Chattanooga Challenge

Chattanooga Challenge

Kat Graham headlines festival portion of urban 10k

March 21st, 2013 by Clint Cooper in Life Entertainment

Kat Graham

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.


* What: Chattanooga Challenge.

* When: 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, March 23.

* Where: Ross's Landing, 100 Riverfront Parkway (start/finish line, festival site).

* Admission: $45 single entry; $160 team entry; festival is free.

* Phone: 423-757-6505.

* Website:


See more coverage, including video, Sunday at


* 2 p.m. A Man Called Bruce

* 3 p.m. Ryan Oyer

* 4 p.m. Eight Knives

* 5 p.m. Jordan Hallquist

* 5:30 p.m. Jennifer Daniels

* 6 p.m. Jennifer Brumlow featuring Callie Harmon

* 6:30 p.m. Sidecar Special

* 7 p.m. Soul Mechanic

* 7:30 p.m. Smooth Dialects

* 8 p.m. Kat Graham

* 9 p.m. Lookout Wild Film Festival screenings

What's easier than climbing stairs or high-stepping through near-freezing water? Watching someone else do it.

The first Chattanooga Challenge, an obstacle-laden 10K that moves from Ross's Landing through downtown to the Southside and back to Ross's Landing via the Tennessee Riverwalk, will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 23.

Spectators can watch all along the way at any of a dozen challenges participants will face or from a Jumbotron at Ross's Landing. However, they'll certainly want to hit the free event site after the race since it will be filled with live music, 50 vendor booths and a film festival.

"We're excited for the people who are taking the risk and being in the first group who are running the race," says Lyndsi Lane, marketing manager for the Chattanooga Publishing Co., whose Get Out Chattanooga, a magazine for outdoor enthusiasts, is a presenter of the event. "It will be huge bragging rights for somebody."

Participants will take on such tasks as climbing over a Rock City Barn -- the last obstacle at Ross's Landing -- and clamoring over a train car at the Chattanooga Choo Choo.

The obstacles were selected because of their iconic status in the city, both to residents and tourists, officials say.

The event was modeled on the Men's Health Urbanathlon & Festival, a three-event series with obstacle-filled 10Ks in Chicago, New York City and San Francisco.

Runners' finish times in the Chattanooga Challenge will be recorded, but the event has no time limit. Completing the course is expected to take one to two hours, officials estimate.

Music from 4 to 8 p.m. will be offered by nine local acts, leading to headliner Kat Graham, star of the hit show "Vampire Diaries."

Following Graham's set, 13 short films, mostly related to conservation and outdoor activities, will be shown in the inaugural Lookout Wild Film Festival (see story on Page 21).

"Our audiences are similar," says film festival director Andy Johns. "If you run in the challenge, it's like an adventure, so we'll have two [more] hours worth of adventure that evening."

Concessions will be available throughout the day, and Big River Grille & Brewing Works will host a beer garden with locally brewed suds.

The race will be held rain or shine. Entries will be accepted until race time, with on-site registration starting at 8 a.m. Saturday at Ross's Landing. Race packet pickup for those already entered is 4-8 p.m. Friday, March 22, at Big River Grille, 222 Broad St.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Chattanooga Times Free Press Foundation, a recently founded organization focusing on charitable community outreach.

Contact staff writer Clint Cooper at ccooper@times or 423-757-6497. Subscribe to his posts online at CooperCTFP.