Such conversation is all about the “Inaugural Art on the Greenway 5K Run and 1-Mile Walk/Fun Run.” Granted, that’s a mouth full, but it’s appropriate fodder for public discussion.
This Saturday, Cleveland and Bradley County health enthusiasts who enjoy some fresh air, and who also have a taste for modern art, will convene at the Tinsley Park pavilion and playground area for the start of a unique twist on recreational adventure.
Participants will register at 7 a.m. — at least, those who have not already pre-registered — and at 8 a.m. runners in the 5K will hit the paved Greenway and head toward Raider Drive using the full stretch of the linear park’s newest section known to most as Phase 5. Walkers too will pound the Greenway pavement, but in the opposite direction from Tinsley Park toward Mohawk Drive and back.
Both courses start and finish at Tinsley Park.
Saturday’s festivities are about physical exercise and healthy living, but not entirely. The event also will work to promote community awareness about the newest initiative surrounding the Greenway; that is, the work of the newly named Greenway Public Art Committee whose members have been tasked with lining the beautiful trail with works of modern art.
The first such sculpture is already in place. Located near Raider Drive and the People for Care & Learning playground is “Sitting Tall,” the familiar canary-yellow, oversized chair created by Cleveland artist Joshua Coleman. To date, the chair is the solo act of art along the Greenway — other than Mother Nature herself — but more will be coming. It’s an evolutionary process and it’s a public awareness campaign.
The more who learn of the Greenway’s newest direction in eye-pleasing art, the more apt the linear park is to attract new and exciting artists — whether they hail from our Cleveland hometown or surrounding areas where talent thrives and is begging for opportunities for public exposure.
Jean Wenn Luce is the Greenway race director. As such, she is coordinating the running and walking portions of the morning program. But, she is also working closely with Coleman to provide participant T-shirts featuring an image of “Sitting Tall.” Similar apparel will be created for additional works of art along the Greenway in later running and walking events provided Saturday’s turnout is encouraging enough to keep the project going.
In her words, “My hope is that the event will be successful and merit an annual occurrence, allowing us to promote a different piece of art on the Greenway each year ... creating a nice series of featured T-shirts.”
The whole idea is to make more people aware of the newly elongated Greenway and to further publicize the new artsy side to the fitness trail. With its long-sought completion, Phase 5 joined two previously disconnected stretches of Greenway. The paved path now offers four uninterrupted miles of recreational pleasure.
The popular Greenway has hosted prior running and walking events. But that which sets apart Saturday’s festivity is its dual purpose — physical exercise and exposure to the intriguing detail of an artist’s creativity, with an expectation that more is to come.
Those wishing additional information, or details on how to register, may contact Luce at 423-322-5636 or visit the website at www.chattanoogatrackclub.org.
It’s much more than a walk or a run.
It’s an experience, one whose success Saturday can build upon itself in years to come.