marchant is a 27-year-old former UTC standout who just graduated from Law School in London, Ontario.  She’s recovering from her first marathon, which was in Canada on May 29 where she ran a blistering time of 2:49.

 

She’s pointing toward the Chicago Marathon in October, but her main focus is studying and getting ready for her upcoming bar exam, although she’s already working for Davis & Hoss.

 

She’s running between 40-45 miles per week while cross-training with roller blading, stationary biking and strength training.  Despite a busy schedule away from running like she used to at UTC, she proved she still has the ability to ‘pick-em up and put-em down’ with the best.

 

“I just wanted to test my fitness,” the petite speedster said afterward.

 

“I knew there were some hills on this course, but I just told myself to keep pushing myself when it got tough.  It was a bit of a lonely race, but I love this event and that’s why I ran today,” she added.

 

There were quite a few first-timers who completed the distance for the first time.

 

Such was the case for Patty Baranski, a 47-year-old from Soddy Daisy who teaches piano lessons at Cadek Conservatory.

 

It was her first 10K experience and she finished with a smile on her face in one hour, three minutes and 43 seconds, which was 235thoverall.

She’s been running since the end of January and had done the Chickamauga Chase 5K as her first official race.  Saturday’s event just proved to herself that she’s capable of doing more than she thought possible several months ago.

 

“I was a little nervous at the start, but I loved it.  I had a good time as it was a beautiful setting.  I was having fun trying to encourage other runners around me.

 

“I really wanted to walk when we made the turn at the Boathouse and headed back, but I didn’t,” she added.

 

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@comcast.net)


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