Wears Valley 15K
September 16, 2001

It was an emotional morning in Townsend as the Knoxville Track Club staged the 25th anniversary edition of the Wears Valley 15K Road Race just five days after the horrific terrorist attack on America. 
Amidst a cool blanket of early morning fog, the mournful lilt of bagpipes played "Amazing Grace" in honor of the fallen.
Race participants were faced with the daunting task of traversing the hills of Carr Creek and the Little River valleys.
As the starter's pistol resounded through the valley, contestants leapt into action on a perfect morning for a road race.
Barely three miles away, a dying oak stood sentinel alongside the race course, awaiting the first of the challengers.
On the pavement beneath, Bobby Holcombe and Martin Lyons dueled, having just crested the most difficult of the hills.
Young Kevin Morton followed just a short distance back of the chase pack.
The eyes of Irishman Jerry Dwyer were on Morton as he, too, began the long downhill past the three mile mark.
Decked out in red, white and blue, Kevin Carraher begins his assault on the downgrade, here leading eventual Clydesdale champ Larry Brede (white T-shirt).  Kevin ran 58:25 to win the 25-29 age group, while Larry trounced his fellow Clydesdales, running 58:46, which actually would've placed him 2nd in 30-34.
Dennis Miller's smooth stride eats up ground with seemingly little effort.  His 58:13 was good for 2nd place in men's 40-44.
A long lanky bandit seems to be a bit winded as he's chased down by Melanie Cox.  The tall guy bears a striking resemblance to course record holder Marty Sonnenfeldt, who sped around this course in 47 minutes a few short years ago.  Melanie's 1:02:24 was third overall female.
Proudly wearing the stars and stripes on his T-shirt, Joe Leahy (1:02:15, fifth in the men's 35-39 category) chugs along.  
Bruce Blankenship, who arrived early to warm up and stayed late to help pack up equipment, ran strong, completing the 9.3 mile course in 1:02:13, third in the men's 40-44 category.
Chris Welsh also ran well, employing a late race kick to almost overtake a competitor at the finish line.  Chris ran 1:04:03, which was 6th in the tough 35-39 men's age group.
Many well-known KTCers cruise smartly just part the four mile mark.  From left are Paul Barrette, second in the men's 60-69 group at 1:12:46), women's master's champ Betty Schohl at 1:12:42 (next to Paul), KTC Vice-President Elizabeth Corbett (white T-shirt), who ran 1:13:07 to take first in the women's 35-39 category, who took first in her age group and Dick Ziegler (white headband), whose 1:12:46 was sixth in men's 55-59..
A week at the beach doesn't seem to have hurt (or helped) the fitness of KTC Executive Director Allan Morgan, who appears to be having a whale of a time, flanked by two other smiling runners.  Allan ran 1:11:51 to finish fifth in the men's 55-59 age group.
Don Holt and Louis Barrentine run smoothly in the morning sunshine.  Don ran 1:15:03 to finish 4th in his age group, while Louis accelerated to a 1:13:29, seventh in the 30-34 group.
William Blount HS Coach Chris Frary and a few of his troops, Kyle Sanchez, Keith Allmon and Matt Forsythe pace easily in the bottomland halfway through the race.  They all finished at 1:13.
Joe Judkins and Paula Key are enjoying the peace and quiet of a Blount County Sunday morning run in the country.  Paula logged an excellent 1:17:30 to take first place in the women's 45-49 age group, while Joe ran 1:15:24, finishing ninth in the very competitive 50-54 category.
Three more midpackers ease on past an old cattle barn, having emerged from the fog into the warming sunshine.
West Knoxvillians Tony (1:20:12) and Lori (1:20:38, 3rd in women's 35-39) Anderson breeze past the late summer wildflowers en route to a fine finish in the 25th anniversary race.
Mindful of the possibility of a speed trap, Herrell Akers and Barbara Winters throttle down through the flatlands, anticipating a few more hills before they're through.  Herrell finished in 1:27:25 and Barbara in 1:29:10, which was good for 2nd in the women's 55-59 age group.
Serenading passing runners with a gorgeous baritone, Flossie the Angus enjoyed the race as much as the runners.
International flavor abounds on the way back as Austrian Connection Patrick Materna duels German Paul Schmidt.
Atop the eight mile hill, Patrice Carroll has no challengers in sight as she races to victory.
Nineteen-year old Jeremy Donahue blazes along late in the race.  Jeremy ran a fine 57:23 to finish eleventh overall and first in the 19-under age group.
Johnson City's David Graham makes sure to hit the final split on his watch as he finishes in fine form.  He ran 55:50 and took second in men's 35-39.
Marsha Morton appears pleased with her race time (1:00:31, second overall) on this delightful morning for a race.
Two of KTC's finest volunteers, Greer Fox and Julia Langdon, operate the water table at the finish line
As the hard charging runners cool off in the sunshine, swirling clouds of steam evaporate from their bodies.
Winner of the men's 60-64 age group, Bob Cunningham checks his time (1:12:20) as he crosses the line.
Hungry runners devour mountains of muffins and bakalava, courtesy of George and Lucy Captain of Sam & Andy's West.
Race director Doug Anderson moderates the post race activities.  Doug did a splendid job of tempering the mixed emotions of the day.
Director of Tennessee Sports Medicine Group John Kruzenklaus stands by his company banner.  John is a fixture at KTC events, and a stalwart supporter of the club.
Two Marty's pose together, as 2001 champ Martin Lyons accepts his prizes from KTC Youth Athletics Director Marty Sonnenfeldt.  Lyons won the race with a fine time of 51:28, eighteen seconds ahead of runner-up Scott Wolfe of Brevard NC.
Running a big-time PR, Patrice Carroll continued her recent dominance of long KTC races.  Patrice was timed in 56:44.
German national Paul Schmidt is all smiles, despite the fact that he was scheduled to compete in a marathon in his hometown this day, but due to the shutdown of air traffic was forced to stay in Knoxville.  Paul finished fifth overall in 55:10.
And, as the runners return to their everyday lives, which don't seem quite so everyday any more, the cows of Wears Valley, oblivious to the struggles of men, continue to nibble on the green grass in the early morning fog.  Please join KTC next year in this great event, and, in the meantime, think of and pray for our fellow men in this time of reflection and solemnity.