This was my first full marathon ever and I don't know if I could have chosen a more difficult one to do.
First of all, it was a double loop. By the time I got to the end of the first loop and noticed nearly all of the people turning off for the finish line, I was a bit downtrodden. I kept on truckin though through the subpar scenery of Tupelo. When I say that there were literally NO SPECTATORS AT ALL, I am not joking. There were none. I made a few friends along the course because everyone seemed to be longing for someone to cheer them on.
Secondly, the scenery was so bad. There were sometimes we'd be around a golf course, which was nice, or through a nice neighborhood, but the last few miles were through super trashy neighborhoods. I knew I was getting toward the end when I saw the house with the shopping cart in the ditch out front. That's not the best way to see Tupelo.
The course was tough. It was very, very hilly. We went up and down one overpass four times and the entire course was full of rolling hills and some pretty steep up hills and downhills. It was not what this Louisiana girl was used to.
The ending "party" was not up to snuff from what I expect from the local races I usually attend. The food was bad and they pretty much just offered Gatorade.
The aid stations were few and far between. Being that it was HOT AS HELL the day of the race (Labor Day weekend), it was really rough. I had to run with a hydration pack, which I HATE, but if I wouldn't have, I would have been bad off.
I enjoyed the race and finished happily, but I'm not sure this would have been the race that I would have recommended to another first timer.