As you can tell by Mike's time this was not one of his better races. The race started 15 minutes early without an annoucement (apparently the local news reported that the race would start early, but no email, text or facebook update was sent to alert runners). That made for an interesting start as most runners were literally running from gear check to the start. The course itself was really tough (first 11 miles you were either going up or down a hill the entire time), but the weather was even more brutal. The temperature was warm from the start, but the humidity was terrible (shortly after we finished it started to down-pour and within 20 minutes there was lightning and the race was cancelled). Mike was on the verge of heat exhaustion; dizzy and disoriented from about mile 12 on.
Highlights: Finishing in under 2 hours.
Day 1 (Friday):
Neither of us are huge country music fans, but nonetheless we decided to make a trip to visit the Grand Ole Opry House. I hate to admit it, but the "backstage" tour was super boring and a total waste of time for two people not into country music. You get to enter the theater, watch a video, walk back to the set of a television show and then walk on the stage. By the time we hit the television set we were ready to leave but stayed out of courtesy. The best part of the Grand Ole Opry in my opinion was the two huge guitars outside the actual theatre (see pictures below).
Tip: Unless you love country - skip the Grand Ole Opry.
Valentino's in Nashville, TN. Pre-race dinner, Valentino's is an italian restaurant right near the Hutton Hotel. We were a little nervous about being able to get a table without a reservation at an Italian restaurant the night before a marathon/half marathon, but the hostess seated us right away (arrived about 5:30pm). Service and food were both very good, but a little expensive. Watch out for the heavy cream sauces if you are planning to run the next day.
Day 2 (Saturday - Race Day):
Noshville in Nashville, TN. Post-race we had a really good reuben at this local favorite just outside Vanderbilt University. We arrived at the peak of the lunch hour crowd and were happy to find a seat the counter within about 10 minutes. Some good food and great conversation with local runners. It seems like several runners come to Noshville annually after running either the marathon or half marathon. Make sure to ask for a pickle with your sandwich - they are delicious!
After the race we were planning to take a trip down to Lynchburg, TN to visit the Jack Daniels distillery, but unfortunately a massive storm-front forced us to head north instead. As a consoliation to missing the Jack Daniels distillery we were able to stop at the Jim Beam distillery in Clermont, KY where we got a free tour of the Beam house and tried a few samples.
Tennessee Half Marathon Medals
April 24, 2010: Rock n' Roll Country Music Half Marathon