The Chattanooga Track Club

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Morgan, Greenwall Victorious In Scenic City Half-Marathon
Posted: Saturday, February 25, 2012

Morgan, Greenwall Victorious In Scenic City Half-Marathon


By John Hunt


Caleb Morgan posted a time of one hour and 14 minutes when he finished fifth in the Country Music Half-Marathon in Nashville last April and he’s hoping to contend for overall honors this year.


The 24-year-old Lee University graduate from Cleveland, who is now employed as an elementary physical education teacher at CSAS, ran his second 13.1-mile race on Saturday as he prepares for the Nashville event.


His time of 1:15:19 wasn’t quite as fast as the first one, but it was good enough to be the overall winner in the annual Scenic City Half-Marathon in downtown Chattanooga Saturday morning.


Weather conditions were just about perfect for the 8 a.m. start just outside Finley Stadium.  It was cold and clear with temperatures in the mid 30s.  Thank goodness the prediction of gusting winds did not materialize, although it was quite windy by the time the awards ceremony had been completed.


While Morgan was putting on a winning effort, Chris Hague was the runner-up in 1:16:02 while last year’s winner – John Sillery – was third in 1:16:30.


Alan Outlaw, who won the Seven Bridges Marathon in October, was fourth in 1:18:06 while Andrew Warner, a 28-year-old gentleman from Beckley, West Virginia, rounded out the top five in 1:21:13.


Rebecca Greenwall made her half-marathon debut a memorable one as she finished ninth overall in 1:25:01 to win the women’s division.


Jill Skinner, a 24-year-old from Atlanta, was the runner-up in 1:25:41 while Lookout Mountain’s Gina Krabbendam, the women’s winner two years ago, was third in 1:27:14.


Cleveland’s Ashley Matthews was fourth in 1:28:48 while the defending female winner Kimberly Humphries of Chattanooga completed the top five in 1:32:29.


Saturday’s event, which had 590 finishers in the half and another 339 in the 5K, benefited seven local charities.  Runners had a chance to raise money for the charity of their choice and even part of the entry fee went to that particular organization.


More than $19,000 was raised for those seven, which included the Area 4 Special Olympics, Chattanooga Community Kitchen, Chattanooga Room in the Inn, Children’s Advocacy, Children’s Home/Chambliss Shelter, McKamey Animal Care and Adoption Center and the Partnership for Families, Children and Adults.  Area 4 Special Olympics took the lead as the top fundraiser. 


While Morgan and Greenwall were the overall winners in the half-marathon, Knoxville’s Jason Altman and Chattanooga’s Leah Golden both were successful in defending their titles from last year with Altman winning in 16:37 and Golden in 22:40.


Morgan had been sick most of last week and didn’t log as many miles as he might have had he been healthy, but it didn’t seem to have any negative effect on his race on Saturday.


Hague and Sillery tried to keep him company in the first three miles, but by the time the course climbed the hill under the Walnut Street bridge past the Hunter Art Museum and leveled out as the race headed out Amnicola Highway, he was all by himself.


“It went pretty good, although I was by myself for the last 10 miles,” he explained after picking up his overall award.


“Even though I had been sick, I felt alright, but my goal was to win.  There were a lot of ups and downs on this course, but there were also some nice flat stretches.  Now I hope to take about two or three minutes off today’s time with plans to win in Nashville,” Morgan, the runner-up in the Karen Lawrence Run on Dec. 31, added.


Hague is originally from Washington, D.C.  He graduated from the University of the South (Sewanee) last year and is now as assistant coach there.  He will be returning to our nation’s capital on St. Patrick’s Day for the Rock-n-Roll National Marathon, although he’s still thinking about trying to win the half-marathon the same day.


“I went out pretty conservative this morning, but started to pick up my pace after we climbed the big hill.  Caleb took off from the beginning, but I was reeling him in and was within 100 yards of him at the finish.  If I had another mile or two, I might could have caught him,” the 23-year-old Hague explained.


“I thought it was pretty flat for the most part, but I had a tough week of training.  I also do a lot of triathlons, so I probably spend anywhere from 15-16 hours each week training for those three events,” he added.


Sillery is a 40-year-old Emergency Room doctor at Memorial Hixson (formerly North Park Hospital).  He was hoping to post a time between 74 and 75 minutes, but he was still able to average 5:51 miles as he finished third.


“I’m in better shape than I was last year, but those younger guys made life rough on me today,” he began.


“I was in the lead for the first couple of miles, but I’m not too good on the hills.  Despite the wind and the cold air, I’m pleased with my race today.  I know my time doesn’t show it, but I ran faster today than I did last year,” he added.


Greenwall who is from Bogart, Georgia spent her final year of high school at Baylor in 2010.  She helped the Lady Red Raiders win their third straight state cross country title before she graduated and went to Georgia Southern on a track and cross country scholarship with her twin sister Rachel.


They have since transferred back to UTC.  Rachel served as a cheerleader on Saturday while Rebecca earned the top prize.


“Jill and Gina and I ran together for the first six miles or so, but I was feeling pretty good and pulled away when we crossed the walking bridge.  I really didn’t have a time goal in mind, although I was trying to win the race,” Greenwall explained.


“When we were on that bridge, I told myself it was time to go, so I picked up the pace.  I never looked back after that,” she added.


Krabbendam is a veterinarian at the Riverview Animal Hospital who was running this race for the second time.  She was victorious two years ago and she ran well on Saturday, but it was some three minutes slower than her previous best time of 1:24 that she recorded in Atlanta back in November.


“The best news is that I got the day off from work, but I really didn’t know what to expect in the race.  I’ve been sick and really didn’t think I’d make it as today was my slowest half.  I was hoping to do better,” Krabbendam said while a steady stream of runners passed her as they approached the finish line.


Justin Morgan, a 22-year-old gentleman from Chattanooga, was one of many runners covering the half-marathon distance for the first time.  He just started running in the fall, so Saturday’s race was uplifting and inspiring to him.


“I’m sure I’ll be hurting tomorrow, but I feel great right now.  I loved the experience and I hope I never stop running.  I’m a pretty big guy, so I don’t do very well on hills, but other than that, it was an awesome race,” he said while admitting his time was 2:44.


While Morgan and Greenwall were the overall winners, Sillery and Joann Scott of Knoxville were the Masters’ winners.


Chattanooga’s Jacquie Winters and Lookout Mountain’s Thomas Starke were the Grand Masters winners while LaFayette’s Lynnda Owens and Chattanooga’s Sergio Bianchini were the Senior Grand Masters winners.


(Email John Hunt at


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