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Annual Farragut 5K receives ‘certification’
Farragut West Knox Chamber race/walk kicks off Sept. 19 at Mayor Bob Leonard Park

Now a “certified” road race as determined by USA Track and Field, 2009 Farragut Fall 5K Run, Fun Walk & Pet Walk — sponsored by Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce — looks to carry on an 83-year span of ages participating.

Bettye Sisco, Chamber president and CEO plus a Farragut Fall 5K official, labeled the certification “a huge change” and a “big deal.”

“It allows the runners to use their scores in national competitions,” Sisco added about the race, beginning at 8 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 19, at Mayor Bob Leonard Park.

On-site registration begins at 7 a.m., lasting until 7:45 “at the very latest” according to Sisco. Cost is $20. Pre-registration — forms at — is $15.

The course, familiar to regular runners at this event, follows a scenic asphalt course (free from traffic) starting on Watt Road, through Sedgefield Subdivision and finishing back in Mayor Bob Leonard Park.

Another incentive toward drawing monetary participation beyond the Farragut/East Tennessee area is what Sisco labels “Sleep-In Participation.”

“We’ve already got one reservation for that,” she added. “If you’re out of town or sleeping in and you don’t want to [run or walk], but you want to support the Chamber or you want to support Young-Williams [Animal Center], you can enter and not come. But you still get your T-shirt.”

As for a runner-walker goal, Sisco said “250 would be great, 300 would be better.”

Referring to “good feedback” from participants nationwide, Sisco added, “This race seems to be one of the runners’ favorites. It’s a tough course because they start uphill, but it’s a good course. ... they really respond very strongly to this race.”

This is hardly just a young person’s event. “I can tell you the oldest one’s 90 that’s going to run,” Sisco said, adding the field’s age range, historically, has been “from 7 to 90.”

Sisco said “we understand” runner John Smartt, 90, again would participate in the Farragut Fall 5K.

Running options, Sisco said, could include “a company running as a team.”

Though a non-participant in the 5k herself, Sisco and other event sponsors/facilitators have an important — and fulfilling— role. “What’s exciting about it is standing at the line and helping push [runners] through,” she said. “Last year there was a boy who had leg cramps so bad that he was hurting so bad, but there was nothing that was going to stop him. His spirit just kept him going.

“It’s fun to see people make accomplishments they’ve not made before,” she added. “To cheer them on to success.”

Plaques will be awarded to top three finishers in Open, 2nd Open and 3rd Open (up to 39), top Masters (40-49) and top Grand Masters (50-plus), male and female.

Medallions will go to top male and female runners in five-year increment groupings beginning 10-14 through 90-plus. The first male and first female runner will receive a cash award.

Children and teenagers under 18 wishing to participate “must have a parent’s signature,” Sisco said.

Event sponsor is TDS Telecom, media sponsors are farragutpress and WFIV, FM 105.3.

Farragut Fall 5K committee is led by chairperson Jonathan Patrick of First Tennessee Financial Center.

Sisco mentioned one other Farragut Fall 5K lure: “We have great food. ... from different restaurants.”


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