The Chattanooga Track Club

Promoting Running and Fitness in Chattanooga

Thompson Wins Scenic City Scorcher Again
By John Hunt
Posted: Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Thompson Wins Scenic City Scorcher Again

By John Hunt

Saturday was another record-breaking day for runners in Chattanooga and we aren’t talking about the heat and humidity

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It was the third-annual Scenic City Scorcher two-mile race held in flat and fast Heritage Landing where 48 of the 120 participants broke a Tennessee state record for their particular age

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Christian Thompson was the overall winner for the second-straight year with a time of nine minutes, 38 seconds as he dropped his own overall state record by two seconds

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Lucas Cotter was second in 9:59 while Chase Faudi was third in 10:27. John Sillery and Ken Curran were fourth and fifth with times of 10:33 and 10:34, respectively

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All five were new records

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The same was true for the top five women, including Signal Mountain’s Emily Bell, who was the overall winner in 11 minutes, 25 seconds and who also broke the female overall record of 11:56 that had been set by Rachel Mason last year at this
race

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Jessica Marlier was the women’s runner-up in 11:30 while Victoria Winslow was third in 11:59. Paige Thompson and Kathryn Vradenburgh were fourth and fifth with times of 12:10 and 12:29, respectively

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There were 26 records broken among the females and another 22 by the males. And there are seven individuals who broke records on Saturday, but will not get credit because someone their age ran even faster

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But on a day where the name of the race was totally fitting for the hot, muggy conditions, a bunch of runners really put their best foot forward and got in a great workout, even if it was just two miles

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“This is the first time I’ve raced since the spring and my goal was to beat last year’s time, so I’m really happy,” said Thompson, whose last track club win came at the Chickamauga Chase 15K six days after posting an incredible time of 2:23 at the Boston Marathon

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“I’ll get about 70 miles this week and next before bumping it up to about 100 a week for marathon training, but we had a good run this morning,” the Fleet Feet employee added

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Cotter was just hoping to break 10 minutes. He was still happy, even though he hit 10 minutes on the nose

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“It was tough, but I’m happy with it,” the 25-year-old former UTC standout expressed afterward

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“Christian is in great shape and I knew he would be tough to beat, but I just tried to hang on to a great start and see what I could do. It’s been a long time since I did a race as short as two miles,” he added

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Bell is a 35-year-old exercise physiologist at Erlanger who has been dealing with health issues in recent months and not really racing. She had no idea what kind of time she would produce, but she was overall pretty happy with the way things turned out

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“I’m happy with it, although I had no idea what to expect,” she said after a short cooldown run

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“It’s been a while since I raced and I was behind Jessica most of the way. I made my move with less than a half-mile left and managed to hold her off, but I’ll take it,” Bell nodded

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It’s not very often that Marlier doesn’t win a race in Chattanooga

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“It was alright,” she said while wiping sweat from her brow shortly after crossing the finish line in Coolidge Park

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“I went out strong and held it pretty well the whole way. Emily definitely pushed me and I don’t think I would have run that fast without her. I’m in my third week of marathon training as I get ready for Chicago. I still have a lot of work to do, but I’ll be in better shape later,” the Fleet Feet employee smiled

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Sillery is a 45-year-old emergency room doctor whose working at a hospital in Sparta these days. He was headed that way for a 10-hour shift as soon as he finished

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“I was really trying to break my personal record from high school. I was close, but didn’t quite get it,” he said while relaxing afterward

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“It’s been a long time since I’ve done any speed work and I’m still sore from the workout we did on Wednesday. I knew the old record for my age was pretty slow, so I was confident that I’d get it without a whole lot of trouble,” he said after improving the old mark by almost three minutes

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Jodi Davis was another record-breaker who won the women’s 50-54 age group with a time of 15:19 that broke the old standard of 16:31

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“I just wanted to run 15 something and I did, but I had an epiphany this morning. I came here just wanting to enjoy the run and being thankful that I have the ability to do stuff like this. I felt great the whole way

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“I also was able to pass Sergio toward the end and I’ve never done that before. That was the highlight of the day for me,” the 52-year-old Davis expressed

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Sergio is 76-year-old Sergio Bianchini, who breaks a record every time he steps to the starting line. His time of 15:41 was somewhat slow for him, but he had a great excuse after improving the old record by more than 23 minutes

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Sergio has really gotten into ultramarathons in recent years and just Friday finished the Volunteer State 500K. In case you’re wondering, that’s an event covering 310 miles across the state of Tennessee and Sergio improved last year’s time by more than two hours

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“I was in the first half of those who finished, but I’m a little bit tired today. It normally takes me about two miles to get warmed up, but this was a major effort for me today,” he smiled

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This is the third year this race has been held in Chattanooga and Saturday was the third straight time that 65-year-old John Crawley had set a new record for his age

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“We had a good run and there were a few folks out there I wanted to keep in sight. These shorter races really hurt, but they push you past what we normally do. I don’t train for a two-mile race very often, but my goal today was to break 15.

“I was able to do that, but I’m not sure if I got the record because I’m not sure the age of a guy who finished in front of me. If I did, it will be the third straight year and I’m really happy about that,” the former Chattanooga Track Club president explained

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The next race on the CTC schedule is the annual Missionary Ridge event that is scheduled for Saturday, August 12. It’s a 4.7-mile race that starts and finishes at Bragg Reservation

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(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@gmail.com)


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