I had not planned to race in May, but I couldn't resist signing up for this one when I heard about it via Twitter. I love Memphis, TN and I was glad to have an opportunity for a visit as well as a run.
Memphis is approximately a four-hour drive from my home, so my sister and I just planned to make a long Memorial Day holiday weekend with the half marathon as the centerpiece. There are numerous hotels to choose from; just be prepared for rate fluctuations due to all other events occurring during Memphis in May. I chose one about 20 minutes from downtown in the Shady Grove area, just to be near shopping malls, etc.
Packet pickup was a breeze, held at the renowned Peabody Hotel. I loved the area set aside for photos, even though it was a little dark in the room. Swag consisted of a soft T-shirt, a Nike bag with the race name on front, sunscreen, a cozy for drinks with the race name, etc. (My sister's bag didn't have the cozy, but she didn't realize it until we arrived back at our hotel.). Overall, the contents were pretty good. Not many vendors, but we did pick up a nice water bottle from the Academy Sports reps.
There was ample time for pick up, from 11 a.m. Friday until 9 p.m. One note about public parking lots downtown: make sure you leave the receipt visible on your dash so the attendant will know that you paid.😊
Race day was warm and extremely humid, so the 11 water stops and ice towels on the course were much appreciated! This is a scenic course, taking us from Tom Lee Park, B. B. King's Boulevard, Mud Island, Riverside Drive, etc. I wanted to stop and take more photos than I actually did; I will do better next time😊. I loved the time spent by the Mississippi River and even the challenge of the largest hill at mile 10. Some people actually stopped for selfies here at the Pyramid😊.
Volunteers were wonderful at each stop. Police handled impatient drivers on the course well, giving priority to the safety of all runners. Also, there were ample bathrooms at the start/finish area as well as on the course.
The finish area had a lots of food, but I normally cannot eat much right after, so I passed on the refreshments. (There are several restaurants in this City, so I knew I had great options afterwards.).
The finisher medal is without a doubt one of the best in my collection😃! It was definitely worth the trip. I loved everything about this race and I hope my sister and I have the opportunity to run it again next year. We had an absolutely fabulous time in Memphis, TN!
Note: All race participants also received free admission to the 901Fest concert later that evening; a nice touch!🙌