Tuesday, February 3, 2015

2015 Mississippi Blues Marathon Report and Video

Here's Holly's report on the Mississippi Blues Marathon, followed by Dave's comments and video:

This race has been on my radar for a while. The problem was the date. It is always the same weekend as Disney Marathon Weekend. I have participated in WDW Marathon Weekend races for last 5 years. After 5 years of early wake ups and the same race experience I was ready to take a break from Disney. I was able to talk my good friend Jessica into skipping Disney as well and we registered for Mississippi.

We got into Jackson Friday afternoon and met up with Jessica and her adorable daughter Harper we had a great lunch at The Iron Horse Grill then hit the small expo. It didn’t take long to get our bibs and really nice running vest included in the registration. We met up again later for a great Italian dinner at Bravo! where we got to meet Jessica’s Dad again. Back to the hotel and in bed early to get ready for the race the next day.

When I planned Mississippi in January I figured it would be great weather, not too hot and certainly not cold. Wrong! It was freezing. It was in the 20’s with a real feel in the teens. I blame Jessica because she hates the heat. Dave and I walked to the start and I was already freezing. Jessica drove over from her hotel and had some trouble parking but made it to the start with 15 minutes to spare. This was a pretty small race with a half as well as a full. Jessica and I were both nervous for the hills that everyone talked about. Jessica being from hilly Atlanta didn’t think they were that bad. Me being from flat Illinois thought they were challenging. It definitely rolled for the entire course.

It was really great running with Jessica. We haven’t seen each other for almost a year and we really just chatted for 26.2 miles. The miles went quickly for once and we were both amazed at how good we felt. Perhaps it was the cold weather or perhaps it was the company but this was the best I have felt during an entire marathon in a very long time.

Dave did a fantastic job of following us around the course and he found us a million times! At one point he even said he was going to take a break because we were getting sick of each other. Many thanks for taking our sweaty layers as we shed them and for giving us snacks! Jessica’s Dad came out with sweet Harper and that was a fun surprise as well.

The finish was great and the medal even better. A huge guitar medal with a pick! Post race beer and pizza for even the latecomers. This is a first class event that I would go back and do again. If you need to check off Mississippi this is the one to do!

Dave's Comments

It really could not have been an easier course to navigate. Other than the first four miles there weren't any road closures. The ones that were closed, the police still let you drive on them. There were friendly volunteers everywhere directing traffic and letting cars cross the course.

I did not appreciate the cold weather, but it eventually warmed up a bit and I could shed the parka. My spectating locations included the start line, mile 3, 5, a drive-by, twice along mile 7, another drive-by, mile 8, (this is when I said I will move ahead a bit), mile 11, 12 (that was supposed to be 13 but the map was mislabeled), 16, twice at 18, 20, 22, a drive-by, 23, 24, and the finish. Snacks included cookies I bought at Whole Foods, an apple, and coffee from several stops along the way. The course went though mostly nice sections of town, with some VERY nice homes. Quite the contrast to downtown Jackson.

I originally wasn't to jazzed about going to Mississippi from a craft beer standpoint because of Facebook ranking articles like this one:

When Holly registered for the race Jackson did not have a single brewery. Luckily, one opened up in November and we had a chance to visit Lucky Town. This was a very homegrown brewery in an overlooked section of town. Folks were friendly and the beer was great. Other places like Iron Horse, Pig & Pint, Saltine, and Parlor Market demonstrated that Mississippi actually does appreciate craft beer - especially those brewed in the south.

Food: Iron Horse was excellent at lunch. Everything was char grilled and that took beef tenderloin fajitas up a notch. At Pig & Pint we had killer ribs - my first real southern BBQ experience. We had great appetizers at Parlor Market - one of the only nice places right in downtown. Of course, what trip to the south is complete without Waffle House.

Check out the race video below:

Sorry for the first minute of poor audio. The pocket camera records the audio and video but for some reason no longer downloads the audio. Sound plays through the camera speaker so I put our awful Skye microphone by it and tried my best.

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