Starry 4K Race Recap

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Last night marked the final race of my 2013 campaign.  I ran in the Starry 4K at Shelby Farms here in Memphis.  The race took place in Starry Nights, an outdoor Christmas light display that occurs every year.  The race was originally not on my race calendar but due to the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend cancellation, I decided to run in the event to ensure completion of my 2013 goal of running in a race each month of this year.

This is the look you get when someone take your picture & you're not sure who it is.

This is the look you get when someone takes your picture & you’re not sure who it is.

This race was bigger than I expected with over 1,700 participants.  I knew a few people there, including the parents of a couple of Susan’s students and they are the ones that provided the pictures used in this post.  The forecast was calling for 57 degrees at the race start, but it was actually 45, windy, and a constant drizzle.  It was colder than expected, but some of the other runners were dressed like it was 6 below.  There were people in three and four layers, and I was one of three people there in short sleeves.  I am not sure who was the bigger idiot, me or the people dressed for a blizzard.

One of Susan's favorite parents

Courtney, one of Susan’s favorite parents/friend pre-race.

The race was only a 4K, but it was still a great way to cap off my year.  The race cost was $20, which is what it would cost to drive through Starry Nights, so there was decent value there.  Plus, looking at the lights as I raced by was a nice touch to the run.  It was great to actually have a race held in Memphis in December since the previous two, the St. Jude Marathon and Ugly Sweater Run were both canceled due to inclement weather.  I actually have a few seconds of a video of my run courtesy of Andrew, the husband of the lady in the photo above.

Course: A-: Great concept to run through the lights of Starry Nights in Shelby Farms.  The path was mostly the road through the park with a slight diversion onto a running path to loop back to the visitor’s center.  Shelby Farms, as described by the boyfriend of a friend, “is the only place in Memphis where race and crime don’t matter.”  Proceeds for this race benefit the park, so that is great.  The only way the course would have been better if it would have been a full 5K course.

Swag from the Starry 4K

Swag from the Starry 4K

Swag: C: Decent looking shirt that fits well and actually glows in the dark.  Everything else was not great.  A glow stick and some 2014 glasses were fun items I guess.

Overall: B: Fun, quick race that benefits Shelby Farms and was very family friendly.  The vast majority of people running the event seemed to have a great time and the race ran smoothly.

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Tap ‘N Run Memphis Recap

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So this is my overdue recap of the Tap ‘N Run Memphis 4K event that was held on October 5.  The event is a national race with race locations primarily in the southeast.  The concept is simply a fusion of running and beer drinking.  It is a untimed fun run that encourages elaborate costumes and team participation to maximize participant enjoyment.  The race begins with chugging a small cup of beer, running about a mile, chug another small beer, run another mile, chug another small beer, and then finish the course where there was a medal and beer waiting for you.  In Memphis, the event was held on Beale Street, which is the natural location for a beer themed event.

Finished the run

Finished the run

I registered via a Living Social discount, and apparently there was a disconnect between the race and Living Social because all of the participants that registered that way had incorrect birthdays.  This meant that we were not assigned a bib number or registration.  This meant that I had a blank bib and had to verify my info once again.  This lack of communication led to a shortage of t-shirts for registered participants, but since this was a national event, they were able to provide more the following day.

There was a high probability of rain, which probably would not have been ideal for beer drinking on the side of the road, but the rain only appeared about an hour before the event began.  Afterwards, the sun came out, rapidly increasing the temperature and making the run a hot and humid ordeal.  Several people refused their beer at the second station due to the heat and the fact that the beer was getting rather warm as the race progressed.

Course: A-: The biggest issue, the heat, was out of the control of the event organizers.  The course was clearly marked and started and ended on Beale.  Runners were released in waves to help combat overcrowding at the beer stations.  The beer stations also had water for people who felt they needed some hydration and my only complaint about the stations was that the beer was warm.

Tap 'N Run Medal

Tap ‘N Run Medal

Swag: B+: All runners received a t-shirt, a bumper sticker (it reads 0.0), and a really good finisher’s medal that doubles as a bottle opener.  Sadly, my bib was blank, so I filled it with a Homer Simpson quote, which Susan made fun of me for a little bit.  Each beer station had a different kind of beer and at the end of the race you had a choice of Coors Light or Miller Lite.

Race swag for Tap 'N Run Memphis

Race swag for Tap ‘N Run Memphis

Overall: B-: The concept is great and it was a fun afternoon.  After the run, there participants could participate in contests for belching, shortest shorts, best mustache, and best costume.  There was a raffle wheel, which netted me a size small, hot pink tank top, and a good party atmosphere.