The Chattanooga Track Club

Promoting Running and Fitness in Chattanooga

Market Street Mile Recap!
By John Hunt
Posted: Sunday, June 21, 2015
It was warmer than desirable and the humidity was at least 100 percent, but there were still five state records broken Saturday morning at the annual Market Street Mile in downtown Chattanooga.

It was raining at daybreak and there will still plenty of clouds for the 8 a.m. start, but that didn’t keep 142 spirited men and women from putting forth their best effort in the flattest and shortest race on the Chattanooga Track Club’s schedule.

And while no records were broken by the Webb family, there were four generations represented on Saturday, including 92-year-old Boyd Webb, who crossed the finish line among his family with a smile on his face and a fine time of 19 minutes and 47 seconds.

One would have thought he might have a shot at a Tennessee state record for those youngsters, but the amazing mark of 14:14 was set by Knoxville’s John Smartt on Sept. 5, 2011.

Roy Webb, Boyd’s 67-year-old son, walked with his father while 40-year-old Jason – the third generation -- posted a time of 5:26. And to make the day complete, Jason’s two children also did well as 10-year-old Helen had a 6:30 while younger brother Henry had a 7:43, which is pretty good for a seven-year-old.

Former UTC track and cross country standouts John Gilpin and Amanda Cotter had the best times of the day for their respective genders with Gilpin easily winning his heat in 4:31.00 and Cotter breezing to a 5:09.90, which was the ninth best time of the day.

“Stuff like this is always fun and I get to feel good for the rest of the day,” said the 23-year-old Gilpin, who has finished his eligibility with the Mocs and will begin physical therapy school in the fall.

“I was hoping to break 4:30, but this is the first time I’ve done a mile on the road. I’ve done a bunch of them on the track, but I’m just trying to stay in shape so I can run with the younger guys on the team,” he said, admitting that his mile PR is 4:17.

Cotter was the first record breaker as she snapped former UTC great Anneli Morrison’s time of 5:19.68, which had stood for three years.

“I just wanted to run and have fun. It was a flat course and the weather was perfect, so I went for it,” the slender December graduate smiled afterwards.

“I was hoping to break 5:19, which was Anneli’s record, but I was basically running against the clock,” Cotter said, admitting that she had a PR of 4:55 on the track in Nashville two weeks ago.

While Boyd Webb was the oldest at 92, Pikeville’s Jean McHugh Horgan was the oldest female at 86 and she broke another record with her time of 20:57, which knocked 20 seconds off the mark set by Chattanooga’s Jane Ensign at the Chattanooga Chase last year.

“I had a blast out there today,’ Horgan said after sitting down and resting just past the finish line. “I’ve had company all week and haven’t gotten out much, but I had fun today,” she added.

Joseph Goetz had the second-fastest time of the day with a 4:39.24 and it broke the mark of 4:43 for 32-year-old males.

“I had a good run and felt good most of the way, but this humidity is tough for a big guy like me. I was faster than last year, so I’m happy about that,” the 32-year-old TVA energy analyst suggested.

Nashville’s Mark Carver and Chattanooga’s Sergio Bianchini also added their name to the state’s exclusive list as each now have seven individual records.

The 55-year-old Carver had a 5:05.77, breaking the old mark of 5:11.10, and he now owns all the male records from age 49-55.

Bianchini, now 74 and still running like a teenager, trimmed nine seconds off the previous mark of 6:55 with his 6:46.42.

Jennifer Curtis, a 33-year-old social worker, was the winner of the women’s 30 and over heat with a time of 5:57.04. She was thrilled to finally break the six-minute barrier.

“I haven’t run a mile since high school and I never broke six minutes then. It felt good out there, but it was rough. I really didn’t have any expectations as I didn’t have anything to base it on, but I started running again about three years ago after my second child was born and I really like it,” the former Ooltewah High School graduate smiled.

Claire Mills, a 42-year-old physical therapy tech who is still one of the best massage therapists around, had her first experience with a one-mile race and she was pleasantly surprised.

“Ryan told me I could probably run a 7:30 and I didn’t believe him, but somehow I did. I’m shocked and delighted, but it hurt the whole way. Now I have to talk him into doing a triathlon,” she said of her boyfriend Ryan Shrum, whose time of 5:06.69 was the eighth fastest of the day.

John Crawley, who serves as the race director for this event, also got to join the action and had a 6:35.54, which was 52nd overall and second in the male 60-69 age group.

Chase Faudi, a 13-year-old homeschooled eighth grader, had the best time for those entered in the 14-under race with a time of 5:43 while 14-year-old Kathryn Vradenburgh was the first girl in that race with a 6:07.

Proceeds from the event benefitted the American Heart Association and there was a Red Dress Fun Run.

Several guys donned their favorite red dresses, but none looked any more presentable than track club president Sujeel Taj, who even had a matching handbag for the occasion.

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@comcast.net)


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