Run for Excellence 5K
October 20, 2001

Knoxville's finest first responders are dwarfed by Smokey as runners arrived for the 2nd annual KTC Run for Excellence, hosted by Toyota / Lexus of Knoxville.
The fastest men and women in Knoxville assembled at the starting line, including pre-race favorites Olympian Tony Cosey and speedster Jasmin Keller.
The long and the short of the Knoxville Track Club, not necessarily in that order.  Here Executive Director Allan Morgan listens to race director and Youth Athletics Coordinator Marty Sonnenfeldt as he gives pre-race instructions to the runners awaiting the start.
As the gun sounds, the field blasts off westward on Parkside Drive, one of the flattest and fastest 5K courses in East Tennessee.
Easily outdistancing his competitors at the halfway mark, Cosey cruises effortlessly downhill.  After today's race, he plans on racing in Japan in the near future and in Richmond VA in a group attempt to break the world record for 8K.
The first chase pack consisted of local elites Bill Kabasenche, Greg Johnson and Martin Lyons (left to right).  Barry Lucas is visible off Lyons' shoulder.
Overall female winner Jasmin Keller passed our cameraman so fast that he was only able to snap a picture of her back, a view most people only get during races anyway.
Masters competitors Greg Birk and Bruce Blankenship steam past the midway point just steps apart.
As the race continues, hard working midpackers head toward the second turnaround.
The race passed the auto dealership midway through, allowing spectators a good chance to view and cheer for their favorite runners.
With a last second burst, Martin Lyons edged past Bill Kabasenche for second place, both with sub-16 minute clockings.  Overall winner Cosey had already finished almost a minute earlier.
The faster master, Greg Johnson, was fourth with a 16:14 time.
Jasmin Keller was top female on this day (and most others, as well!)
Maryville's Barrry Lucas was sixth overall, finishing a bit behind Jasmin.
Youngster Connor Covington ran a splendid 17:45.  He will be someone to watch in the years ahead.
Coach Greg Birk grits his teeth for his finishing kick as he finishes ahead of a young man half his age.
Grandmaster Dorn Kile continues his comeback from a recent layoff with an age group award winning performance.
It was good to see the venerable Walter Collins at the race.  The popular octogenarian has been troubled by a stubborn hamstring injury, but hopes to return to racing soon.
Loudon's Bill Lane pauses for a photo opp after completing his 5K.  Bill was out of action with tendonitis awhile back, but has been pounding the pavement with renewed appreciation recently.
Tasty bottles of English Mountain Spring Water were available, courtesy of one of KTC's finest sponsors.
Young Kendra Green crossed the finish line with flair to accompanying cheers from the crowd.
Amber Stooksbury, a KTC Youth Athlete who won honors this summer in the shot put, poses on the back of the KFD engine.
After the 5K, a kids' road mile was contested.  The start was every bit as frenzied as the adults, and perhaps a bit more.
The real Smokey was on hand, too, and enjoyed two rides on the back of a sharp Lexus convertible.
The road mile was won by Matthew Sonnenfeldt, son of race director Marty Sonnenfeldt.  Here he runs abreast with Nathan Bright.
Though designed as a low-key, rather noncompetitive affair, many of the kids put on furious kicks in the finish straightaway.
Somebody needs to check the ID of that tall girl!  Actually, Jodi Worth probably would get a kick out of being called a tall girl.  She paced her son to a fine performance in the mile.
And, when it was all over, the awards ceremony was highlighted by a brief talk by Tony Cosey.  Tony, a graduate of the KTC Youth Athletics Program, continues to be a tireless supporter of youth athletics.  Next year's Run for Excellence will be a much, much larger affair, and will continue to be one of the fine 5K's in East Tennessee.  More importantly, it will continue to raise substantial funds for the Knoxville Track Club's flagship Youth Athletics Program.