Wiedmer: Chattanooga Chase is a grand Memorial Day tradition

More than 600 runners competed in the 2018 Chattanooga Chase 8K race on Memorial Day.

When Bekah Doreau got out of bed a little before 7 on Monday morning to read her Bible, she had no plans to run in the 51st annual Chattanooga Chase.

But by 7:10 she was rousting her husband Ed, daughters Sophia (4 1/2) and Abby (2) and 6-year-old Doberman Ella from their slumbers, determined to run in the 8 a.m. event for the first time ever.

"I had a couple of girlfriends who were already signed up," Bekah said after she and Ella completed the 8-kilometer course. "I just thought it would be fun."

Said Ed, a former standout in the 5K and 10K at Messiah College in Pennsylvania: "A last-minute, impulsive decision."

Whatever the rationale, a little more than an hour after registering, Bekah, her dog, her husband and their children - Sophia joined her mom and Ella for the last 100 yards or so - were gathering with her friends Gianna Rakes and Emily Elliott for postrace food and hydration.