The Chattanooga Track Club

Promoting Running and Fitness in Chattanooga

KING OF THE MOUNTAIN RECAP!
By John Hunt
Posted: Monday, May 09, 2016
Saturday was the day for a couple of outstanding Grand Masters runners to shine at the King of the Mountain race on Lookout Mountain

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Dean Thompson and Jan Gautier may be members of the older generation, but they proved how fast they can run on a challenging four-mile course as they captured first place in the race that benefits the scholarship fund for the Good Shepherd School

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Thompson was the overall winner in 22:37 as he averaged 5:40 per mile to beat runner-up Nelson Eiselstein, who followed 20 seconds later

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Will Harper was third in 23:33 while Ryan Shrum and Tripp McCallie completed the top five males with times of 23:46 and 24:24, respectively

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Gautier made it two wins in a row after winning the First Volunteer Bank 5K in Ringgold last Saturday with a time of 27:18 as she finished 16th overall in a field that included 196 finishers

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Lisa Logan, another outstanding Masters runner, was the second female as she was 30th overall in 29:03

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Kristin Tremain, Katherine Link and Clarissa Seales-Coe followed with times of 30:12, 30:24 and 31:37, respectively

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This is the 12th year this race has been held and it features a unique course that goes up for the first two miles before going down for the last two and includes a quick trip through Point Park

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While most runners use a tough uphill section to gain an advantage, Thompson let it all go on the downhill stretches as he pulled away at that point to beat Eiselstein, a 17-year-old senior at McCallie who lives on Lookout and trains on this very course on a regular basis

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The youngster was able to keep pace for the first two miles, but when the terrain changed, Thompson put a gap on him that he was unable to overcome

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“This is my first short race since December and I’m thrilled as this may have been my fastest time on this course,” the 50-year-old Thompson said afterward

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“I was hoping to be under 23 minutes and I was successful in that goal, but I run well on downhills and I knew I didn’t want him close at the end for a sprint to the finish. I just wanted to run as hard as I could

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“I had a bad day at Boston (Marathon 19 days ago) and spent some time in the medical tent afterward, so for me to able to run well here today really makes me feel good,” he added

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Eiselstein runs track and cross country for the Blue Tornado and was All-State in cross country after finishing eighth in the state meet. He and his family were heading out of town later in the day, so he made an agreement with McCallie coach Mike Wood that this would be his workout for the day

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It turned out to be a really good one

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“I train on a similar loop up here, so I was really familiar with where we were going,” he began while chatting with family and friends afterward

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“I was with him (Thompson) for the first two miles, but I just couldn’t hang with him when we started down,” he said, adding that he plans to attend Vanderbilt in the fall with plans to be a Pre-Med major

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Gautier may have slowed down a little in recent years, but she’s way faster than most women even half her age

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“Now that I’ve won it, I don’t have to run it again,” she began with a laugh, knowing how tough this course really is

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“Thank goodness that Jennifer (Curtis) wasn’t here today. My legs are still sore from Boston, but a winning effort always makes for a good run. I’m so glad there were some downhills in this race as I made up some time there, but I’m just glad the course wasn’t reversed,” the Baylor teacher and coach nodded

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Logan is the 44-year-old assistant principal at Ringgold High School who consistently finishes at the top overall and certainly in the women’s division

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“I had a great day today as the weather was perfect. I was able to hang with Jan for the first mile and that gave me the confidence I needed to have a good day. If I can stay close to my times in previous years, it’s been a good race for me

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“I was hoping to be under 30 minutes today and I was able to do that, but knowing that Jan was just ahead kept me going,” Logan added

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Neither of the defending champions – Geno Phillips and Jessica Marlier – was present to run on Saturday

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This race is the second installment of the Battle of Chattanooga competition for members of the Chattanooga Track Club. The first was the Chickamauga Chase while the last two include Missionary Ridge and the Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon and the common thread is that all were key locations for critical battles in the Civil War

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The next race on the CTC schedule will be the Chattanooga Chase on Memorial Day, which is Monday, May 30. It’s the oldest race on the track club schedule and is a challenging 8K through Riverview and includes some scenic views, especially once you top Minnekahdah

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(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@gmail.com)


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