The Chattanooga Track Club

Promoting Running and Fitness in Chattanooga

Market Street Mile Recap
By John Hunt
Posted: Sunday, July 10, 2016
Sergio Bianchini Sets Another Record In Market Street Mile

By JOHN HUNT

There weren’t as many state records broken on Saturday morning, but there were still some fast times in the annual Market Street Mile, which was held in downtown Chattanooga

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Perhaps the least surprising of the record breakers was Sergio Bianchini, an energetic and amazing 75-year-old, who rewrote the standard at his age for the ninth-straight year

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His time of 6:49.83 was almost eight seconds better than the old mark of 6:57.45, which had been set in Smryna two years ago by Carlos Cobos of Hermitage

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Becky Grindstaff broke her own record for females age 35 while Leslie Latterman and Connie Regal put their names in the book for the best times for those age 58 and 62, respectively

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Christian Thompson, who has lived in Chattanooga for the past three weeks, had the fastest time of the day with a 4:33.40, but that was more than 13 seconds slower than the mark for that age

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Will Harper was second in 4:48.23 while Jonathan Boyd had the third best time of 4:55.15

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Emily Bell had the fastest time for a female as the 34-year-old finished 17th overall in 5:26.64

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Kathryn Vradenburgh was second in 5:42.19 with Grindstaff’s time of 6:02.47 being third

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Bianchini, who broke an age group record for the 10K in the Senior Olympics last week and is pointing toward another 500K (that’s 312 miles) on July 14, has become a regular when it comes to breaking state marks

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Saturday was no exception

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“That was fun,” he said shortly after crossing the finish line on Broad Street next to the Big River Grille

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“I didn’t want to push too hard at the start, but I was hoping to finish strong and I did. The clock is ticking for an old guy like me and I don’t normally do much training for these shorter races,” he added with a smile

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Grindstaff, a 35-year-old computer tech from Corryton who works for the Knox County school system, had broken the state record with a time of 6:08 just over a month ago on June 7

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She’s a 1999 graduate of Carter High School in Knoxville and had a personal best of six minutes at that time, but posted a time of 5:59 recently and has been thrilled ever since

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“I was hoping to break six minutes again today, but I’m just glad to break my own record. I’ve been floating for the last two weeks, but it’s nice to run as fast as I did in high school,” she nodded after finishing second to Bell in her heat

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Christian Thompson missed the state mark by some 13 seconds, but after running a 2:35 marathon in Vermont three weeks ago, he probably had a legitimate reason for not being as fast as he wanted to be

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“I was hoping to break 4:30 today, but I was a little off. I think this was my first race shorter than four miles since 2013,” he explained

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Boyd, who will be a home-schooled junior this fall, has been doing much longer distance as he prepares for high school cross country.

He’s also been a part of the Ooltewah Tidal Waves in the Chattanooga Area Swim League, where he’s competing in the Bill Caulkins City Meet this weekend

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He headed to Baylor shortly after his run ended to compete in the 50-yard butterfly and the 50 free

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“I was hoping to be under 4:50, but I’ve been concentrating on longer distances and haven’t done any speedwork recently,” the 16-year-old Boyd explained

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“I was thinking I might be able to hang with him during the early part of the race, but he just took off and left me,” he said in reference to Thompson’s 22-second margin of victory

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Bell had an outstanding time of 5:26, but she would have liked to have been faster

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“Anything under 5:15 would have been nice, but my legs have been real heavy all week. I think I ran faster at the Chattanooga Chase,” she nodded

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Harper ran at the University of the South where he graduated in 2007. He was outstanding in track back in those days, but has just recently started back after moving to Lookout Mountain in February

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“I’m just getting back into it as my dog likes to run and we run on the trails almost every day. She has a lot of energy. I know what it’s like to run kind of fast,” he said, noting that his personal best in the 1500 was a 4:02

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Dean Thompson was fifth overall and the fastest of anyone 50 or older with his time of 4:59.91. He was simply thrilled with his results

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“I did a 4:21 when I was in high school and I wish I could still do it. I got him at the King of the Mountain, but he has young legs. He took the lead early and I couldn’t get him,” he said in reference to Harper’s 11-second margin of victory

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“My goal was to break five minutes today and I was close, so if I did, that’s pretty satisfying,” Thompson smiled

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While Saturday’s race was the official Tennessee State Championship race for the Road Runners Club of America, there will another chance to break state records when the Scenic City Scorcher is held on July 23. It’s a two-mile race and will be held in Heritage Landing

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(email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@gmail.com)


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