Sunday, April 30, 2006

Country Music Marathon Random Thoughts

This year, I finally got to eat a pre-race meal at the Old Spaghetti Factory, and it was worth the wait. I highly recommend the garlic cheese bread.

If you're ever in Nashville, you should definitely check out the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Among the more memorable runners I saw was a girl dressed in a Batman costume and the man I'll call "The Blue Man." He was colored from his (bald) head to toe in blue body paint, which was color matched nicely with his blue running shorts. He kept a good pace, but looked like he would have been more at home at a Tennessee Titans home game.

Oh, I almost forgot about the guy running with the large Dale Earnhardt flag emblazoned with the number "3."

The sign I spotted in the crowd that read "Fart, you'll run faster" made me chuckle. Plus, there was a repeat of my personal favorite from last year's half marathon that read "You are all Kenyans."

Speaking of Kenyans, this year marked the first time int he seven year history of the Country Music Marathon that a Kenyan didn't win. Feyisa Tusse of Ethopia won the event in a time of 2 hours, 15 minutes and 6 seconds.

As always, I enjoyed slapping high-fives with the kids who line the course with outstretched hands.

The last half of the marathon were marked some long and lonely stretches. After the half marathon and marathon routes split at mile 11, the crowd support went from lots to little. Miles 13-17, which went through an office park, and miles 21-24 went through a city park, were lonely stretches.

I was tempted to walk on two occassions during late in the race. Both times I told myself, "Don't do it," and kept running.

My split time for the first 13.1 miles of the race (1 hour, 55 minutes) was faster than my personal best in the half marathon (1 hour, 58 minutes). Subseqently, my split time for the last half of the marathon (2 hours, 16 minutes) was faster than two official half marathon-races that I've run.

Despite Katina, Scott and Jen all swearing that I looked right at them in the crowd on my way to the finish line, I don't remember see them at all. I thought I heard someone yell my name during the last tenth of a mile and I made a quick glance in that direction, but at that point, I just wanted to cross the line.

At the race expo, I signed up for the Virginia Beach Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon on Labor Day. I'm also also registered for the Phoenix Rock-n-Roll Marathon in January of '07. I'm still trying to determine which marathon I want to do this fall. In the meantime, I've got a sprint triathlon and at least one 5K I've got my sights set on.

This year marked the fourth time in the last five years that I've been to Nashville for an endurance event. In additon to this year's marathon, I've done the half-marathons there in 2002, 2004 and 2005. Although the trip is one that I've come to look forward to each year, I probably won't go back for awhile. I'll still plan on doing a marathon each spring, but I think it's time to expand my horizons and look to run some elsewhere.


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