The Chattanooga Track Club

Promoting Running and Fitness in Chattanooga

Jasper Highlands Recap
By John Hunt
Posted: Monday, August 31, 2015
Ellington, Bell Victorious In Jasper Highlands 5K
By JOHN HUNT

JASPER, Tenn. – The Chattanooga Track Club introduced its newest race on Saturday as the inaugural running of the Jasper Highlands 5K was held high atop the Cumberland Plateau.

Advertised as “the most scenic community in Marion County,” Knoxville’s Stewart Ellington put his name on the list as the first winner by covering the rolling 3.1-mile distance in 16 minutes, 48 seconds as he averaged 5:25 for his winning effort.

Emily Bell, formerly from Maryville who now calls Chattanooga home, was the female winner as she finished 100 seconds behind Ellington with an outstanding time of 18:28.

There were 88 finishers for this first-time event.

John “Thunder” Thornton owns this gated community, which features more than 9,000 acres of mountain property that has some really picturesque views of the Tennessee River and Sequatchie Valley. While the hill you climb from the main road is fairly steep, the course on Saturday wasn’t bad as the runners were greeted by a couple of gradual climbs.

Perhaps the best part of the entire event was the downhill finish as runners had no reason to be running slow at the end.

Ellington, a nurse anesthetist, is currently training for the Twin Cities Marathon in Minnesota later in the fall where he “hopes to break 2:30.” He had the road to himself on Saturday as he cruised to victory.
“I’m training for that marathon, but I had a good run today,” he said shortly after crossing the finish line.

“I was running by myself and my time was slower than I wanted, but I still got in some good work. I loved the scenery and there were three or four nice climbs, just enough to wear you out,” he added.

Bell is also training for a marathon in Philadephia, which is set for November. She’s a 33-year-old exercise physiologist who has a 5K PR of 17:32. She won two races in Chattanooga last Saturday, including a 5K and a one-mile, so she’s fit as a fiddle and she proved it again this week.
“I just wanted to run hard and get a good workout. I was able to do that, but it was a good effort for me. It was hard as my legs are a little heavy, but this was just what I needed this morning,” she said after beating her husband Tim to the finish line by almost a minute and a half.

“I’m a long hauler and I really don’t like these shorter races as they hurt too much,” she concluded with a smile.

Malecky is a 37-year-old chemical engineer who has run faster, but he was happy to settle for third overall and first in his age group.

“It was tough,” the slender fellow began.

“I had a tough week of training, but it was never a race as the guy who won was gone from the beginning. It was a tough and honest course and my time was okay, but I would have liked a faster time. The effort was good,” he added.

While Ellington and Malecky were the first two males, Tim Bell was fourth overall in 19:56.

Virginia Rushton was the second female as she finished 18th overall in 24:36.
 Susan Cobb followed in 22nd overall for the third place with a time of 26:23.

Former CTC president Sherilyn Johnson ran her first race in more than a year as she’s still recovering from a hip replacement in mid-December. Her time of 46:01 was 78th overall, but she was nonetheless happy to have it behind her.
“I’m sure I’ll be sore tomorrow as I haven’t gone this far on the road since June last year. It was about what I expected, but it’s so nice to be running again,” she smiled.

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@gmail.com)


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