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.

City People Downtown Tour of Homes: Holston and Residences at Market Square

Kitchen in the Holston Building, 531 Gay Street, Knoxville

This will be the first of several posts about this year’s City People Tour of Homes. I made it to almost all of the homes offered on this year’s tour and I’ll offer my photos and reactions. Today I’ll focus on the Holston and Residences at Market Square. I’ve explored the first of the buildings on previous home tours, but I’d never been in the Residences. I had my previous impressions of the Holston confirmed and had my ideas challenged about the Residences at Market Square.

Hallway with attractive lighting, Holston Bulding, Knoxville

View of Krutch Park from Balcony, Holston Bldg., Knoxville

The Holston at 531 Gay Street is one of the most elegant of the downtown living options. Some of its units would list for over one million dollars and others would approach that figure, though one unit is for sale right now for $259K (just over 1000 sq. ft.). Much of the price seems to be determined by size of the unit and the floor, which dictates the view. One of the first skyscrapers in Knoxville, the Holston does afford some excellent vistas. Originally a bank building, it was converted to condos in 2008.



Built in unit, Holston Bldg, Knoxville

The unit on the tour this year fronts Gay Street and is sleek, modern and beautiful. A baby-grand piano sat in the middle of the main room (kitchen/living area) and the kitchen itself was decked out in granite, stainless steel appliances and modern-styled tile. An additional eye-catching feature is the built-in cherry cabinets with wet bar. This entire main room is dominated by large windows overlooking the city to the east.

Hallway into unit at Residences on Market Square, Knoxville



Bathroom, Residences at Market Square, Knoxville

The outside of the Residences at Market Square is not attractive to me at all. I love the older buildings downtown and this modern development simply doesn’t have the charm, elegance or style of it’s older neighbors. Finished in 2007, it was one of the first buildings built for residences downtown in a long time. Unfortunately, it reminds me of the worst of the modern apartments built in Fort Sanders in recent years.

Bedroom, Residences at Market Square, Knoxville
Living area, Residences at Market Square, Knoxville

So, I assumed inside would be just as non-descript and bland as the outside. I also assumed that most of these residences were rented. While nothing altered my opinion of the outside, I was wrong on all counts regarding the inside. Most are owned and the unit we toured was beautiful. The kitchen/living room was open and inviting. The hardwood floors and granite surfaces in the kitchen were elegant. I even loved the small patio and could see myself really enjoying it even though from below they are not so attractive.

Balcony, Residences at Market Square, Knoxville

And so it goes with downtown properties: They are extremely varied and, as a result, some might appeal to certain people while others simply might not be impressed. I love living in an historic building, but others might prefer new construction. Some like an industrial space, others sleek and contemporary while I might like a more traditional feel to my home. The wide range of possibilities, however, offers a likely spot for anyone who is interested in urban living.

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