I am going to apologize for the extreme lateness of this post. I’ve been super busy post CMM and time just got away from me. I guess that’s what freelance clients and running another race 8 days after Nashville will do to you.
So what do I have to say about the Country Music Marathon? It was one of the most fun races I have ever done. I don’t mean in comparison to other half marathon’s, I mean in comparison to ANY race I’ve run whether it was a 5k or a half marathon. The spectators were amazing with their hospitality and made the race on a whole that much better, even with the unusually high heat that day.
Race start was 7am and by the time my corral made it up to the starting line it was at least in the mid 70s. Thankfully many of the roads in the first half the race were half covered in shade so I spent a better part of the first half of the race running from one side of the street to the other trying to find shade as the sun beat down on us.
One thing that I was at least prepared for were the hills. Going in to this race I was led to believe that the hills were awful. I think that even one friend described it as a course designed by Stephen King in terms of the hills. Maybe it was because I was convinced I was going to die on those hills and came in thinking the worse that when all was said and done I really didn’t think they were that bad. Well, except for the last up hill from mile 12 to 13 (ouch).
Nashville’s course runs you all over the city and through some pretty spectacular neighborhoods. Many of these neighborhoods, due to the fact that they were barricaded in for a few hours, turned this race into a block party so they were outside, giving out water, dancing, blasting music, and in some cases spraying very hot runners with a hose (trust me it was very welcome). I heard the theme to Chariots of Fire no fewer than 3 times during the race and even found myself surrounded by a Hunger Games theme in the area (very appropriately) called District 12, and yes that area was called District 12 way before the movie came out.
Somewhere around mile 11 the heat and lack of shade at this point started to get to me. It was however reassuring that everyone around me seemed to feel the same way. As a usually back-of-the-pack runner, I am not used to having so many people around me at this point in the race. AND they were all walking, I mean not to say I wasn’t as well but my point is that whenever I did decide to run I had to weave in and out of people just like the start of the race.
Mile 12 to 13 was uphill and very crowded. Thankfully at the moment you hit mile 13 it changed to a downhill, which was very welcoming especially coming in to the finish line.
So I finished. I had gone in to this race fully expecting to PR and to push myself to that PR but after 4 miles I knew it just wasn’t going to happen seeing as how the heat, hills, and humidity were already affecting me. Even though my race didn’t go according to plan, I had a spectacular time. The course was awesome, the spectators were amazing, and I would definitely consider doing this race again.
Oh… and you know what else happened? Two of my teammates got engaged at the finish line. My friend Brad carried that ring through all 13.1 miles to cross the finish line and then drop to one knee right after receiving their medals. Congrats guys!
So next up, well as soon as I get it posted, is my recap for the Frederick Running Festival Half Marathon. That race was far less interesting but the ending, at least of me, is much better.