Jenkins, Marlier Win King Of The Mountain Race

Challenging Four-Miler Held On Lookout Mountain Saturday

Saturday, May 10, 2014 - by John Hunt

The weather was just about perfect for Saturday’s running of the King Of The Mountain road race on Lookout Mountain, but the course for the 10th Annual four-mile foot race was a bit more challenging.

Matt Jenkins broke away from the pack in the first half-mile and never looked back as he crossed the finish line next to the Lookout Mountain Maze in 22 minutes, 46 seconds.

Runner-up Peyton Miller had second place all to himself as he finished in 23:03 while Cory Avlich was third in 23:29 and Hugh Enicks fourth in 23:50.

Defending women’s champ Jessica Marlier was the class of the ladies field for the second-straight year as she finished fifth overall in the field of 188 with a time of 23:55, which was almost a minute faster than her winning time last year.

King Jemison was the fifth male as he posted a time of 24:27.

Lisa Logan was the second female as she finished 30th overall in 28:50 while Leah Golden was third among the ladies and 45th overall in 30:22.

Ten-year-old Emrick Garrett was fourth in 30:34 while Kimber Keplinger was fifth with the same time.

Jenkins is a 2012 Soddy Daisy High School graduate who has been at Bryan College these past two years majoring in Exercise Science.  He’s getting ready to transfer to Lee University where he plans to finish his degree before going on to medical school.

He’s gearing up for a big meet in Nashville in early June so Saturday’s race was a good test for the 20-year-old speedster.

“My goal from the start was to win, but I broke away from the pack after about the first half-mile,” he explained while other runners filed past the finish line.

“Peyton was with me at the start, but I was by myself the rest of the way.  I would have liked to run a little bit faster as I was using this as a tune-up for the Music City Distance Carnival, where I’d like to run under 15:40 for the 5K.

“I liked this course today, especially the last two miles as they were downhill, but it wasn’t as hilly as I thought.  A friend of mine had told me that the start was straight up, but it wasn’t that bad,” Jenkins added.

Miller is a 24-year-old member of the Rock Creek Racing Team who has been working at the popular store while he waits to start his MBA program at UTC.  Miller graduated from there with an undergraduate degree in Psychology last May.

He’s raced against Jenkins in the past, so he was well aware of the challenge he faced at the starting line.

“I went out with him, but he dropped me going up the first hill,” Miller explained as the rain began to fall just a little bit harder.

“I picked it up in the middle stages of the race, but he had enough of a lead that I couldn’t catch him.  This is a tricky course as it starts off slow, but I live on Signal Mountain so I’m used to the hills.

“I’m really pleased with my time as I just started doing road races this year.  I had done all trail runs before that,” Miller nodded.

Marlier just keeps getting faster and faster.  Saturday was her first race since posting a personal record 2:52:12 at Boston on April 21 and she too was happy with the results.

“This is my first hard run since Boston and I just wanted to see what my legs had in them,” she said afterward.

“It was a great day for a race with overcast skies and nice, cool temperatures.  This is a tough course with an uphill start, but I just tried to run hard in the middle.  My goal was to have fun and smile for Catherine Crawley when she was taking pictures,” Marlier added.

Proceeds from Saturday’s race benefit the Good Shepherd School scholarship fund.

The next race on the Chattanooga Track Club schedule involves another hilly course as the always-popular Chattanooga Chase 8K will be held on Sunday, May 25.  The event, which starts and finishes at the Riverview Park, will also include a track club picnic afterwards.  Go to www.chattanoogatrackclub.org for additional information.

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@comcast.net)


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