I ran the Move It Memphis 10K, which was my first 10K, so by default, I set a personal record! The race was hosted by the Greater Memphis Chamber, and was organized by Start 2 Finish Event Management, a company that organizes several races in the area. Leading up to today, I knew it was going to be cold, and Mother Nature did not disappoint. Today was the coldest race that I have run to date, checking in at 34 degrees at race start and 34 degrees again when I crossed the finish line. In fact, as I finished the race, it began to snow! Of course, it wasn’t Superstorm Nemo level, but it was still snow.
The race claims to be the only race that starts and ends on Beale St, which is a good selling point, I’m sure. The lobby of the FedEx Forum was open before and after the race, so all of us runners weren’t huddled in the cold all morning and were afforded access to indoor bathrooms. And, unlike the St Jude Marathon, you were not in the bathroom line for thirty plus minutes. There was also free parking at the Forum’s parking garage, so that was another major perk. I got to the race about an hour early because I was worried about getting into the parking garage and I did not want to find a my own parking spot. I hung out in the lobby until about ten minutes before the race start, so when I headed to the starting corral, I was shuffled towards the back. There were over 2,000 registered participants for the race, but a little less than half of that actually showed up for the race. And thank goodness, because the starting corral was quite congested and it took several minutes to get clear of the slower runners after the start of the race.
The course was basically a loop through downtown and was very scenic. We ran down the trolley line on Main Street, past the bars of Beale St, past the Loraine Motel and National Civil Rights Museum, and through one of the most high-end neighborhoods in Memphis. The running surfaces varied from pavement to brick to cobblestone to concrete pedestrian paths. Water and Gatorade was made available after each mile, which is also a huge plus.
My only real complaint about the race is that they said they were using chip timing, but ended up using gun timing instead. I wasn’t going to compete for any money today, but it is annoying that my “official race time” doesn’t take in account that I was towards the back of the corral. The chips were on the back of our bibs, but I guess there was a malfunction with the system. I knew that I ran well today, and even though I usually go with the official race time, I am probably going to use my Nike+ time instead. It is only about a minute difference in the two items, so it isn’t that big of a deal. My gun time was 58:07, which was about a 9:22 per mile pace. Nike+ had my run at 56:46 for a pace of 9:07. Both are ahead of my one hour goal, so I am pleased with the results.
I talked about the shirt yesterday, but being a cotton blend, Dri-Balance shirt makes it better than your typical shirt. I did not wear it during the race today, because I normally don’t wear the race shirt on race day. I guess it is like in PCU when Droz tells Gutter ‘”What’s this? You’re wearing the shirt of the band you’re going to see? Don’t be that guy.” I guess I like to be a little easier to pick out of the masses. I really like the design of the medal, even if it is on the small side. Of course, once I placed it on my display, it looked good. It is narrow, but is still the same height as most of my medals, so that is good. The only thing in the goodie bag at packet pickup besides the shirt was literature from the sponsors and a sample of deodorant. I guess the organizers didn’t want participants to be overly malodorous at the race finish. Central BBQ was one of the sponsors, so they provided BBQ and their homemade chips as a part of the post race snacks. We were some cheese and jalapenos away from BBQ nachos! There was also the standard beer, bottled water, apples, and oranges, but no oddly, no bananas.
Overall: A-: Many positives, only one negative is great, especially for a shorter race and it was quite affordable.
Course: A: honestly, one of the better courses that I have run.
Swag: B+: good shirt & medal, but little else (I know, I know, this isn’t a marathon).
Bottom line, I would definitely do this race again next year.