St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weather Forecast

Bobby asked me yesterday if I could forward him links to websites that had long-range forecast (I had found some in the past to help predict the weather on our possible wedding days). He wanted to figure out the weather for the St. Jude Marathon. Here’s what I sent him:

DryDay doesn’t predict temperature, but you can get a free 30 day forecast of the chance for precipitation (you can pay and get up to 18 months). It even shows the data in handy bar charts: Short, yellow bars mean less chance for rain; higher, black bars mean more chance for rain.
DryDay says that the 2010 St. Jude Memphis Marathon (December 4) has a 60% chance of precipitation!

The Old Farmer’s Almanac 2-Month Weather Forecast
This gave a general forecast, saying that, “The December average temperature will be 47°. Precipitation will be 7″ (5″ above average in the South). December 1-4: Sunny, turning warm. December 5-9: Thunderstorms, warm. Winter will be colder than normal, with precipitation below normal in the North and above normal in the South.”

The Old Farmer’s Almanac Weather History

View the weather on a paticular day all the way back to 1946! Then if you love Excel like I do (thank you Operations Management with Dr. Tracy) you can copy and paste the data for each year into a spreadsheet (I used 1989-2009 because I didn’t have THAT much time to kill). There you can create averages, make graphs, etc.
So here are my predictions (place yer bets, place yer bets!) for 2010 from my Totally Unscientific St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weather Spreadsheet:

  • Min Temp: 38.2
  • Mean Temp: 46.0
  • Max Temp: 56.6
  • Precipitation: 0.3 Inches
  • Snow Depth: 0.0 Inches
  • Mean Wind: 9.4 MPH
  • Max Sustained Wind: 15.3 MPH
  • Max Wind Gust: 14.1 MPH

I really thought it would have snowed at one point on December 4th in the last 20 years, but no. (It just feels that cold) That column of information was useless.
If you look at the graph, I created a Mean Temperature Trendline that is different that just the daily mean temperature that was recorded. It shows that on average it has been getting a little colder over the past 20 years. Except for that December 4th in 2001: High of 75, Low of 57.9 and Average of 64.3 – Lets all keep our fingers and toes crossed for a day like that again!
Here are the spreadsheets in Excel and PDF format if you would like to view them:

Calculate Your Pace

Bobby sent me this great link today: The Marathon Pace Chart

Very simple website, but a powerful tool. This will tell you exactly what time you should be at each mile of the race, if you have a very specific time to hit. You can also type in a pace per mile and see when you’ll finish. Or put in a target time and see what your pace should be.

You can use it for half-marathons too!

St. Jude Marathon Gift Shop Goodies

The St. Jude Gift Shop has outdone themselves this year with a HUGE variety of St. Jude Memphis Marathon apparel and promotional products. Here is my detailed report:

Love the Brooks dri-fit “In Training for the St. Jude Memphis Marathon” series of shirts for men & women. The half marathons (13.1) are short sleeve only and full marathons (26.2) are long sleeve only – I guess the half marathoners aren’t going to get cold?

The placement of the “26.2” and “13.1” on the lower back is really unique. I love the bright yellow color (your fans will be sure to spot you in the crowd) but it only comes in the women’s 13.1 – No fair! And the women’s 26.2 (white with a neon yellow imprint) looks very difficult to read – Bad choice there. Maybe the men’s 26.2 (red with a white imprint) in a small size will do for me.
I also love the Brooks dri-fit “Race Map” series of shirts (for men & women; long and short sleeve). If I get lost on course, I can just look down at my shirt! Hey, maybe it should have been printed upside down then? Yeah, that might have caused some confusion…

There are also some hoodie sweatshirts to warm up in post-race (It was so cold last year!) and a funny, “26.2 miles…seemed like a good idea 3 months ago!” long-sleeve t-shirt.

It is going to be a tough call whether to buy the “26.2” Brooks shirt or the “Race Map” Brooks shirt…We will see which one I choose!

Tupelo 14.2-Miler & Marathon

We couldn’t have asked for better weather for the Tupelo 14.2-Miler and Marathon. It was unseasonably cool and we were actually pretty cold at the start line. Speaking of the start line, it was dark out there in Tupelo at 5:00am! Good thing I was running with Beth and Virgina who had their headlamps. Bobby was up front with no light and compared it to the horror film Pitch Black with Vin Diesel – runners with lights would get away from him and he would increase speed to not be lost in the dark.

No spectators on this low-key run except for:

  • Water station workers

  • Alert roosters

  • 2 energetic horses at mile 6

  • A dad and his sleepy son at mile 8

  • A pile of fish heads next to the mile 10 water station (What the heck?!)

I did SO much better at this run that at the Germantown Half-Marathon. There I was a zombie, so sore at the end and wanted to walk the last 2 miles (the pouring rain and cold didn’t help any I guess). Here I had lots of energy and finished strong at 2 hours and 38 minutes. I’ve had some soreness in the top of my right foot (thinking my laces might have been too tight) but hoping that goes away soon.

Bobby improved his time drastically. His Nashville Marathon time was 3 hours and 55 minutes. In Tupelo he did it in 3 hours and 19 minutes! Then he won 2nd in his age group: 0-29 (that’s a big age group). Note: To qualify for the Boston Marathon in the 18-34 age group you must do it in 3 hours and 10 minutes, so Bobby is getting to be an awesome runner!

Virgina and Beth met their goals and finished in under 5 hours at 4 hours and 57 minutes. It was a PR for Beth and Virgina’s first marathon, so a PR for her too.

We all had a great time in Tupelo and it made us excited about St. Jude in December!

Collect All Ten Thousand!

Bobby showed me this site the other day:

It is a site showing thousands of marathon medals from around the world. You can even search by state. There are some amazing ones out there.

Have to say, the St. Jude medal is kind of a snooze compared to some of the unique ones I saw. Though apparently in 2008 the St. Jude medal was a diamond – kinda cool!

St. Jude Memphis Marathon – Registration Now Open!
The countdown has already begun! (Check out the new countdown clock on the St. Jude Marathon home page that Bobby personally requested last year!

Online registration is now open – The sooner you register the more you save!

Yours truly has already been signed up by Mr. Bobby…for the full marathon!!! Eeeek! Will I be able to do it?

Register before September 1:
Marathon: $85 (Cap is 3,500)

Half Marathon: $60 (Cap is 8,100)

Memphis Grizzlies House 5K: $30 (Cap is 4,000)
Family Race – each parent: $15 (Cap is 500 families)
Family Race – each child: $10 (Cap is 500 families)

Nashville Marathon

Whatta race!

I set the alarm clock on my watch Friday night to get up at 4:45 so that we could get to the shuttles at LP Field (1/2 mile walk from Michelle’s condo) by 5:15. Well, might have helped if I had turned the alarm ON. Woke up at 5:30 to Michelle’s iPhone alarm. Hustled our booties and got out the door at 5:50.

Got to LP Field at 6:00 which is when the LAST shuttles were supposed to be leaving. Luckily, that didn’t seem to be the case. In fact, Bobby didn’t have to wait in line at all since we arrived just when a bunch of buses did. The cop told us all to get on, and Bobby waited for those already in line to go first. But she gave us a look like, “What are you waiting for? Get on now!” and there was a mad dash as all the runners crammed themselves in like sardines.

I walked back to Michelle’s, and we all finished getting ready. That’s when we heard on the TV that they would be starting the race 10 minutes early due to the approaching weather. Also heard due to the weather they would be forcing marathoners not finishing in 4 hours and 30 minutes to take the half-marathon route – OH NO! (But I figured Bobby would be fine)

Walked to the 3 mile point and tried to catch Bobby, but most likely just missed him due to the early start time. I found out later HE actually missed starting with his coral because even the runners didn’t know they were starting early (he had to run to the bathroom and when he came back they were off). We were a little shocked to see folks in the 3:30 pace group already walking at this early point…Someone was fibbing on their entry form! On a fun note this was the first time we got to see one of the running jugglers (SERIOUSLY – he ran a half-marathon juggling the whole time).

Then Michelle, Shelby and I walked to the 11 mile point. We were able to catch a glimpse of the small pack of the elite front runners as we walked up. Finally saw Bobby! He had already taken his new shirt off and threw it at us to hold. Ewww, sweaty. Then he was off!

We stopped by Michelle’s to drop off some stuff and made our way over the bridge to mile 20. On the bridge we saw a half-marathoner who had completely passed out and was being tending to by emergency personnel – Woah! We also saw a bridal party doing the half-marathon (read the bride and groom’s story) and runners dressed as Hawaiians, complete with hula skirts. At the 20 mile mark we saw Patrick & Nathan – they and several other runners were sporting leis they had gotten from somewhere (the Hawaiians?). Then we saw Bobby – seemed to be doing fine. About now the skies began to darken.

Bobby told us later that as he got to the 25 mile mark, which passes by the previous part he had just ran down 4 miles ago, marathoners were being turned back and being told they could not run farther. One woman was protesting with a police officer. I would be too!

We then made our way across the street to LP Field and the marathon finish line. Kate tried to join us, but couldn’t find a parking spot anywhere downtown – the whole city was packed! Saw more interesting folks at the marathon finish: A man with a birthday cake hat and birthday banner across his chest (guess it was his birthday?) and a MARATHON juggler with a most impressive time (take THAT half-marathon juggler!). Then Bobby finished at 3 hours, 55 minutes and 45 seconds; nicely under his 4 hour time he was going for. Yeah Bobby!

At this point it was pouring and Michelle and Shelby cut out. I waited for Bobby at the letter “G” meeting spot. I’d been there 5-10 minutes when a voice behind me said, “Bethany, how long have you been there?”. Yeah, it was Bobby. He had missed me and I missed had him, and he had been sitting down directly behind me for 10 minutes. For his benefit I had on my red raincoat and he couldn’t see my face; for my benefit I was answering texts non-stop.

Tried to walk back to Michelle’s right away, but Bobby had to rest a bit. After 10 minutes of laying on the pavement he was ready, and we gradually made our way back with just a few rest stops. On the way back we saw more half-marathoners finishing, including some who were hula-hooping pink hula-hoops the whole race!

After some relaxation at Michelle’s, meeting up with Memphis Hash Runners (including Pam, Linda and Morgan who’d run the half) and going out on the town we were tired. Nashville is a great town!

Have no fear – Its time to cheer!

This Friday Bobby and I will take off work and go to Nashville for the Country Music Marathon!

Bobby has been preparing by running farther distances, while I’ve been preparing by researching cheering methods for the race. This a HUGE task and no doubt much more difficult than what Bobby will be doing Saturday (warning: sarcasm detected).

Through my own running exploits, as well as my St. Jude Marathon cheering and some online research I’ve done (see below), I believe I’ve narrowed down what I’ll do on Saturday.

What to do:

  • Name cheers (if you know their name or they put it on their shirt)
  • Runner-specific cheers: “Go UT!” if they have a Vols shirt. “I love your hat!” if they have a crazy hat. People ate this up at St. Jude, especially when we told ladies we liked their clothing.
  • “Keep going!”
  • “You can do it!” (Rob Shnider voice optional)
  • Make noise. I’m going to bring my hash whistle.
  • Make a sign.
  • Be silly & funny.

What NOT to do:

  • “You’re almost there!” Whoops, didn’t know this was bad. I’ve done it before.
  • “You’re doing great/You look great” Didn’t realize this was bad either – I’ve said it.
  • Cheer out race numbers. “Way to go #47586!” – No one ever memorizes their race number.

The way I figure it, the goal is to cheer up, entertain and distract the runners so that the race goes by faster for them. They’ll be so busy looking at everyone on the sidelines, before they know it the race is over!

Serious Running: Cheering and Yelling Encouragement to Racing Runners
Run the Planet: Are There Studies on Road Race Cheering?
eHow: How to Cheer on Marathon and other Runners