Whitestone 30K
Sunday, March 4, 2007

From afar runners and their families drew close to the Whitestone Inn near Kingston for the Knoxville Track Club's annual 30K and team relay.
As the echo of the starter's pistol echoes through the wooded valley, the first and fleetest came roaring down onto the main road.
In their wake, a stream of bold contestants formed a  long queue to give chase on this cold morning.
On they came, ready to do battle with the elements and with the unending array of hills they would soon face.
Soon the valiant two hundred were gone, en route to their individual fates of this frosty morning.
Several miles into the race, a white sedan, driven by veteran marathoner Mike Marchant, came rolling around a bend, leading the runners through the course.
First to appear after the lead car was Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier Alan Horton, whose blazing pace gave Team Runners Market a relay lead they would no relinquish.
Former EXPO winner Chad Newton, part of an outstanding team assembled by John Smyth and EBS, stormed down the hill in pursuit of Horton, but could not reel him in.
Meanwhile, in the individual race, Patrick Gildea cruised smoothly throughout the 18.6 mile course to obliterate the existing course record.
Top female road race Kathy Wolski built an early lead over her female competitors and continued to stretch it throughout the race to claim the victory.
After his blazing start, Horton went on to claim second place overall, also eclipsing  the former course record.
Former Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon winner Sammy Nyamongo earned third place overall.
KTC Competitive Team Director Mike Wortley ran very well, almost overtaking Nyamongo en route to a fourth place overall finish.
Perennial masters star Jon Lawler ran well to take the top spot among the over-40 crowd and a top ten finish overall
EBS's Jeff Armstrong ran a grandmasters course record time to win that division.
Bob Barber was the best Veterans Division runner on this day.
Marsha Morton of LaFollette earned the Masters Female crown with a strong run.
Sally Evenden (far left) used her downhill speed to secure top spot among female Grandmasters racers.
Eric Bell anchored Team Runners Market to a record-smashing time in the relay division.
EBS was second in the relay, partly due to a strong second leg from former Calhouns victor Keith Kimmons.
Joseph Goetz sparked Runners Market's Red team to third place in the relay.
Marathon co-director Jason Altman took time from his busy schedule to lead Health Shoppe to a strong showing in the relay division.
Taylor Poling's strong showing led the Runners Market Ladies team to a victory in the women's relay.
Though it was a cold day and the hills were relentless, the pastoral beauty of the countryside was enough to assuage the spirits of most runners.
The splendid scenery, both manmade and natural, made for a rewarding morning spent traversing the rural byways.
And when everyone made their way back to the Whitestone Inn, ready to partake in a bounteous breakfast, all declared their readiness to return next year for another joust with the hills of Roane County.  Thanks to Betty and Jerry Schohl for another job masterfully done.

photos and webpage by Michael deLisle