Chattanooga Honored As 2013 Runner Friendly Community

Friday, January 17, 2014 - by John Hunt

Friday, January 17 was a Red Letter day for the city of Chattanooga and the Chattanooga Track Club in particular as the Scenic City was honored as the 2013 Runner Friendly Community by the Road Runners Club of America.

The track club submitted a bid several months ago  to the RRCAin regard to this latest honor.

The RRCA considered the bid and all of the recommendations and data associated with it.

  Chattanooga was then named as the RRCA’s 2013 Runner Friendly Community, winning out over more than a thousand running clubs across America governed by this national organization.

There was a special gathering at Outdoor Chattanooga on Friday morning where members of the track club, officials from the City of Chattanooga and other interested persons watched as this latest honor was made official.

Chas Webb, the current president of the Chattanooga Track Club, presided over the press conference where he began by welcoming those in attendance.

Bill Brock, a former CTC president and president-elect for the coming year, then made a detailed presentation about the history of running in the Chattanooga area.

The CTC, which currently has more than 1,000 members, supports a lot of charitable organizations in the Chattanooga area.  It also promotes running and running events across Hamilton County with distances ranging from one mile to the marathon. 

The Waterfront Triathlon and the Chickamauaga Battlefield Marathon have become two of the biggest events with competitors coming from all across America to compete. 

Brock’s presentation was then  followed by County Mayor Jim Coppinger, who made a proclamation on behalf of the city of Chattanooga and Hamilton County, proclaiming Friday, January 17 as the official Runner Friendly Community Day.

The Chattanooga Track Club has been a viable member of this community since the mid 1960’s.  The late great Joe McGinness, who was a nationally-ranked marathoner and one of the founding members of the CTC, got the whole thing started with a group of runners who used to meet at Chickamauga Park every Saturday morning for training runs.

One thing led to another and eventually friendly competition was started between runners in Chattanooga, Atlanta, Knoxville, Huntsville, Nashville and Birmingham.  There are several signature events for the Chattanooga Track Club that started during that time and are still going strong, including the Chickamauga Chase 15K, the Chattanooga Chase 8K and the Missionary Ridge Race, a unique out-and-back 4.7-mile race.

The Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon was added to that list in 1980 and has become of the premier marathons in the Southeast.

Currently, the CTC schedule has 14 running events every year in addition to social events and a year-end banquet where outstanding members and runners are recognized and honored.  Those runners of the year are recognized with the Joe McGinness Runner of the Year awards.

Webb smiles from ear-to-ear when he talks about the past year and the way things have boomed for the CTC.

“This is a great honor for all runners in Chattanooga.  We’re lucky in that we have a lot of passionate and dedicated runners in this area and it’s the people here who make this honor possible,” he explained afterward.

“2013 has been an incredible year for the Chattanooga Track Club and this honor just caps it off for us.  I’m all smiles right now,” he concluded.

The first race on the 2014 CTC schedule is the Scenic City Half-Marathon, which starts and finishes at Finley Stadium on Saturday, Feb. 22.

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@comcast.net)


Georgia Crate Late Model Champion, Dalton's Craig Reece, Dies At 35

Crate Late Model Champion Craig Reece, 35, known in racing circles as "The Dalton Bad Boy", died overnight in his Georgia home. An autopsy is planned after Reece “just didn’t wake up this morning,” said former Dirt Track World Champion Marshall Green of Woodstock's Capital Race Cars, Reece’s chassis manufacturer and a long-time family friend. He was discovered at 7 a.m. ... (click for more)

Lee Soccer Signs Five New Players

Just a few days after national signing day, Lee University soccer head coach Chris Hennessey announced the addition of five new players that returned their letters of intent to join the team for the fall of 2016.   “The addition of the five new players will certainly help add to the depth and quality of the team next season,” said Hennessey. The new signees are: Carly ... (click for more)

State's TNReady Testing Program Has "Severe Network Outage"; Testing To Be By Pencil And Paper

Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen said Monday afternoon that the state's TNReady testing program had suffered "a severe network outage." Commissioner Edwards said the testing will go on, but it will have to be done with pencil and paper. She sent this email to school directors across the state: Directors, Thank you for your patience as we faced technical ... (click for more)

Brandon Bettis, 25, Arrested For Home Invasion; 2 Other Suspects Being Sought

Brandon Bettis, 25, was arrested after a home invasion early Monday morning, and two other suspects are being sought. Chattanooga Police responded to the 1100 block of Thomas Lane at 6:30 a.m. on the report of a home invasion robbery.  The suspects entered the home of the victims, James Shrum, 47, and Hillary Schooley, 25.   The victims were wakened and threatened ... (click for more)

The City Failed To Watch The Chattanooga History Museum Dollars - And Response (3)

The tell tale signs of the History Museum's folly have been evident for years. When I was a former member of City Council I interviewed Dr. Daryl Black, Ph.D. to determine if I should argue for or against the annual funding of his organization. His interview, the multi-year history of administrative non-performance (despite consistent repetitive funding), and a review of the organizational ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Greenholtz: A No-Brainer

I am going to make this as simple as I possibly can. There are three fine lawyers now running for Criminal Court Judge and anywhere you go there will be people who like and admire Tom Greenholtz, Boyd Patterson and Mike Little. But when we select a judge, it should never be based on popularity. That’s why Gov. Haslam picked Greenholtz over both Little and Patterson this summer to ... (click for more)