Knoxville Marathon 2013

Knoxville Marathon Start, April 2013

Knoxville Marathon Start, April 2013

It’s hard to know at the end of this week whether I should continue recounting last weekend or move the focus to the upcoming weekend. I’ll go with last weekend, but I must mention that this weekend is likely the biggest of the Dogwood Arts Festival, with the Arts and Crafts Festival on Market Square and throughout Krutch Park. The artisan works are phenomenal and the food tent, in which chefs prepare dishes with wine pairings, is one of my favorite single events of the year.

Mayor Rogero, Knoxville Marathon, April 2013

Mayor Rogero, Knoxville Marathon, April 2013

American Flag on Clinch Avenue, Knoxville Marathon, April 2013

American Flag on Clinch Avenue, Knoxville Marathon, April 2013

Arm Cyclists, Knoxville Marathon, April 2013

Arm Cyclists, Knoxville Marathon, April 2013

Still, I must give a nod to last weekend’s Knoxville Marathon which drew several thousand people. The race has grown to include a 5K, Half-Marathon, Marathon and Marathon Relay. Urban Son-in-Law backed off to the half-marathon this year and many Urban Friends ran various other races. I think one reason for the massive crowds last weekend was the marathon, as a number of people came in from out of town or simply stayed downtown to enjoy the other events going on.

Health and Fitness Expo, Knoxville Marathon, April 2013

Health and Fitness Expo, Knoxville Marathon, April 2013

Health and Fitness Expo, Knoxville Marathon, April 2013

Health and Fitness Expo, Knoxville Marathon, April 2013

Arm Cyclists2, Knoxville Marathon, April 2013

Arm Cyclists, Knoxville Marathon, April 2013

Arm Cyclists3, Knoxville Marathon, April 2013

Arm Cyclists, Knoxville Marathon, April 2013

I love the fact that a fitness-based event has become so big in the city. It also works beautifully to have so many great activities downtown to greet any out-of-town visitors. There is no way someone visited the city last weekend, encountered the beautiful weather, pianos on the square, Chalk Walk, First Friday, Rhythm and Blooms and came away with anything other than a very positive impression of what is happening here. They also spent time and money in the Health and Fitness Expo on Saturday.

Knoxville Marathon Start, April 2013

Knoxville Marathon Start, April 2013

Knoxville Marathon Start, April 2013

Knoxville Marathon Start, April 2013

Knoxville Marathon Runner, April 2013

Knoxville Marathon Runner, April 2013

Knoxville Marathon Start, April 2013

Knoxville Marathon Start, April 2013

The starting line and staging area always attract me. Nerves jangle about at every turn, runners giddy with excitement warm up maybe a bit too much. Proud families wish their loved ones well. The mayor spoke at this year’s opening and the national anthem makes any sporting fan’s blood reach a quick boil of anticipation. Some are there to win, others to have fun and others simply to finish. Music pounds from a PA system as it will throughout the race as live bands play for the runners.

Entertainment on Market Square, Knoxville Marathon, April 2013

Entertainment on Market Square, Knoxville Marathon, April 2013

John D. Cable and the Empty Bottle Band, Clinch and Locust, Knoxville Marathon, April 2013

John D. Cable and the Empty Bottle Band, Clinch and Locust, Knoxville Marathon, April 2013

I photographed eventual winner Wojciech Kopec (2:22:15) as he left the start line (red jersey above, number 2), but missed him at the twenty-five mile mark. I did catch Edward Tabut passing the UT Conference Center, heading into the final stretch. He was about three minutes behind first place. He also nearly left the course by not turning onto Locust, but a policeman yelled, pointed and Edward corrected his course.

Second Place Runner (No. 4), Mile Tweny-five, Knoxville Marathon 2013

Second Place Runner (No. 4), Edward Tabut, Mile Tweny-five, Knoxville Marathon 2013

Third Place Runner, Mile Twenty-four, Knoxville Marathon, April 2013

Third Place Runner, Bryan Morseman, Mile Twenty-four, Knoxville Marathon, April 2013

Fourth Place Runner, Mile Twenty-Three, Knoxville Marathon 2013

Fourth Place Runner, Stewart Ellington, Mile Twenty-Three, Knoxville Marathon 2013

Fifth Place Runner, Mile Twenty-four, Knoxville Marathon, April 2013

Fifth Place Runner, Abraham Kogo, Mile Twenty-four, Knoxville Marathon, April 2013

About four minutes behind him was Bryan Moresman in third and I really felt for the next two guys as I photographed them leaving Market Square. They ran within steps of each other around the twenty-four mile mark and clearly, they would battle to the finish line. In the end, while Stewart Ellington (No. 6) lead by a few yards at that point, Abraham Kogo (No. 3) would pass him in the end to win fourth place. Two seconds separated them at the finish line. You can find complete results here.

Half-Marathon Medal, Knoxville Marathon, April 2013

Half-Marathon Medal, Knoxville Marathon, April 2013

Others would pass through downtown on into the afternoon. In fact, Urban Son-in-Law spotted a couple going through around 4:00, well after the official times have stopped. It reminds me of Cake’s awesome song, “The Distance.” All that matters at that point is finishing. And whether anyone else knows or acknowledges the fact, you know. It has to feel good. I never made it to the complete marathon and I admire those who do.

Old City and Beyond: Unfinished Business Business

Now, back to your regular programing. When last we left Knoxville for our little Dylan interlude, we were working our way down Jackson Avenue looking into some of the businesses there. Let’s finish that thought before we move on to others.

Interior of Blue Slip Winery, 105B West Jackson, Knoxville

Blue Slip Winery is nestled almost at the intersection of Jackson and Central at 105B West Jackson in the basement of the Hewgley Building. Whether wine is your thing or not, it’s a beautiful little cellar-level business with gifts of various sorts for the wine-lover in your life. The young man who told me about the business is the brother of the owner who’s helping out because his sister and her co-owner also work full-time jobs elsewhere while they work to build the business. It sounds like the next move will be to solicit restaurants to include the wine on their lists. The grapes are grown in Grainger County and the wine produced on site, so it is a very local business that could use your support.

111 E. Jackson, Old City, Knoxville, May 2011

Just down the street past the intersection that defines the Old City, a row of newly re-furbished office or retail spaces sit at 111 E. Jackson. Josh Flory gives more details here. Formerly the site of an antique market, the retail space on the street and the facade are very nice. It’s a real upgrade in appearance for that strip of Jackson and here’s hoping they have tenants, soon.

Knox Rail Salvage, Jackson Avenue, Knoxville

Once you pass Barley’s Taproom going east on Jackson, the area begins to feel a bit more dicey. Pedestrian traffic thins or disappears completely and a quiet, on the weekend at least, settles over the area under and just past James White Parkway that is unnerving. I find myself glancing over my shoulder and becoming keenly aware of any straggling passersby.

Graffiti on Fireproof Storage Building, Knoxville

Walking east on Jackson, Knox Rail Salvage, which I’ve always heard mentioned but never understood just where it might be, sits on the right. To the left is the Fireproof Storage Building with it’s noted graffiti project which I discussed here and later, with the help of photographer Caroline Carter, here. I honestly couldn’t tell any difference from months ago when I checked it out. If anything, it seemed like there was less to look at. I’m sure what’s there is more visible from the parkway. Maybe Caroline or another helpful reader can give us a better view or an update.

Lay’s Market, 622 East Jackson, Knoxville

Just beyond all this was the actual reason I began my Jackson Avenue hike: Lay’s Market at 622 East Jackson Avenue. I’d heard about it through an e-mail from Joey, a reader who invited me to drop by for a visit with friendly folks who have been in business for a hundred years. Unfortunately, it turns out I’m not downtown during their hours which don’t include evenings or weekends, so I missed the visit opportunity.

Interior of Lay’s Market, Jackson Avenue, Knoxville

I did, however, see enough through the window to realize that if you want your meat the old-fashioned way, it’s right there on Jackson Avenue. I suspect if you visit during the week you’ll find a lot more foot-traffic and a different feel.