Country Music Marathon 2008

I was awake before the alarm went off at 3 am Saturday morning. I slept better that I had the previous two nights but it still was not what I would consider a “good night’s sleep”. Something started blooming in Middle Tennessee Tuesday, and I had not been able to breath or sleep well since.

Anyway, I got up and checked outside. It had not started raining. Checked the radar and it was only a matter of minutes before I heard the rain on the roof.

Got Amy up at 4:00 and we were pulling out of the driveway around 4:40. It was a little later that I had wanted but I know we would be ok on the time.

As soon as we merged from I-40 to I-24, the traffic was backed up to get off for LP Field. I knew that was not good. So we headed to the next exit. No problem. We had just parked and I got a text message from Michele. They were stuck in traffic on the ramp. The time stamp on the message was 5:01.

It was still raining as Amy and I headed to the buses for the ride to Centennial Park. Didn’t have to wait and walked right onto the bus.

When we got to the park, we headed over to the other side where I knew there were park bathrooms and shelter. The covered area was already full so we looked for an alternative. Next to the building was a playground. We headed over there and staked a claim in one of the tree houses.


I had brought an extra garbage bag. We opened it up, set down and waited. Amy decided to lay down and rest.

Got another text from Michele a little after 6 that she and Ronnie were finally on the shuttle bus.

Around 6, as it was getting daylight, the rain let up. But around 6:30, it started up again. By that time there were more folks at the park and it seemed the folks were scurrying for a place to stay dry. We were joined by another dad and his daughter and a husband and wife. It quickly got crowded in our tree house.

Amy and I had worn an old pair of shoes to park. So about 6:30, we changed into dry shoes and socks. Even though it was still raining as we walked to the corals, it was good to at least start out dry.

Michele and Ronnie finally made it to the park and we met up, checked our gear and headed to the corals. Amy was in 19. I was in 8. In looking behind me, there were runners as far as I could see.


The rain stopped around 7 but Michele and I kept our “rain coats” on until the last minute.


This race uses a staggered start. Around 7:12, we crossed the start line and we were off.

We had enough room to settle into our pace and it didn’t seem too crowded.

Through the early miles we are within a minute of a 4 hour pace.

The course is basicly three out and backs, Belmont, Metro Center and Shelby Park. As we started out the Belmont segment, we saw the elites coming back.

As we came back up Belmont, we saw Ronnie and Amy.

As we turned onto 12th Ave., we hear Rachel cheering for us.

We hit the 10 mile mark with 30 seconds to spare…right on pace.

Around mile 11, the half marathon course headed for LP Field while we headed up the hill toward Metro Center.

At the top of the hill, is a convent and it is always fun to see the nuns, in full habit, cheering for the runners. There was a water stop beside them with a sign that read, “Holy Water”.

As we headed down the hill, Jill met up with us. It was great to see her. We turned the corner and hit the 13 mile mark with a minute to spare. We were doing great. But around mile 16, the wheels came off the bus for me. I started having trouble catching my breath. I don’t know if was the honeysuckle that was in bloom by the river or what. I finally had to tell Michele that I had to drop back.

Jill caught up with me round mile 18 and I ran with her for a short time. But it didn’t take long before I couldn’t keep up with her either.

After I pasted mile 20, I called Gayle and told her where I was and that I was slowing down. Amy had finished the half. Her time was 21:19, an new PR for her.

On the out and back to Shelby Park, I spotted Michele. She had a little more than a mile to go and her time at that point was 3:45. Told her the time and knew she was going to make it under 4 hours.

With less than 2 miles to go, I spotted my daughter Sara. She had come to keep me company. It was really good to see her. At first, I had trouble talking with her. I still was having a hard time catching my breath. But will her along side, I was able to pick up the pace some.

Sara told me that Gayle and Amy were at the last water stop waiting for me.

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When we got there Amy joined us and Gayle followed along as we all headed toward the finish line. They left me at just before the 26 mile marker so I could shuffle over the finish line at 5:09.

Needless to say, the day didn’t turn out the way I had wanted but at least it was a course PR for me. I have not had very good experiences on this course the three times I have done it.

Congratulations to Michele, 3:57, you did great. Thanks, Jill for the support and encouragement. And thanks to Gayle, Amy and Sara, you guys are super!

6 Responses to “Country Music Marathon 2008”

  1. Michele Says:

    Sorry you had such a hard time out there. It’s a tough course and with the sinus troubles you had all week, I think you did a great job.
    I enjoyed running with you. I could tell when you started to feel bad, you stopped talking. I was hoping to keep you distracted and keep my running partner.
    Glad you found Jill to run with some again. And that Sara came out to bring you in.
    Hope to get to run with you again soon.

  2. Holly Says:

    Sorry you had trouble. I was in trouble myself & was just glad to finish!!! Great job on pushing through the pain!!! Congrats!

  3. Dusty Says:

    Great job of fighting through. That takes a lot of determination!! Great to have so many people cheering you on helping you through. That was great of Sara too. Sounds like you have some good friends!

    Congrats on the course PR. looks like the rain did let up in the last photos. :)

  4. Lisa Says:

    David, you know I can identify!
    I’m so sorry you had trouble breathing.
    Hope this doesn’t last too long for you.
    congrats to Amy!!

  5. Joe Ely Says:

    Ouch!! Sorry the wheels came off, David…your long run splits looked so very, very good, this has to be disappointing. Certainly, the weather was an issue. Sorry your sinuses acted up.

    You’ll learn much…you are a marathoner, after all…recover well.

    And how cool to do this with Amy…congrats to her!!!

  6. Lana Says:

    I am so sorry, David. You sure seem to take these things well, but I know it has to be disappointing because you have had so many training runs that are well on pace for a sub-4 marathon. I have no doubt that you will get it soon, though. You are a very strong runner, but none of us can do anything about those outside factors that sometimes come in and mess up our plans!! Way to tough it out, and get a PR for that tough course, though.

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