Throwback Thursday: Revisiting a Rant


I do not usually post Throwback Thursdays pictures or statuses on social media, but today a post of mine was received some traffic that sparked an interest in me to revisit the issue.  Last March, I wrote a post complaining about Memphis not getting any national obstacle races and having a shortage of distance races.  I guess someone listened because 2014 is a much more promising year for the Bluff City.  While not landing one of the big three obstacle course events (Tough Mudder, Spartan Race, or Warrior Dash), Foam Fest will be coming to town in May.  Of course, as of today, I am not registered for that event, so I may be a part of the problem, but at least it is a local option.  There are also two new half marathon/marathon events this season in Memphis, both of the trail variety.  One is at Shelby Forrest in two weeks and the other is at Stanky Creek during the first weekend of March.  Promotion has been slight for both events, but hopefully the organization has not been.  I will probably run the latter of the two events, provided that it does not sell out before I get a chance to register.  Also, the Navy Ten Nautical Miler has been reinstated for 2014, and of course, I still can not participate in it this year.  It is slated for Sunday, June 8, which is the day after my running of the Tough Mudder event in Nashville.  Whereas I could work both events into my calendar, I am very wary of running these events on back to back days in the June heat in Tennessee.  Battered and bruised from Tough Mudder and then fighting heat and humidity may not be the most fun I have ever had at a race.  Maybe my running of the Spartan Sprint this weekend will reduce some of this trepidation.



On a side note, of the national races that I mentioned on my prior post, one, Tap ‘N Run, came to Memphis in October 2013 (great premise that was spoiled by an unseasonably warm day), and two, Hero Rush and Run For Your Lives, are now defunct.  From what I read, the two race series that folded were popular, but had some financial issues that led to their demise.  You can surely Google each race and get the full story, or click here for my take on what happened with Run For Your Lives (Note: the new race is no longer coming to Memphis).

Get Off Your Ass Memphis


So while putting together my race itinerary for this year, I noticed a shortage of fun and inventive races in this area. Memphis cannot or refuses to get Warrior Dash, Tough Mudder, Spartan Race, Hero Rush, Tap ‘N Run, Ragnar Relay, Run For Your Lives, Foam Fest, or any of the numerous other national themed races. These races will all come to Nashville, some will come to Little Rock, AR and Jackson, MS, and some won’t come within 200 miles of the city. And my question is why? Memphis has venues for these events and I’m certain people chomping at the bit to participate. It gets quite expensive and annoying to drive seven or eight hours round trip to run a race. Now I don’t expect to get every race (like Nashville seems to), but at least a couple of them. I am not sure what has to happen to land an event, but Memphis should explore the procedures. Tough Mudder and Spartan Race are not coming to the Volunteer State this, or any year, so it would be very encouraging to snag one of these events next year. Also, getting the Navy Ten Nautical Miler back next June would also be very good news.

Furthermore, there is a complete lack of distance races in this town. From online searches, you find five half marathons within fifty miles of Memphis, and one of those five may not be happening this year. Conversely, there are eleven half marathons within fifty miles of Nashville, twelve to Chattanooga, ten to Knoxville, and even seven for Huntsville, AL! If there were 100 races here, the St Jude Marathon and Half Marathon would still sellout every year. It is a great event, for a great cause, so if that is a part of the reasoning, then it should be ignored. I know that we are a city that prides itself on BBQ and quality southern cuisine, but that should not deter us from hosting some premier races.

I’ll get off of my soapbox here, it just is quite frustrating that Memphis has such shortcomings in this area. The Greenline was a great move in getting healthier, as are the bicycle lanes in Midtown. It would be great to continue to improve in this area. I can only hope.

Races I Can’t Run This Year


I got a Facebook update yesterday from the Navy Ten Nautical Miler stating that this year’s race is a causality of the Sequestration.  That means a very well received race in the Memphis area is no more, at least for this year, and any early registrants will have their registration fees refunded to them.  It is sad news, but honestly, I wasn’t going to be able to run the race this year anyway, but hopefully it will return next June.  But this got me to thinking about races I wanted to run this year but could not due to injury or scheduling conflicts.  The following is some of those races:

  • Germantown Half Marathon: peroneal tendonitis sidelined me for this, I might run it next year
  • Oak Barrel Half Marathon: peroneal tendonitis sidelined me for this one as well, but it would have been difficult to run it anyway since I was hoping to be one of the final 100 registrants for the race and those slots were sold in under one minute!  I will do my best to add this to next year’s itinerary.
  • Flying Pig Half Marathon: big race in Cincinnati, OH that I couldn’t financially swing this year.
  • Navy Ten Nautical Miler: travel schedule and the Sequestration eliminated it this year.
  • Hero Rush: fireman themed obstacle race with various locations around the country, but the one in Tennessee is the same day that I will be running the Warrior Dash in Jackson, MS.  Maybe next year.
  • Key East Half Marathon: Susan and I went to Key West on a part of our honeymoon and the town was a blast, so any excuse to return is a good one to me.  Maybe 2015 (WDW Marathon will be in January 2014).
  • Spartan Race: another obstacle race that I would like to do, but they don’t have any near Memphis, and traveling to one this year is not going to happen.  They offer three different distances (not at each location though) for different levels of competitors, which is a good idea.

There are a couple races not mentioned above, but it is no certainty that I run them this year.  Susan is a little skeptical about me running in either of these events, but I want to try both eventually.  They are as follows:

  • Tough Mudder: this seems to be the biggest and baddest of the obstacle runs out there, and even requires you to sign a death waiver!  Now the waiver is probably a mix of hype for the race as well as a preventative measure in case something does happen.  The problem is the three closest locations are at least five hours away, and the Georgia and Kentucky events pose scheduling conflicts for me.
  • Tupelo 14.2 Miler: Labor Day weekend this year, so the timing works, but it is very hot on September 1 in this area, even at 5 in the morning, and the training prior to the event will occur in even hotter temperatures.  However, I will be two months into my marathon training, so maybe working this in will be a little easier.

Just writing this post has got me itching to get this boot off even more and get back to training at 100% capacity.  I am exactly one month away from running my first Warrior Dash, and I don’t want to embarrass myself on the course.