Peterson, Bianchini Break Records In Market Street Mile

Popular Race Held In Downtown Chattanooga Saturday

Saturday, June 21, 2014

There weren’t as many state records broken in the Market Street Mile Saturday morning as in years past, but that doesn’t mean that there weren’t some outstanding times posted for the shortest race on the Chattanooga Track Club’s schedule.

David Peterson and Sergio Bianchini were the only two who broke records as the race was held in downtown Chattanooga on a morning when the humidity was deceptively high and conditions for record-breaking performances were simply not the best.

But for Peterson and Bianchini, it seems that nothing slows these two fellows down.

Peterson is a 66-year-old man from Franklin who broke the state mark of 6:07 with a time of 6:00.69, breaking Bianchini’s old standard of 6:07.

Bianchini broke the record for males 73 with a time of 6:33.87, erasing the old mark of 7:03 that was set in August 2012.

Caleb Morgan and Emily Bell had the fastest times of the day for the race that started on Broad Street, went South to Eighth Street before turning right on Market and coming back to the finish line right outside Big River Grille.

Morgan’s time of 4:40.60 wasn’t close to the record of 4:08 for 26-year-old men and Bell’s time of 5:45.57 wasn’t close to the record of 4:59 for ladies age 28.

Perhaps the person coming closest to a record without breaking it was Ryan Shrum, who 11th fastest on the day with his 5:06.23.  The record for guys his age is 5:05.42.

But on a day when conditions got worse as the time got later, Peterson had a goal in mind when he traveled from his home in Franklin on Friday. 

“I broke Sergio’s record last year and again today as I try to be as competitive as I can,” Peterson explained before the awards were presented.

“This is a very predictable course as it’s flat and doesn’t have a lot of turns.  I was shooting for the record today, but tell Sergio that I’m sorry I broke his record again.  I just hope to be doing as well as he is when I’m his age,” he added.

“I think I can run faster than 7:03,” Bianchini said before his race began.

“I haven’t been training much as I like to spend time on the couch in the morning, but maybe if I trained a little bit, I could run faster.  John (Crawley) and I ran together for the first quarter mile before he pulled away,” the 73-year-old speedy Italian laughed.

Morgan is the 26-year-old track and cross country coach at Lee University who took last week off for a vacation to the beach with his wife.  They’re expecting their first child in three weeks.

“I had company for the first three quarters of the race, which was nice.  I did this race three years ago and had to run alone, so having someone to run with was fun.  I was hoping to get under 4:40,” he nodded.

Bell is an exercise physiologist who posted the fastest time for women with her 5:45 as she finished 28th out of the 120 who finished the race.

“It was hard,” the 32-year-old said shortly after finishing.

“I’m just coming back from having a baby three months ago.  I haven’t raced this distance since I was in college at ETSU, but I plan on being a stay-at-home mom for a while and I’ll work when I can.  I’m hoping to run another marathon this fall,” she said, noting that her previous best is 2:47 and her mile PR is 5:19.

Katy Burnette was the second fastest women with a  6:01, but she was shaking her head when she crossed the finish line as the leader of the women’s 29 and under heat.

“I missed my goal by one second, but at least I didn’t die,” the 24-year-old youth director at Brainerd United Methodist Church explained.

“I haven’t been doing much running and it showed today, but I moved here a year ago from Florida and I just love Chattanooga,” she added.

While Burnette was the second female, 31-year-old Joseph Goetz was the second fastest male with his time of 4:41.07.  He had broken the state record with his 4:37 at the Chattanooga Chase a few weeks back, but he wasn’t able to break it again on a much warmer morning.

“I was kind of slow as I didn’t have a lot of motivation.  I was hoping to break my own record, but I think I slacked off too much in the middle of the race and couldn’t make up the lost time,” the TVA employee who has a PR of 4:16 suggested.

Shrum has really been running strong this year, including a 2:55:26 at Boston in mid April.  He came as close as anyone to breaking a record, only to come up just a bit short.

“I should have been closer to the starting line as it will be close,” he said before knowing what the final results were.

“I had a really good run today, but I haven’t done any speedwork since before Boston.  I was hoping for a 5:10 as I felt like that was within reach.  And I’ve never beaten Tim Ensign in a race.  Today was as close as I’ve come,” he said, admitting that he lost to his friend by a mere two-hundredths of a second.

Andy Zorca was another who didn’t get a record, but he did set a personal best with his time of 6:25.32.

“That was my best ever.  I did one fast training run last week and it helped.  I was sort of dreading this race because it’s so short, but I was hoping for a 6:30, so I’m happy.  I just barely beat a 73-year-old (Sergio), but he’s a really good runner,” the 52-year-old Unum employee nodded.

John Crawley served as the race director for the third year and he was thrilled with the turnout.

“The weather was fantastic and this is the largest number we’ve ever had for this event.  We had a couple of state records fall, so that was good.  It’s been a successful day,” he added.

Crawley had a time of 6:12.05 and he’s getting ready for his 13th marathon in a couple of weeks when he travels to North Carolina to run Grandfather Mountain.

Johnathan Grimes was the fastest wheelchair entry with a time of 7:58.55 while Jim Keane was right behind in 7:59.14.

(Email John Hunt at


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