- 50K, Other
- Trail Race
The inaugural Walking Tall 50k/25k took place on October 20, 2018. The race is on the trails within Big Hill Pond State Park (which is south of Jackson right on the Tennessee/Mississippi line). I ran the 25k option.
--> The finisher "medal" is awesome is it's pretty cool to have one of these sticks. I also appreciated the tower token, shirt, magnet and bag. I love that all of the swag was so specific to the history of this area!
--> Start area was great: actual bathrooms, convenient parking, shelter, maps, signage, the inflatable start line, etc. Getting to it was a breeze and being able to park so close was nice for my cheering section!
--> The course is a loop, which I tend to like, and included a lot of varied terrain (paved, single-track, gravel/mud roads, etc). The trails were really pretty and had a lot of varied terrain. Some sections were wide and flat, some were steep and muddy, some were flat and muddy, and some were just muddy. The course did have a ton of wooden bridges, including one that went across the lake (we crossed it twice). It also had the boardwalk that never ends which was long and slick and crowded. And there was a section so steep and muddy that the use of a rope to get up it was necessary. There were a few places where the mud just about sucked my shoes off, too.
--> The aid stations were incredible - super well stocked and full of friendly volunteers ready to help you in any way whatsoever.
--> The congratulations from the RD at the finish line was nice. Related, I also appreciated the 'thank you for registering' email that the RD sent to each person. It was really thoughtful and welcoming.
--> Big Hill Pond is a park I'd never visited before and honestly had no idea that there were so many awesome trails there. I love that this race got me out there!
--> For the cost, this race is an incredible value.
--> Photographers on the course in multiple places is awesome! I was so grateful for that and for the photos being made available on Facebook for free. Also, even now, a few weeks later the RD is continuing to post pics taken on "hidden cameras" on the course. Never seen that before and appreciate the sense of humor!!
--> The course was a little crowded (at least in my experience). I realize (now) that I was in the first third of runners in the race and that may explain some of the conga-lining that was happening. At the time I couldn't figure out why the "back of the pack" was so dang crowded.
--> The fire tower was "neat" but I didn't love it.