The Chattanooga Track Club

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Curran Wins Moccasin Bend 10k
By John Hunt
Posted: Monday, October 09, 2017
Curran Wins Moccasin Bend 10K

By John Hunt

If you wanted to set a personal record for a 10K road race, then you should have been at Moccasin Bend Saturday morning.

It was the annual Moccasin Bend Fall Classic where Ken Curran was the overall winner in the 10K after Thomas Loher had prevailed as the first finisher in the 5K.

Curran covered the flat-and-fast, out-and-back 6.2-mile course in 35 minutes, 37 seconds to beat runner-up Dean Thompson by 54 seconds.

Joseph Wilson was third in 37:22 while Ryan McGinnis was fourth in 37:26 and Tripp McCallie fifth in 37:38.

Emily Bell was the women’s overall winner as she finished seventh overall in 38 minutes, one second as she beat second-place Rachel Mason, who was eighth overall in 39:18. Andrea May was a distant third as she was 16th overall in 43:50.

Thomas Loher was all alone when he crossed the finish line as the winner of the 3.1-mile race in 18:39. Chas Webb was the runner-up in 20:16.

Keri McKay was the first female and fifth overall in 22:39 while Kiana Queener was ninth overall and the second lady in 24:26.

Saturday’s race was by far the flattest and fastest 10K course on the Chattanooga Track Club’s schedule. It was also a no frills event as no T-shirts were given to the runners.

Proceeds benefitted the Johnson Mental Health Center’s PATH program, which stands for Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness.

Curran is a 26-year-old financial analyst for Volkswagen who is pointing toward a good run at the New York City Marathon in early November. He was more than pleased with the time he earned with Saturday’s workout.

“I’ve been doing a lot of marathon training, so I just came out this morning to get a good workout. I feel like I’m in pretty good shape, but I had negative splits more than I planned,” he said while chatting with Thompson after the race ended.

“It all went according to plan today. Dean had a good gap going out, but I finally caught him with about two miles to go. We were really rolling at that point,” Curran added.

Thompson is twice Curran’s age, but he’s much faster than your average 52-year-old. He had hoped to run just a little bit faster, but he was just happy to be able to compete in another road race.

“I’m just trying to keep myself in shape and I’m thankful that I can still get out here and run pretty fast,” Thompson began.

“My goal was to be under 36 minutes and I wasn’t close to that. I felt like Superman for the first two miles, but it was a struggle on the way back. All I know is that I need to be in much better shape for the club nationals in early December,” he nodded.

Bell is a 35-year-old exercise physiologist at Erlanger who ran well, but didn’t feel so great doing it. She’s been dealing with some physical issues this year, so her winning time wasn’t what she wanted, but she’s hoping better and faster days are ahead.

“I don’t feel so good right now as that wasn’t what I wanted,” she said in reference to her winning time.

“I was hoping to be about a minute faster, but I got it done. I liked this course and I finally caught her (Mason) right before we turned around. You’d think I’d be happy about winning and I guess I am, but I feel kind of wiped out.

“I guess I’ll take it, but I’m hoping my times will start dropping soon,” she concluded with a smile.

Mason is a 32-year-old mom who stays busy with two young daughters in addition to coaching cross country at St. Jude. Unlike Bell, Mason was really happy with her time.

“I was hoping to break 40, so I did a whole lot better than I thought,” she said while relaxing with her husband and two children.

“I started out fast, but I was feeling great and I’m really happy with my time. She (Bell) passed me and I tried to stay with her as long as I could. There’s no question she helped me run a good time today,” Mason smiled.

Loher is a 16-year-old junior at Chattanooga State Middle College. He was all alone as he approached the finish line, but that’s the way he had planned it.

“It was a good run, but I was all by myself on the way back. I came here wanting to win and to get a PR. I was able to do both, so I’m happy,” he said after beating his old personal best of 20:35 by almost two minutes.

The next race on the CTC schedule is another 10K called the Signal Mountain Pie Run and it will be held in two weeks on Oct. 21. Unlike the Moccasin Bend run, there are some significant hills at the Pie Run, but there is also some of the most beautiful scenery as runners get a nice view of the Tennessee Valley as they run along Brow Road.

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