Phillips, Marlier Win SuperHero 10K At Enterprise South

Sillery, Bell Dominate Times In 5K

Saturday, August 23, 2014 - by John Hunt

You’ve never seen such a gathering of SuperHero characters as that at the Enterprise South Nature Park Saturday morning.

Oh, they came for a good cause as they were participating in the Third Annual SuperHero 5K and 10K races in a highly-energized event that benefitted the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

  The race was sponsored by Affordable Botox.

John Sillery and Emily Bell were the overall winners in the 3.1-mile race while Geno Phillips and Jessica Marlier were the fastest in the 6.2-mile event.

There were 116 finishers in the short race and 89 in the longer one.  Yet another hundred or so took part in the one-mile Fun Run/Walk that concluded the day.

Ironically, both Sillery and Marlier are 42 years old and both are outstanding runners.  They totally dominated their respective races.

Sillery crossed the line in 17 minutes, 40 seconds while Bell was the first female and second overall finisher in 20:47.

Phillips posted a time of 35 minutes, 26 seconds in winning the 10K while Marlier was the first female and fifth overall in 39:52.

Jon Melanson was the 5K male runner-up and third overall in 23:07 while Ashley Humble was 10th overall and the female runner-up in 25:44.

Andy Highlander was second overall in the 10K race with a time of 36:44 while Jennifer Curtis was eighth overall and the second lady with a time of 43:39.

But on a hot and muggy morning when characters ranged from Superman to Wonder Woman and everything in between, these folks appeared to be having a good time and they got a good workout in the process.

“That was tough,” Phillips said while dripping with sweat shortly after finishing the 10K.

“We were climbing between the fourth and fifth mile, but there was a fast downhill finish.  It was about what I figured with the heat and the hills, but this was my first time on this course and it was brutal.

“I’m just glad that I was by myself from about the first mile on,” the Red Bank Middle School teacher nodded.

For the first time in recent memory, Marlier didn’t record a personal best, but she still had a pretty good race as she averaged 6:25 per mile.

“I really had to work and it was a little warm this morning,” she said after her winning performance ended.

“It was challenging and I knew it would be hilly, but I just wanted to take advantage of my opportunity to dress up for a race.  My legs are a little tired, but it was a good workout,” the 28-year-old assistant cross country coach at GPS smiled.

Highlander is currently training for a fall marathon, one in which he hopes to average six-minute miles and to get a sub-2:40 or better.  Saturday’s race was just another training run for the civil engineer who just turned 27 last Saturday.

“I had a good run as I started out with a conservative first mile, but my pace slowed when we went up that hill that was at least a half-mile up.  I cruised back down and saw Geno with about a half-mile to go, but knew it would be virtually impossible to catch him.

“My goal was to stick by my marathon race pace and then go hard in the last mile.  Now I’m headed to the Front Runner to work the rest of the day,” he smiled.

Ryan Shrum finished fourth overall behind Phillips, Highlander and Daniel McGinley, who was third in 38:01.  Shrum was right behind in 38:03 after winning last year’s race.

“At least I knew what was coming today after I won last year, but the course was about six and a half miles last year,” Shrum, an ice machine salesman who will be 47 on Sept. 10, explained.

“I went out easy and picked up the pace from there, but I was ready for that hill in the fifth mile.  The best part was a nice downhill finish.  But this was the first time I’ve beaten her in a while,” he said, pointing to Marlier, a good friend and training partner.

Sillery is an emergency room doctor who can run fast as well.

“I didn’t decide until about 7 this morning to do this race and I didn’t bring enough money to do the 10K, but I probably couldn’t have beaten Geno anyway.  Downhills never make up for uphills, but it was a pretty good run anyway,” he added.

THE NEXT RACE in Chattanooga will be the 26th Annual FCA 5K and 10K races, which will again be held at Chattanooga State on Labor Day.  Be assured that those courses are both flat as a pancake compared to Saturday’s route.

(Email John Hunt at

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