STRAVA Summary

Monday, April 27, 2009

Country Music Marathon

After a long drive to Nashville, via a stay over in Louisville, Kentucky, we arrived and noticed that there are a few hills in Nashville. This would become significant later. First impressions are always important and the expo left a good impression, very well done and organized. It was a large expo, but I didn't find everything I was looking for.
Downtown Nashville (Broadway) was nothing but cheesy souvenir shops and bars with bands playing (not all country). It was not bad.
Race day again was well organized, busses took us from the finish area to the start at Centenial Park. We took our time walking around and taking in the sites. Eventually it was time to get to our corals leaving RIck and wishing him good luck at the 7th coral, Bill and I proceeded to the 2nd coral. Looking behind we got a look at what 32000 people look like, although we couldn't see beyond the 25th coral. Soon the race started, it was done in waves, each coral a couple of minutes apart. We were off about 2 minutes after the gun and right iff my Garmin has an illegible message on it. From this point on I couldn't get the garmin working. So I had no pace, or virtual runner. That would make pacing Bill a bit of an issue. Anyway I could still keep him moving and hoepfully get him in at 3:15 or less. THe start was downhill , but immediately we could see the first up hill ahead, followed by another downhill to downtown and then after turning a few corners we were uphill for a long climb followed by more of the same. It seemed that if we were not climbing we were going down. With Bill having knees issues the weeks before the race it was no surprise that he started to have problems, I could tell because he was getting quiet. Each aid station meant a walk break for Bill, when we left the half marathoners it got easier to move around on the streets. But it was at this time that Bill said he doubted whether he could even continue. I knew that qualifying was not possible now as the heat had become as much of a problem as the hills. At this time I left Bill with hiss blessing and started to get up to a pace that I felt good with and I was passing people by the handfull. At this part of the race I felt good and picked up a lot of ground. It wasn't until I got back into the downtown area that I felt things start to get a little harder. A long climb to the bridge where I had to manouver around the half marathoners again, who had rejoined our part of the course. The last loop around Shelby park was a struggle especially 22 to 25 miles. Once I hit 25 miles I knew I had only to drag myself in. I was still running strong and finished well. 3:27 not bad on a bad day and tough course. Bill finished in 4:19 and Rick in 5:00. Both were slightly disappointed, but after thinking about the conditions were happy to have finished.

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