The Chattanooga Track Club

Promoting Running and Fitness in Chattanooga

By John Hunt
Posted: Monday, October 24, 2016
Goetz, Tate Win Signal Mountain Pie Run


The annual Signal Mountain Pie Run is one of those races where you don’t have to be the first across the finish line to be the overall winner.

It’s a prediction run, so the runner getting nearest his or her predicted time was honored with cash prizes.

Gregg Sutton crossed the line next to the old Signal Mountain Junior High with a time of 46 minutes flat, which was exactly what he had predicted. So despite being the 16th overall runner, he was rewarded with a $50 first prize.

Ryan Shrum was just four seconds off his predicted time of 38:58 to claim second and a $30 cash prize while Nikki Wortman was just 12 seconds off with her time of 57:48 and earned $20 for her effort.

Saturday’s event, certainly one of the most scenic on the Chattanooga Track Club schedule and definitely one of the most challenging, was a no frills race, meaning there were no age group awards and no T-shirts.

The biggest reward was a freshly-baked apple pie from the Bread Basket.

Joseph Goetz was the first runner to finish as he averaged 5:50 per mile to post a time of 36 minutes, 11 seconds while former UTC standout Kevin Huwe was second in 36:34.

Shrum was third in 38:54 while Tripp McCallie and Neal Hanley were fourth and fifth, respectively, with times of 39:01 and 39:51.

Amanda Tate was the women’s overall winner as she averaged 6:42 per mile for a time of 41:37, which was eighth overall while Dianna Leun was next in 42:54.

Jennifer Huwe was the third lady as she finished 14th overall in 45:33 while Jan Gautier was fourth in 46:26 and Lisa Logan fifth in 46:55.

It was a picture-perfect morning for a road race with clear skies and temperatures in the low 40s. Add a spectacular view of the Tennessee valley from the road along the brow and it was a great fit for an outstanding workout.

Goetz and Huwe ran together for the first four miles at which point Huwe threw in a surge and took the lead. Goetz never got rattled and was able to regain the lead about a mile later when Huwe’s pace slowed.

Huwe was hoping to make a surge in the final stretch after climbing that last hill, but Goetz kept pulling away and that last-second sprint to the finish line never materialized.

“I’m beat as that was a hard race and I put forth a hard effort,” said Goetz, a 33-year-old financial analyst for TVA.

“Kevin and I ran together most of the way. He took the lead just past four miles and was looking really strong, but he started looking a little rough and slowed down.

"I really don’t know what happened, but I was holding back a little something for that last hill, but I caught him at the start of the last mile,” Goetz smiled.

“I knew that Joe would provide some good competition today. I felt really strong for the first half and was really running well, but all of a sudden I felt light headed. I was able to hold my pace for the most part, but that’s when he regained the lead.

“I was hoping to have something left for a sprint at the top of the hill, but he gapped me before we got there and just kept pulling away. My time was about two minutes faster than two years ago, so I’m happy,” the 29-year-old mechanical engineer for McKee Bakery said.

Tate and Leun both live on Signal Mountain and train frequently on this very course. Not only do they know where the toughest hills are, but they have really gotten stronger and faster from such challenging training runs.

“It was alright as I showed up this morning. The toughest part for me was just getting out of bed,” said Tate, another former UTC standout who will celebrate her 39th birthday on Thursday.

“I always want to run faster, but I ran Boston in April and took some time off after that. I did the Stump Jump 15K two weeks ago, so I’m still trying to get back in shape. The turn around was right by my house, but I just wanted to make sure I could run strong on that last hill.

“I run that section a lot, so I know this course pretty well,” the physical therapist who works for the Center for Sports Medicine added with a smile.

Leun is a 44-year-old registered nurse who works in the Health Center at Erlanger. She too knows this course better than most.

“That’s a rough one, but I had an excellent run,” she began before going back out for a few additional miles.

“I started out with Lisa and just wanted to keep a steady pace. It felt pretty good the whole time, but this course is hilly throughout and not just that last one,” she nodded.

Shrum showed up with a tired body after spending the week vacationing with friends in New York city where he was able to do a few training runs in Central Park. He was thrilled when informed that he had won some money for his prediction of 38:58.

“I’ve never ever even gotten close before,” the 49-year-old ice machine salesman and technician said while waiting for the door prizes to be given out.

“We got home late last night from New York, so I was definitely tired today, but we finally got a nice day for a race. I can’t believe it as I just took five seconds off my time from last year,” he explained.

The next race on the Chattanooga Track Club’s schedule is the Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon and Half-Marathon, which will be held on Nov. 12. Registration is still open, but you can always volunteer if you don't want to run.

(Email John Hunt at


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