Harbortown 5k

Celebrate Bobby’s first race in the 30-35 age group right on his 30th birthday at the Harbortown 5k. The course winds its way through Harbortown’s beautiful neighborhoods, now flood free. There was a debacle in 2008 when course monitors failed to point the way for front-runners, causing them to skip almost a mile of the course (how’s that for a PR?).  Support has been great since. Every spectator in Harbortown comes out with hoses, water, and even jello shots! You’ll be running through those hoses too, because in past years it has been warm.

Swag: The Phoenix Club (sponsors of the race) must have an in with the Nike factory here in town, because there has been some fantastic Nike goodies at the Harbortown 5k the last two years. Without fail we have gotten a drawstring Nike bag and a Nike hat or visor (both with $20 tags still on). Also the required white 5k t-shirt.

Food/Beer: I can’t recall if there is spread afterwards or not. Bobby swears there is free beer, but I don’t remember that…

Benefits: Boys and Girls Club of Greater Memphis

Event website: www.harbortown5k.com

St. Jude Memphis Marathon Registration Open

The St. Jude Memphis Marathon has already opened registration for this year’s race on Saturday, December 3, 2011!

The half marathon sold out way ahead of time last year (some time in the summer, I think?). Then the marathon sold out in the fall. Even the 5k sold out in November! So register now.

Fees until August 1 (note they have not increased, but last year these prices were good until September 1):

  • Marathon: $85
  • Half: $60
  • 5k: $30
  • Family Race (Parent): $15
  • Family Race (Child): $10

Bunny Run 5k

I griped about the Bunny Run 5k for Special Kids and Families last year for running out of small t-shirts. This year they made up for it by even having ladies sized t-shirts available! Bobby and I even got there a little late and they still had a shirt for me (they did run out of larges, but that is the first or second time ever for Bobby).

I do worry about the Bunny Run getting taken advantage of – They don’t use chips or even bibs. I understand not using chips to save money, but by not using bibs people could easily bandit the race. Bobby and I just hopped out of cars and got on the start line – No indication that we had actually paid to run in this race.

The Bunny Run did not fail in their delicious breakfast. While not quite as good as last year’s pancake and sausage on a stick, Chick-fil-a chicken biscuits were offered and they were good! Food ran out for before some of the walkers finished, unfortunately.

There were some fast runners out at this race (Perhaps home on Easter break?). There were 705 runners in this race (Youth Villages had over 750 finishers). With a time of 25:04 I only got 9th place compared to 4th at Youth Villages.

Bobby and I both liked the medals better than last year’s tiles, but our friend Nathan enjoyed the colorful tiles. I never know what to do with tile awards: use them as coasters? You can’t hang them up on your medal rack (Bobby) or bureau (me) like medals, so they tend to take up space.

The funniest thing about the medals was Nathan got second in his age group, or rather I should say “SECOUND” according to his medal. This stresses the importance of spell check! Luckily, Bobby’s first place age group medal did NOT say “FRIST”. Not sure about third though…

Youth Villages

Youth Villages 5k 2011
Youth Villages 5k 2011

Youth Villages has continued to be one of my favorite 5ks. Reasons?

  • It was my first ever 5k (2006)
  • Free beer (Bud Light)
  • Free hot food (Hot dogs)
  • Free delicious snacks (Chips, cotton candy, and the most amazing variety of ice cream bars *drool*)
  • Great charity
  • Overall awards that go 5 deep (instead of the usual 3)
  • Live music
  • Fun for the kids (Costumed characters, balloons, etc)

Bobby got 4th overall with a time of 19:31 – Wow! Brother Danny got first in his age group with a time of 20:20. 3 of us got 4th in our age group (Argh, so close to placing): Emily (30:27), Nathan (21:56) and me (25:53).

    Bartlett Parks & Rec Valentine’s Day 5k & 10k

    AKA, “The race I am totally bummed I am missing this year”.

    The Bartlett Parks & Rec Valentine’s Day 5k & 10k was one of my favs last year. This year it is on Saturday, February 12, at 9am. For the cost of a normal race ($20/ea or $30/couple) you get a comfy sweatshirt, hot pizza afterwards, fleece blankets for overall prizes, toboggans for age group prizes and if you are a lady you get a red carnation when you cross the finish line! Now, that was last year, so they could change it up some this year.

    There is some cool novelty too in that you can run with your sweetie in the Couples 10k Division. You both run the 10k and they will add your times together. Then they average your ages to see what age group you are.

    Not a lot of folks ran this race last year – Good one to medal at. I’ve gotten my one and only award here: 2nd in my age group in the 5k at 29:07!

    I’ll be missing it for the New Orleans Half Marathon. There’s always next year!

    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:

    For the win!

    I won my first official MRTC 5K yesterday. 8/6/10
    I didn’t expect it, it was quite an adventure! First I didn’t think I’d do this race I’ve got running events the entire weekend! I’ve also got to run a 5 miler that will determine my placement in the Road Race Series I currently hold 3rd. in 25-29, but my good friend Adrian told me he was doing it and I saw it was at 7:00 pm and by my house… I couldn’t resist a chance to earn a metal for Aug.
    I ate wrong today a healthy choice panini, ok, but also had coffee & habenero Dorito chips; I started out with a sore stomach and ended w/ one too.
    The race started by the usual Layne Purser “Helllooooo runnnerrrssss! “We’ll do this on a two count start; and [air horn siren]” That was it! I got pushed, due to my not realizing how quick this was going down! I sprinted out with the others; everyone fell off as I had hoped except me and one other guy. After the first 1/2 mile he stayed about 100 meters in front of me. (1/4 of a lap) I fought hard to gain on him all the way to the end of the first mile, but made no progress in closing the gap. I wanted to but didn’t dare look at my watch, as I don’t anymore during races for it is a sure sign slacking. (If I have time to admire my watch, instead I should speed up is my thought; I can check it at the end of the race.)
    So we get past the first mile and we head down the “down & back” section of the race course. This guy in front of me looks tired, (head hanging in front of him, with more side to side motion in his stride, as opposed to a ready runner that looks like he is riding his legs) I’ve made a little progress at closing the gap. Then I saw him look back at me to see who was behind him. That pissed me off! He’s either looking back to find out what he needs to do to finish me off as competition or how much he can reduce his stride & relax w/out losing, and he looks tired so he wants to know if he has enough room to slow down and still coast in to first. “That m….. ……” is what I said aloud when I saw him look back, no audience present. But what helped even more was all the ppl yelling “go Bobby” audience members, voices I didn’t recognize, other runners & friends and associates I train with. But the competition in front of me had no such fan base. After we got back from the down & back I started gaining substantially I closed the gap before we got to the return hill a 1/4 mile after mile 2. I knew he was done, because when approaching, I knew he could hear me coming and he moved to the right as though to let me pass. I did & then fought for the lead for a minute or two & then he fell back further…. I assume, because I never looked back, but I could not hear his feet nor see his shadow (at 7pm they were about 15′ long too) but I ran scared the whole way in. Assuming he had let me pass just to sit on my shoulder and collect himself to steal away the win at the end. I heard my bib ruffle in the wind and sped up assuming it was him or someone else stealing away my lead, I assumed every noise I couldn’t identify were his footsteps and sped up every time. I heard the crowd cheer for me & listened to see how far away the competition was… there was no pause between cheers, but no one told someone behind me to “catch him”. But I still ran scared! I heard a car go by and loudly change shift and even jumped! The corner came which I knew to be the difference between 3.0 and the 3.1 and I turned my legs over as fast as I could, expecting a battle for the finish that never came! I came in first & was told by several how fitting it was for the red head to win the “Pale is the New Tan 5K.” Pretty great way to start the weekend! Free beer at the post race too! I told second place “good run” and thanked him for pulling me in, as I don’t think I could have done it alone, I hope that didn’t piss him off.


    Check out the awesomeness that is the Design-A-Wish 5k shirts this year. As someone who used to do logo work and do apparel design, these rock! You can get some cruddy shirts at some races, but I love the logo, placement and the modern/unique color choices for this one. Only wish it wasn’t on a white shirt (how many white t-shirts do we all have?), but I am sure white was what fit in the budget. Maybe next year do just a 2 color or 1 color imprint on a colored shirt?

    Bobby got his FIRST EVER medal at the Design-A-Wish last year (1st place in the 25-29 age group with a time of 20:39), so he hopes to repeat it. It was the race that started it all (and why I had to buy him a trophy cabinet 3 months ago). I might have a chance at a medal too – we will see!

    The Road Race Series Begins!

    Memphis Runners Track Club’s annual Road Race Series consists of 2 5ks, 2 5-milers, 2 10ks, 2 10-milers and 2 half marathons every other Sunday at 7:00am. Members got all this for the low, low cost of $55 ($75 now); Nonmembers got it for $75 ($95 now). Being a nonmembers is just silly because it is only $25 for an individual to join for a year – $5 more than the nonmember rate and then you’ll get 10% off of races, discounts at local running stores, a monthly subscription to Roadrunner magazine, a nifty laminated membership card and a MRTC sticker (warning: do not apply sticker to locations with hair). Family memberships are an even better deal.


    Dang, your greedy. Well fine. By registering for the Road Race Series you also get to be chip timed this year (no more fighting to get to the front) and receive a long-sleeve tech shirt (dri-fit material). And best of all: By registering for the Road Race Series you’ll get to go to the MRTC holiday party in January where you’ll enjoy free salad, breadsticks, pasta, beer, dancing and see awards handed out by local TV’s Joe Birch.


    Did you finish at least 6 of the road races? Then you get a Special Finisher’s Item (last year it was a nice laptop bag).

    NO, I MEAN I’M

    If you finish ALL 10 races (no small feat getting up at 7:00am on a Sunday) you get an even nicer Special Finisher’s Item (last year it was even better laptop bag) and another Road Warrior Item (last year it was the coolest trophy ever – Bobby didn’t get it, but his friends did).

    So the first 5k was last Sunday and we made it, and did quite well too (especially considering we had 2 weddings the day before).
    Bobby had a time of 19:52 and 3rd in his age group; I had 27:37 and 22nd in my age group. We’ll be Road Warriors this year!