published Friday, October 14th, 2011

Inaugural 7 Bridges Marathon full; half still open

Hugh Enicks has won the historic Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon in November three times and finished second there another time.

The Signal Mountain resident and Red Bank High School coach is looking forward to completing the first marathon in Chattanooga this Sunday morning.

The inaugural 7 Bridges Marathon will begin at Renaissance Park and end at adjacent Coolidge Park after the runners cross the Tennessee River six times and South Chickamauga Creek on a Tennessee Riverpark bridge. The accompanying half marathon will use the Market Street, Olgiati, Walnut Street and Veterans bridges; the 26.2-miler will add the C.B. Robinson and Thrasher spans.

"Going across all the bridges, including across the dam -- you get to see all of Chattanooga. I think it's going to be a novel marathon," said Enicks, who will run the half marathon in the battlefield next month. "It think it's pretty neat."

Denny Marshall, who is directing the 7 Bridges races with Scenic City Multisport partner Ken Radley, said Thursday night that the marathon is full at 300 runners but the half marathon is about 25 short of its 800 limit. There also are about 65 spots left in the 5-kilometer race.

Online registration is closed, but runners can sign up for the two shorter races today and Saturday at the Outdoor Chattanooga center in Coolidge Park.

The weather report is excellent, with a low of 45 and a high of 76 predicted for Sunday and "zero percent chance of rain," Marshall said.

"It's gone extremely smoothly," he said. "We've been real happy with the way everything's going. We've had a lot of support from the Chattanooga Triathlon Club, the Chattanooga Track Club and the Greater Chattanooga Sports and Events Committee."

The marathon has entrants from 35 states plus Canada and Europe, he noted.

"We hope to grow it year by year by year," Marshall added. "We hope to double or triple the numbers next year."

Enicks, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, is 52 but showing few signs of slowing, although he did cite a younger Fast Break Athletics teammate, Alan Outlaw, as more of a local favorite for Sunday's inaugural marathon.

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