New Year's Day 5K
Monday, January 1, 2007

Once again a gorgeous day dawned over the Tennessee River and the Calhouns New Year's Day 5K, staged by the Knoxville Track Club.
Calhouns, home of the best ribs in America, was our gracious host and sponsor.
The relatively late starting time of 9:30 allowed revelers to sleep in a little bit and still get signed up for the race.
Soon over four hundred runners were assembled on Neyland Drive to set out in pursuit of one of Knoxville's finest.
The strains of the National Anthem echoed over the riverside.
Seconds later the resounding crack of the starter's pistol sent everyone into motion.
The fleet of feet were out in front.
The big crowd thundered past.
Soon all the runners were on their way.
While the racers made their way westward on Neyland, the allstar volunteer crew gathered for a photo op.
The men of Engine 9 did not have to perform any emergency services, thankfully, and were content to enjoy the race.
It wasn't even fifteen minutes later that Swift Stu Ellington blazed back down the final straightaway to claim the victory.
As the next two runners passed the photographer, it looked like wily veteran speedster Allen Etheridge would be runner-up.
But Webb HS standout Andrew Press, running under a pseudonym for some reason, gathered himself for a passing maneuver in the final hundred meters and overtook Etheridge.
Newly minted grandmaster sensation Jeff Colfer took the masters title.
The ageless Bob Barber dropped down ten years to earn the grandmasters crown.
Kathy Wolski cruised to another win, running 18:11 for the victory.
Preteen wonder Amber Zimmerman gave chase and finished as second overall female, about thirty seconds back of Wolski.
Valerie Bachmann (far left) fought off a tough challenge from Taylor Poling to claim third place.
Grand Prix Champion Marsha Morton was top masters female.
 Sally Evenden (right) was the fastest grandmasters woman.
Larry Brede eked out a win in the Clydesdale category (by more than three minutes over his closest competitor).
The youngest female and male finishers were Allison and Gordon LeCroy, talented offspring of Panther Creek Park boss John LeCroy.
   
Toward the end of the 5K, a few folks might've liked to hitch a ride on the Three Rivers Rambler.
But eventually the finish line came into sight and everyone passed through successfully.
Race director Eddie Reymond was a gracious and convivial master of ceremonies.
A large arrangement of KTC goblets were readied for presentation by Eddie's son, Harrison.
Hundreds of runners and spectators gathered upstairs in Calhouns for the ceremony.
93-year old Dr. Max Springer was honored for his many outstanding achievements as a member of the Knoxville Track Club.  He was recently inducted into the USATF Masters Hall of Fame.
Always quick to laugh, he shared a good one with his wife during his acceptance of the achievement award.
Somehow we ended up with the only sunshiny hours of the day during the race, and it grew cloudy and chilly later on.  No matter; we all had a great time again at the KTC's gala New Year's Day event.

Photos by Michael deLisle and Pete Garza

Webpage layout by Michael deLisle