Andrew Jackson was one tough son of a gun – And I firmly believe you had to be one tough son of a gun to run the Andrew Jackson Half Marathon on Saturday, April 9 (and double tough to run the full).
With dreams of the wonderful Germantown Half dancing in my head, our friends Ron and Beth treated us to Coletta’s to carbo load the night before (my 29th birthday!). Coletta’s was a favorite of the King, and Bobby and I had never been. The garlic bread with cheese was amazing: It was $1.75 for 2 giant pieces slathered in garlic and cheese! We ordered tons of it. Beth’s lasagna came in a steel crock pot thing – I had never seen it like that. Our Round The World pizza was pretty good (Ron said the BBQ pizza was great too). I loved the retro 50’s artwork on the menu. There was also a menu on the wall from the 70’s when Elvis visited the restaurant – Lasagna was $2, drinks were 20 cents, no alcohol was served and no large sizes were available.
We woke up Saturday morning at 4:30am and left the house at 5:00am. I should have gotten up earlier because I didn’t get a chance to eat breakfast or really use the restroom – Strike 1.
Got to Jackson by 6:30am. We both ate a Gu for our breakfast, but I could tell it was not very satisfying for me (why didn’t I get up earlier and eat some oatmeal, why?). At packet pickup – guess what – They ran out of small shirts! Well, it was a white shirt anyway, but it was a tech shirt with a fairly good logo so I was kind of bummed.
Bobby’s race (the full) started at 7:00am, and I cheered the marathoners off. This was a small, country, low-key race. The race director reminded everyone, “Look for the signs for when to turn. If the signs have been stolen, look for the white painted arrows on the street. They can’t steal paint“. LOL
My race (the half) started at 7:30am. Right off the bat – stomach cramp. That is a bad sign right there. It stayed with me for a mile or 2, but wasn’t killer. It was after a couple miles I realized, “Hey, this is a pretty hilly course!”. I just assumed it would be like flat Germantown again. I know Jackson pretty well and never noticed all these non-stop, rolling hills in a car – Strike 2.
First 6 miles were pretty good. My niece Shelby even drove by at mile 5 and cheered – that was great! But it sure was hot and windy. And while there were more spectators than Tupelo, it was the longest I’d ever run by myself, and I couldn’t find anyone to chat with. The second half really dragged (would these hills ever stop?). By the end, it felt like I had run a whole marathon! But Shelby was there again to cheer as I finished at 2:28 (Over 20 minutes longer than Germantown 2 weeks ago – argh).
We overheard some folks and found out that no full marathoners had come in yet. After 3 hours passed I was surprised no marathoners were in yet, but it was a small race and a testament to the heat and hills. 3:13 finally saw the winner, 3:21 saw Harry “Birdlegs” from Memphis and 3:27 saw Bobby, 3rd overall (and 1st in age group)!
We stayed for the half awards (I got nothing; I figured I wouldn’t). We tried to stay for the full awards, but they were taking a really long time! So we picked up Bobby’s trophy and headed back to Memphis to eat some leftover Coletta’s pizza and watch Netflix.
You take the good
You take the bad
You take them both
And there you have
The Andrew Jack
The Andrew Jack