Mississippi Blues Half Marathon 2013 Recap

Very little compares to the ease and convenience of a marathon weekend in your home town. I went through packet pickup at the expo on Thursday afternoon just as everything opened up. Quick pick up and out the door I didn’t visit with vendors or exhibitors because I knew I’d be back. On Friday I spent an hour or two hanging around the expo listening to a few blues musicians from the Delta play and checked out the limited selection of exhibitors. I complained about this expo Thursday in my post and decided to really try to put forth some effort to get everything my home race had to offer. Both local running shops, Fleet Feet Sports & Stinky Feet, had tables setup along with a few of the standard “Buy All Your Race Gear Here” booths. The Mississippi Museum of Art, Baptist orthopedics, Cat Head Vodka, and the Blues at Home Art Gallery all had displays. Lots of cultural interest, but very little for visiting runners. I did have a nice long talk with a chiropractor who had a booth, learned a few things about my body and how to improve what I do. Overall I think there is so much room to grow this expo. People want to do a marathon in Mississippi and the Blues has all the other parts on place to make it a premiere event. The expo is the weak link, but I can never complain about the entertainment.

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Saturday morning I rolled out of bed at 4:45, which was overly difficult considering I haven’t been to work in over 2 weeks. After breakfast and the drive downtown I went through a quick baggage check and made my way to the start line around 6:40.
What a great morning for a race, you couldn’t ask for better conditions. Temperatures were sitting at about 45 degrees and unlike last year they stayed there!

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A great opening ceremony and count off, everyone cheers at the start, and then the crowd gets immediately thin and bare. I don’t know the answer to fixing this problem. Crowd support is thin the entire way, I had the same experience last year during the full. It’s no secret I like to enjoy my races, especially when I’m trying to keep myself under pace to be fully rested for Disney next week. At mile 3 O stopped with some spectators and made myself a Bloody Mary to take along. I did the same at mile 7 for a can of beer. ( should make for great pictures later on Facebook) I was trying my best to be that runner that keeps everyone around them encouraged. This was especially true in the back half of the race as runners are getting worn down. I crossed the Mile 10 marker at just passed 1:41 on the clock And decided I was ready to be finished so I stepped it up and ran a sub 23:00 5k to finish the race with a final time of 2:04:32.

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As expected the finisher’s medal is great, the post race party was great. Plenty of food and drink and a variety to choose from. The tomato & basil soup was perfect after a cold morning on the road. Bands were playing in the courtyard at the festival. I stuck around for an hour or so and watched a few friends come across the line, but left sooner than expected to avoid the incoming rain. The Blues Marathon is a well organized and operated event. I recommend it if you’re looking to cross Mississippi off your list of 50 states. There is little to compare to the people you meet running in the hospitality state.

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In case you are wondering, crossing the finish line and yelling “I’m going to Disney World!” gets quite the reaction.

 

Finish2:04:32
Overall350/1,345
Male223 / 563
Division28 / 67

 

Full Race Results can be found here