The Chattanooga Track Club

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McGinnis Wins FCA 5K
By John Hunt
Posted: Tuesday, September 04, 2018
McGinnis Wins FCA 5K

By John Hunt

Ryan McGinnis wasn’t sure who might show up at the annual FCA 5K road race at Chattanooga State Saturday morning, but it really didn’t matter as he just wanted to get a good workout in before spending the day watching college football.

Turns out that the 36-year-old speedster was the class of the field as he prevailed in the 30th annual event that used to be held on Labor Day.

McGinnis completed the 3.1-mile course with a winning effort of 17 minutes, 37 seconds after finishing fourth a year ago with a time of 17:56.

Andy Highlander set the pace for the first two and a half miles, but couldn’t match the kick at the end by McGinnis and had to settle for second place with a time of 17:44. Ken Curran was third in 18 minutes flat.

Lesley Green was the female winner on Saturday after taking third a year ago. Green is a 17-year-old senior at Rhea County High School who finished seventh overall with a time of 19:02.

Mae Mae Powe, a spirited 12-year-old seventh grader at St. Jude, finished second for the second straight year, although this year’s time of 19:40 was some 33 seconds faster than last year.

McGinnis works with his father in their Family Transport Auto Service where they basically take cars to auto auctions. He was just happy the way the race turned out.

“It was tough as Andy is a great runner. He set the pace and was up front for most of the race, but I passed him at the end with about 600 yards to go. You just never know who will show up for a race like this, but I just gave it all I had today.

“I just had to run my race and I’m happy with the results, but it’s football time in Tennessee and I’m planning to spend the rest of the day with my family watching the Vols on television,” he added.

While Powe was 31st overall last year, Green was one place back and five seconds slower. The slender blonde didn’t let it happen again.

“I’m pretty happy with my time as it’s a personal record,” she expressed shortly after completing the distance, admitting that her previous best had been a 19:09.

“I’ve been hoping to break 19 minutes and I came really close today, but it was fun. I was hoping to win today, but I mainly wanted to prove that all of my training this summer is paying off and that I’m on the right track.

“Now I guess I’ll go shopping with my Mom and maybe do a little homework later today,” she added.

Highlander kept the same pace for the first two miles that he did last week at the Cam Run, but he simply didn’t have enough to hang on at the end. And he was the race leader shortly after doing an amazing job singing the National Anthem right before the race started.

“Ryan passed me at the end as I just died in that final mile,” the 31-year-old civil engineer for Barge Design Solutions admitted later.

“I was hoping to get a good workout, but I quickly realized that I need to do more training. I’m planning to run the half-marathon at Chickamauga in November, so I guess I need to learn how to keep this pace for another 10 miles.

“I would have loved to win today, but I’m happy with what I was able to do. My legs were dead and my heart rate was high, so I backed off a bit at the end. I also have a long run scheduled for tomorrow, so I didn’t want to be completely wiped out.

“But this is the beginning of some intense training and I hope to have a good run in November,” he nodded.

Powe used to be an outstanding swimmer, but she spends most of her time these days running and playing soccer. She proved once again that she is a talented athlete and will only continue getting faster as she keeps training.

“I cut about a minute off of last year’s time, so I’m happy about that,” she expressed while visiting with friends.

“It was really hot out there. I ran with her (Green) at the beginning, but she pulled away and I never could catch her. But I had fun and a really good run,” she concluded with a smile.

Dean Thompson and Rachel Mason were the defending champs for this race, but neither were present on Saturday to defend their titles.

Proceeds from this race benefit all the high school chapters of FCA in Chattanooga and surrounding counties.

(Email John Hunt at


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