Sunday morning was the 4th annual Greenline Half Marathon at Shelby Farms Park in Memphis, TN. This marks my seventh half marathon of the year and twelfth lifetime half marathon.
Weather for the race was the odd combination of cool and humid. 63 degrees at the start and 67 degrees by the time I crossed the finish line are always welcomed, even when the humidity is 93%. It also helps when it is cloudy. Actually, I thought that it was going to rain during the event, so we had an entire spectrum of weather forecasts for this event.
One very cool feature of this event is that it is the first sustainable sporting event in Tennessee. The race medals and shirts are made from recycled materials, and the goal of the event is to reduce the carbon footprint in Memphis/Shelby County.
Course: A: Even though the race is named after the Greenline, very little of the running actually came on the Greenline. The course was a nice combination of paved running trails and neighborhood streets. There were hills, and there were stretches of flat terrain. Crowding was a slight issue at the start, but quickly dissipated, which is why more of the event was not held on the actual Greenline.
Swag: C: The swag for the event was honestly lackluster. The medal has a nice design, but is smaller than most of my other race medals and the lack of a date on it coupled with pics of the medal from previous years makes me think that they ordered a ton of these a few years back, just changing the ribbon each year (which probably helps with then purpose of reducing the carbon footprint). I really like the shirt but it was advertised that the shirts run large, so order accordingly. However, the opposite is true. The shirts run small. Very small. Like wetsuit small. This is very disappointing because I really like this shirt, and when I lose 50 pounds, I will be able to wear it! There were several people pissed about this mislead. And that was all of the swag. In previous years they handed out unique 13.1 stickers shaped like buffaloes, but I did not see one anywhere today.
Swag Update: According to the RD, the green buffalo 13.1 stickers are offered every two years, so they will be available during next year’s event.
Overall: C+: The event started off on the wrong foot for me. Packet pickup was from 12-4 pm on Saturday afternoon, and I was unable to make that, so I had to go extra early (6 am for an 8 am race) to the event to get my shirt and bib. Of course there were no signs or race personnel directing people to where we needed to go, so finding the proper place to go was a mile long treasure hunt in the darkness of the morning. I love Shelby Farms and the Greenline, but I was not impressed by this event. Just tweaking the small things that were wrong would go a long way towards dramatically improving this event while not compromising the mission to reduce the carbon footprint in the community.
I really wanted to like this event more than I did. The lack of communication and flat-out misinformation about the shirts is very discouraging. At this point, I do not anticipate running in this event again.