UPDATE: Before the cookouts and Memorial Day gatherings, nearly a thousand runners lined up for a Chattanooga tradition that's now half-a-century old.
It’s big feat for many to complete an 8K race, but one local woman has surpassed that accomplishment even further.
The race is known as Tennessee’s original road race, the Chattanooga Chase is celebrating 50th anniversary, a special milestone in the Scenic City. It’s the oldest race in the area, and no one knows that better than Sue Anne Brown.
She was one of the first females to compete and has run nearly all of them.
"We were the only ladies and there were probably only 80 men the first one I ran in,” Brown explained.
This is Brown's 42nd Chase, now at age 71, she is the longest ‘running’ participant.
"My parents thought that was not a good thing for women to do. They would say you're going to be in a wheelchair before you're 18 and I have not been in a wheelchair, maybe someday but not now,” Brown said.
20-year-old, John Payne came in first place among the men competing in the 8K, he finished in 26:53.
"I knew the hill was there, I’ve run it before, but I didn't realize it was going to slow down that much,” he explained.
For the women, 31-year-old, Jessica Marlier lead the pack, she finished the race in 31:23.
"It was definitely very tough, it's always tough no matter what shape you're in,” Marlier said.
Brown has come in first place many times over the last four decades. Now a new generation is running on the path she paved. It’s something she's noticed over the years in Chattanooga.
"Especially during the day I see more women running across the Veteran’s Bridge she than men so I’m happy about that,” she said.
The Chattanooga Track Club shares her mission. Alan Outlaw, with Fast Break Athletics said Funds from the Chase support the future generation of runners.
"Just like any other sport, soccer, baseball, basketball there's a fundamental and foundational point where kids need to start in running is no different,” Outlaw said.
Some might say Brown is pioneer in the community. However; she says running is just a part of who she is.
"I have durability, not so much speed, but very consistent,” she said.
Last year, the race raised about $7,000 for youth programs. This year they anticipate they will surpass that amount and have already begun planning the 51st race.
ORIGINAL STORY: From 6 a.m. until 11 a.m., Dorchester Road from Barton Avenue to Sterling Avenue will be closed to accommodate the Chattanooga Chase.
Runners are to be expected in the road on North Shore, especially along Riverview Road, for the annual Chattanooga Chase.
It's the area's oldest active competitive road race. The race is now in it's 50th year.
Participants will run a 8k which is nearly a 5 mile run. Proceeds from this race support the kids in the Elementary School Cross Country Series.