While the top four places during Inaugural Farragut Freedom Run went to runners under age 18 — including a 9-year-old — Baylor and Pat Fulton of Harrogate were walking and breathing billboards when it came to promoting Farragut.
The couple, who drove 136 miles in total to participate, was among 173 runners taking part in the 1- and 2-mile runs, sponsored by Fleet Feet Sports, in Farragut Monday morning, July 4.
“We run a lot of the different Knoxville area races. We like coming to Farragut and we wanted to celebrate July 4th and this is a perfect way to do it,” Baylor Fulton said. “It makes you feel good coming to Farragut, it’s clean, it’s nice and it’s got lots of nice shopping.” Both Fultons ran the 2-mile event.
Also among the 173 was a pair of Farragut High School graduates who ended up getting married — having never dated while attending FHS.
That couple, U.S. Air Force Maj. Robert Thornton (Class of 1997) and Julie Mulvihill (Class of 1998), ended up in Southern California where Thornton has been stationed at Edwards Air Force Base “for about a year,” he said.
While in Farragut for the Independence Day holiday, both participants ran the 2-mile.
Both runs started on South Campbell Station Road before heading west on Kingston Pike and turning into the finish line in Farragut Towne Square (former Ingles parking lot).
Winners were: male 2-mile, Nicholas LeFever, 17, Myrtle Beach, S.C.; female 2-mile, Erin Smith, 17, Maryville; male 1-mile, Noah Baker, 17, Lenoir City, and female 1-mile, Amelia Dorset, 9, Knoxville.
In the East Tennessee area because “I’m visiting an uncle in Morristown,” LeFever, said the course “is a bit hillier than I’m used to being from the beach, but it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting.”
However, Smith, said the course “was pretty flat and easy.
“But it was really hot.”
The 2-mile runners started five minutes earlier and turned right onto Kingston Pike before turning onto West End Avenue, then doing a U-turn and getting back onto Kingston Pike and heading west.
The 1-mile “made a left onto Kingston Pile” from South Campbell Station “… so they both should head down to the Ingles at the same time,” Jason McLeod, a lead fit specialist at Fleet Feet Sports and race director, said.
A portion of the proceeds benefits Smoky Mountain Service Dogs — dogs that are trained to assist disabled military veterans. “Being the Fourth of July we wanted to do something military involved,” McLeod said. “We were really excited to find them as a partner.”
Running the race just
before 29th Annual Farragut Independence Day Parade, which also goes down Kingston Pike, “It’s good advertising for [Freedom Run]. You’ve got a lot of people waiting for the parade” who also see the race, Carla Werner, a SMSD Board of Directors member from Farragut, said.
“We’re happy to be over a 100,” McLeod said about the turnout. “I know we have a couple from Florida.”
Total Race Solutions of Knoxville timed the races.