The Chattanooga Track Club

Promoting Running and Fitness in Chattanooga

Hall, Marchant Win Pumpkin Run 10K at Moccasin Bend
By John Hunt
Posted: Saturday, October 29, 2011

Conditions were perfect for a fast 10K race at Moccasin Bend Saturday morning.


With temperatures in the mid-40s, clear skies and beautiful fall leaves all around, 154 runners took advantage in the Great Pumpkin Run 10K race.


Patrick Hall and Lanni Marchant were the overall winners with Hall claiming first in 33 minutes, 23 seconds.


Marchant wasn’t far behind as she finished fifth overall with a time of 34:55, which calculates to a 5:38 pace.


The race started and finished at Moccasin Bend.  In between were 6.2 of the flattest and fastest road miles in Chattanooga.  There was one slight incline as runners passed over some railroad tracks just before the turnaround at the midpoint of the race, but other than that, the course was more flat than your kitchen floor.


The race started with Hall, Andy Highlander, Tim Ensign, Dean Thompson and Marchant in the lead group.


As the race progressed, Hall and Highlander ran together while Ensign and Thompson ran together.  Marchant was basically left to run by herself.


The first two are good friends and even talked a little bit on the way out, but the conversation ended on the way back.


“This was a lot tougher than the Pie Run (on Signal Mountain) because I couldn’t get rid of Andy,” the 27-year-old Hall said minutes after finishing.


“We were so close the whole way.  We talked on the way out, but on the way back, it was all business.  I could tell we picked it up in the fourth mile, but everything after that was a blur it hurt so bad,” Hall continued.


Hall’s personal record is 32:40.  He posted a time of 33:58 on this course in 2007 when he finished third overall.


Highlander is a 24-year-old sales associate at the Front Runner who ran for UTC.  He finished second behind Hall on a much more hilly course at Signal Mountain three weeks ago, but this last race was anybody’s race until the final stretch.


“My goal for the day was to be at 17 minutes at the half-way point.  We got there in 16:57.  I put a good move in at the four-mile mark and had about a four or five-second lead, but he chased me down.


“It was a good race and we had fun.  He pulled away just past the five-mile mark.  I put all my money into catching him at the end, but I couldn’t.


“I took some time off after I graduated last December and I’ve been trying to back in a groove.  I think the fire is starting to re-ignite,” Highlander smiled.


Marchant ran a personal-best 2:44:09 at the Chicago Marathon on Oct. 10.  She was happy with another win, but she isn’t as fit as she was about a year ago.


“I went out with the leaders for the first mile, but I was in no-man’s land after that.  I knew my fitness level wouldn’t allow me to stay with them.  I always want to go faster, but I need to get back into racing now the marathon is over.


“Today shows that my base fitness is still there and I’m ready to get some PRs, but I just have to find the right day.  Anytime I can break 35 in  a 10K, I’m content.  I just wish I had known about this race last year because I was in great shape then,” the 27-year-old Marchant smiled.

Ensign’s goal was to get as close to 34:30 as possible and to break the state 10K record for his age group.  He crossed the line in 34:35 and broke the state mark by 13 seconds.


“Dean and I went out together, but they (Hall and Highlander) sped up on the way back and we slowed down,” the 48-year-old IBM employee said later.


“I got the state record, so I’m happy about that.  I ran as well as I could today,” he added, noting that he was the overall winner at this race in 1984, 1994 and 2006.


Thompson finished two seconds behind Ensign in 34:37 and he too was happy with the results.


“I knew that Tim was shooting for the record and I came out to help him get it,” the 46-year-old Cohutta resident said.


Thompson posted a time of 1:16:06 in winning the Dalton Half-Marathon on Oct. 15.


“All things considered, I’m pleased with my time today,” the employee of Shaw Industries added.


Pat Hagan posted a time of 52:09 to finish 45th overall.  He’s done this race more times than he can remember.


“I’ve run it a bunch of times.  I had a good run today, although I’m mad that I’m a minute slower than last year.


“I ran around 38 minutes on this course back in 1987.  That was two days after a 2:59 in the Atlanta Marathon when I was 37,” he recalled with a laugh.


Greg Carter was another runner who had a pretty good day on Saturday.  He just celebrated his 50th birthday on Sept. 20 and finished second in his age group at the 5K on Oct. 16 at the 7 Bridges Marathon.


“I was faster than an 11-minute mile and I wasn’t last.  Actually, I had fun today, although I started out too slow.  I just wanted to make sure I finished since this was my first 10K race since Peachtree in 1984,” he said afterward.


Marchant and Hall were the overall winners while Ensign and his wife Barbara were the Masters winners.


Jacquie Winters and John Gracy were the Grand Masters winners.


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