(T-G Photo by Mitchell Petty) [Order this photo]
Runners heard the blast of the gun around 7 a.m. Fifty-five minutes and 16 seconds later, Brad Chronister of Tullahoma made his mark as the first runner to reach the finish line in front of Bell Buckle's historic storefronts.
The runners may not have all had the same pace, but shared the same face of relief as they crossed the finish line. A unanimous opinion about a certain ominous hill halfway down Happy Valley Road echoed, as well.
There was no break in action, however, as most of the vendors were calling out their menus by 8 a.m. The nice mix of tourists and locals were eager to check out their fare, and had already congested streets, alleys and lots in downtown Bell Buckle.
The always well-attended annual festival had ideal weather for its 18th edition, which hosted country music royalty David Frizzell and Jett Williams as honorary King and Queen.
Frizzell is the brother of legend Lefty Frizzell, and Williams is the daughter of icon Hank Williams. Who needs a coronation for this pair, right?
Frizzell and Williams were the centerpiece of the parade that rained mini Moon Pies treats upon its thousands of spectators. Following the coronation, the pair led the town in slicing up the world's biggest Moon Pie.