The Chattanooga Track Club

Promoting Running and Fitness in Chattanooga

By John Hunt
Posted: Monday, September 29, 2014

Phillips, Drobeck Win Raccoon Mountain 10K Race

By John Hunt

Geno Phillips came real close to running the same time this year as last at the Raccoon Mountain 10K race Saturday morning and he didn’t have to run through a driving rain to do so.

Phillips won this challenging and scenic 6.2-mile event with a time of 35 minutes, 31 seconds to beat runner-up Dean Thompson by 55 seconds.

Trisha Drobeck finished third overall and the first female as she crossed the finish line at the Laurel Point Recreation Area in 38 minutes, nine seconds.

It was somewhat overcast and cool when the race began, but it was dry and not nearly as miserable as it was last year.

While Phillips and Drobeck were the winners in the 10K, Caleb Casey and Addison Smith were the 5K winners with times of 18:41 and 21:00, respectively.

There were 112 runners who completed the longer race and 79 who took part in the 5K.

Casey is an 18-year-old freshman at UTC who is majoring in environmental engineering. He lives in Hendersonville.

“I wish I had done the 10K, but I’m training for a half-marathon,” he said shortly after finishing.

Christopher Butler was second in the 5K with a time of 18:49, which was 45 seconds faster than a year ago when he won the shorter race. Justin Guy was third in 18:59.

Smith is a 13-year-old eighth grader at Knoxville Webb. She and her family are here to watch Sunday’s Ironman race and that allowed her to run Saturday’s 5K.

“That was a hilly course, but I had fun,” she said after finishing fifth overall, admitting that her personal record for this distance is 19:11.

Allison Butler was the second female in the 5K as she finished 11th overall in 21:54. Ginny Norris was the third lady and 21st overall in 26:20.

Phillips is still working his way back into race shape after suffering a hip injury earlier in the year. Despite the fact that the Red Bank Middle School history teacher is now 42, he can still run with the best.

“I think I need to find an easier course,” he laughed after completing his warmdown run.

“I figured I’d be running faster by now. The temperature was good, but this is just a tough course. Dean and I ran together for the first mile and a half. I was hoping to break 35 today.

“You can make up time on the second half of this race, but that climb between the third and fourth miles is brutal,” he added.

Thompson just turned 49 on Sept. 11 and he’s currently training for an Ironman race in Wilmington, North Carolina on Oct. 25. Despite running 58 miles before Saturday’s race, biking a little over 100 and swimming about three miles, he was pleasantly surprised with the result.

“Right now I’m at the peak of my training, so I have tired legs right now. I’m almost a minute slower than last year. I was hoping to be near 36, but I’m happy with my time as that was all I had today.

“I could see Geno in the distance, but he disappeared when he made that turn going back to the finish,” Thompson smiled.

Drobeck is a 34-year-old sales rep from Missoula, Montana. She’s in town to support her husband Andrew in Sunday’s Ironman. He’s one of the pros entered and is shooting for a time under 8:35.

Tricia is currently training for a marathon where she hopes to be near 2:43 and qualify for the Olympic Trials.

“It was a beautiful course, nice and hilly,” she said shortly after crossing the finish line.

“Right now I’m training for the marathon, but I’m happy that I won. I would have liked to have run about a minute faster, but it was a little humid. Where I come from, it’s more dry than this.

“It’s always interesting to run a race in a new city, but I was open minded about what to expect. I had a nice run as it was a great day for me,” she smiled.

While Phillips and Thompson were one-two, Troy Ketchum was the third male as he finished fourth overall in 39:04.

Jeanette Wilson and Lisa Logan were the second and third women with Wilson taking 12th overall in 44:05 and Logan 15th some 61 seconds later.

Jennie Gentry had a time of 53:14 as she finished second in the women’s 45-49 age group, but she was thrilled after posting a personal best by a minute and 48 seconds.

“I was registered to run this race last year, but I was a fair-weather runner and stayed home when I saw how hard it was raining. So this is my first time to run this race. I just loved the scenery as it was beautiful.

“There were some nice hills, but it was flat where it needed to be. And all of the uphills were followed by a downhill. And for the first time in my life, I passed Sergio. He beat me and he has a hurt knee, but I was thrilled to even be close to him and his son Marco,” Gentry laughed.

Her previous best 10K came at the Affordable Botox SuperHero 10K at Enterprise South on Aug. 23 when she had a time of 55:02.

The next race on the Chattanooga Track Club schedule will be the Joe Johnson 10K at Moccasin Bend on Oct. 11. Unlike Saturday’s Raccoon Mountain event, that course is probably the most flat out-and-back in Chattanooga.

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