Sunday, April 29, 2012

Country Music Marathon Race Report

This is a re-post of my dailymile entry about the CMM. Mostly for continuity's sake, though I've added a couple more thoughts at the end.


Pre-Race Goodness!
An awesome race experience with Amanda M. Her second marathon, this one she was not-so-secretly attempting to finish under 4 hours. We knew going in the hills and expected heat might prevent that, but gave it a shot anyway.

Some of the highlights for me, besides having a great friend to run it with, were passing by and actually recognizing some places that hold meaning for me, like Union Station, the Frist Museum, Honky Tonk, Belmont University and PM. Also, the crowd support was excellent -- especially the first half. I was really impressed with the number of people lining the streets cheering us on, and there were tons of kids offering up high fives! I have to say, however, that the coolest thing that happened on the course was when we came across some nuns. There were about a dozen in their habits cheering on runners, and when I ran up to them asking for holy high fives they all really got into it! A final highlight was, of course, coming across Tim M. and Lincoln. It came at just the right time and gave us a lift for the next couple of miles.

Still Smiling at 16!
Starting out in corral 10, we did a great job of not locking in on pace, but on effort instead. Overall we maintained a 9-min/mi pace, but it fluctuated +/- 10-15 seconds each way due to the crowd and hills. At no point did I think we were going too fast or too slow, and a blessing in disguise came around mile 10 (?) when Amanda's Garmin memory first filled up and then died shortly after. She kept looking at her wrist out of habit, but was relegated to trusting me instead. We cruised uneventfully until about mile 20 when fatigue started to become a factor. I thought we both might fade in the later miles, especially when at mile 24 I hit the wall and started cramping in my legs at the same time. But Amanda done good when she beared down and began pulling away from me. I saw her glance back a couple of times, but she smartly ran her own race at the end and finished strong. I couldn't be prouder of her PR 3:57 finish time, which is a huge achievement considering the suboptimal conditions.

Overall I thought this was a pretty good race. I don't think I'll ever seek out another Rock 'n' Roll event, but given the number of people participating they did well. There was a timely start, good bands, plenty of aid stations and a decent finisher's chute. If you're looking for the party experience with thousands upon thousands of other runners, this race is for you.



  • After 5 or 6 miles Amanda's water bottle was empty and I started looking for water pitchers at aid stations to fill it up. Seeing one ahead I said to her, "take your top off!" She had no idea what I was talking about and  said, "what?!?!" So, of course, I just repeated myself. But louder! "Take off your top! Take off your top!" When it finally became clear to her we weren't on Bourbon Street, she took the lid off her bottle and we got her topped off faster than a Nascar team.
  • Notable runners included Elvi (there were a couple of Elvis out there), a Chinese dragon, a soldier running (?) in full gear in honor of a fallen comrade, women in tutus, two guys in tuxedos, and a couple "getting married."

1 comment:

  1. Great job both of you! I was hoping for under 4 too, but I had a really hard time with the heat. Congrats to Amanda on her sub-4. Well earned on a difficult course!