“The first Signal Mountain Road Race was 1975, making this the 42nd annual run,” said race director Bill Minehan. The idea for the race itself seemed to come about because of a love of nature and community. “A guy named David Presley really appreciated the view of Signal Mountain and started the race around that time.”
The length and format of the race has changed a few times since the event’s inception. “The distance has changed over the years, with a period of time as a 10K (6.2 mile) race, followed by many years as an 11K (6.7mile) race,” Minehan said. It has since become a 10K race again.
“The current format of the race as a Pie Run can be credited to Signal Mountain resident Lee Davis, modeled somewhat after the Bemis-Forslund Pie Race in Massachusetts, perhaps the oldest continuous foot race in the country,” Minehan said. The Signal Mountain race has been in its current format since 2003.
It is also important to note how the race operates, and there is one aspect that cannot be overstated or overlooked: the pies. “The Bread Basket makes about 100 homemade apple pies that we give out to the runners,” Minehan said. Pies are guaranteed to runners registering by Thursday, October 5, but they must show up on race day and finish the race.
There will be several awards, including male and female winners in several age categories. Also, participants may predict their completion times, and there will be monetary rewards for the three runners closest to their predicted finish times.
There’s not a lot of hoopla about this race, and it is hoped that this remains the case, as the original reason for the race was to simply enjoy the scenery of the mountain and the comradery of the community. “As long as I’m involved with the race, I appreciate keeping it a low frills event, and keeping the format of the pies and the prediction run as it is,” Mr. Minehan said. Who can argue with pies?
The race starts at 8 a.m. The registration fee is $20. Register online at the Chattanooga Track Club website, and find out more information on Facebook.