Onsite registration for the festive event kicks off at 7 a.m. and the race and walk begin at 8, according to Jean Wenn Luce, race director, who is teaming up with local artist Joshua Coleman and members of the new Greenway Public Arts Committee to jumpstart the weekend event. Luce said it’s a unique mix.
“We are promoting activity on the new Greenway section as well as awareness of Joshua Coleman’s ‘Sitting Tall’ sculpture,” Luce told the Cleveland Daily Banner in a prior interview. “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.”
It also will mean the creation of some unique souvenir T-shirts. With each run and walk, the initiative will feature an image of the year’s latest art or sculpture creation. In this case, the featured attraction is “Sitting Tall,” the canary-colored, voluminous chair creation by Coleman that has graced other prominent locations in the past such as the lawns of the Museum Center at Five Points and the Old Woolen Mill.
“Sitting Tall” is currently sitting pretty between Raider Drive and the Greenway’s playground near the former First Tennessee Bank building. The playground was donated by People for Care and Learning.
Saturday’s run and walk both will start near the pavilion and playground area of Tinsley Park. The group of runners will hit the Greenway and head toward Raider Drive and the big, yellow chair, and the walkers will step in the opposite direction toward Mohawk Drive. Both events will end back at Tinsley Park.
The race and walk will promote physical fitness and health while also creating a community awareness toward art and how the two can be appreciated in the same spot — on the winding, 10-year-old Greenway that is rapidly becoming the talk of the town among outdoor enthusiasts.
In his “Keeping It Green” column published in last Sunday’s edition of the Banner, Greenway Board Chairman Cameron Fisher praised the work of the new GPAC group which, just in its infancy, has already compiled a list of ideas on how to meld art appreciation with some pavement pounding. The list is still growing.
Fisher pointed to the excitement that abounded at GPAC’s organizational session.
“One of the first items the group did was adopt a mission statement,” Fisher explained. “It is as follows, ‘To provide opportunities for cultural and artistic expressions on the ... Greenway with a goal to enhance outdoor experiences through public art.’”
He said the group discussed future artistic opportunities for the linear park, but members didn’t limit their talk to sculptures. Although additional works of art eventually will line the Greenway, GPAC members also are looking at other means of self-expression like musical performances on a permanent stage for planned and impromptu concerts, and other types of events better suited for the cooler air of autumn.
GPAC members also elected a committee chairman, Tara Brown, a local arts enthusiast.
The group’s membership, according to Fisher, includes Laura Haile, a recent college graduate with an art degree; Joe McCullough, owner of Theme Fusion; and local artists whose works are known nationwide and can be found in dentists’ offices and First Baptist Church of Cleveland; Daniel Hennessey, concept artist at Theme Fusion; Judy Chandler, Greenway board liaison; and Coleman and Brown.
“Look for exciting things to come from the GPAC as they endeavor to provide cultural and artistic opportunities for our community,” Fisher’s column closed.
Saturday’s runs and walk not only will focus on art appreciation and physical fitness, but also on general awareness of the Greenway and specifically the milestone connector known as Phase 5 which linked two segmented stretches of pedestrian surface to form a single, uninterrupted flow of four miles of exercise opportunity.
Calling the Greenway “... another of this community’s jewels,” Luce said participant fees for Saturday’s happenings will include $20 for adults and $15 for students for the 5K, and $12 for all age groups for the walk and Fun Run.
Awards will be presented in several age divisions for the 5K for both males and females. Divisions will include ages 10 & Under, 11-15, 16-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59 and 60 & Above.
Those wishing to pre-register may still obtain an application off www.chattanoogatrackclub.org or from locations like the Cleveland Family YMCA, The Rush Fitness Complex, BI-LO, and area high school and middle schools. Completed applications may be taken to St. Therese of Lisieux Catholic Church.
Proceeds from the road races and walk will support the diverse community impact programs at St. Therese.
Questions may be directed to the website or to Luce at 423-322-5636.
Local runners often use www.chattanoogatrackclub.org as a resource for road race information and networking. As yet, Cleveland does not host its own track club. Local residents are planning Saturday’s Greenway festivities.