St. Jude Marathon – 2009

I know I’m a week late in writing this race report, but I guess better late than never.

Late Friday morning, Gayle and I headed westward toward Memphis. It was almost 4 PM when we finally got to the expo. It was a lot more crowded than last year but the vendors were not a good.

After working our way through the crowd, we headed toward the hotel.

DSC 0185We arrived in the lobby of The Peabody right at 5. Of course it was standing room only because everyone had come to see the ducks.

On checking in I was told that late check out was not available for Saturday morning and we had to be out of the room by 12. This was contrary to what I was told when I made the reservation in May.

We settled in the room before heading out for supper at Pa Pa Pia’s. This is the same place we ate last year with Joe and Darrell.

Saturday morning the temperature was in the mid-twenties and even with the sun, the forecasted high was only in the upper 30′s. So I decided to dress a little warmer than I did last year and wear tights.

Finish line and gear check was across the street from the hotel in the Auto Zone Ball Park which was very handy.

DSC 0176I check my gear and walked the three blocks to the starting corals. I found the 4:00 pacer and started making friends.

The thing that makes this race special is the cause, the St. Jude Children’s Hospital. This year they had an 8 year old patient sing the National Anthem. It was very touching.

Soon we are off. It was rather crowded for the first several miles. Shortly after mile 3, the course passed by the The Peabody and I saw Gayle.

DSC 0175

About mile 5, we ran through the St. Jude campus.

I stayed with the pacers. I kept checking the splits and knew we were getting ahead but they kept saying we were right on pace.

I stayed the the pacers until about mile 20 and then let them go. I was slowing down and paying for the faster pace.

During the RRCA Coaching Training, the instructors said that for every 20 seconds too fast in the beginning of a race, it will cost you a minute in the end. That proved to be true. I crossed the finish line in 4:16.

Found Gayle and retrieved my gear. Lucky, runners could use the showers in the ball park locker rooms, so I was able to clean up before we went and got lunch.

The St. Jude Marathon is good race but I had forgotten all the rolling the hills and the course seemed to be more crowded than last year.

But all in all, it was a good day and a good race…I was pleased.

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