In my last post I told you about my experience at the Andrew Jackson Half Marathon in Jackson, Tennessee. Today I’m going to give you my observations on the race itself. My comments come with no judgement attached to them.
- This is a very small event. There is a 5K, half marathon and full marathon and there were less than 500 participants combined. This is the oldest marathon in Tennessee, but it appears the race committee isn’t interested in growing it. If you like really small races, you will like this one.
- There were no road closures. Heavily traveled roads had sidewalks to run on. On the lesser traveled roads I hoped the motorists were being mindful that there were running events going on. We had some tricky intersections to cross. Course marshals stopped traffic.
- The volunteers were very friendly, there just weren’t very many of them. I’m accustomed to course marshals on every corner. When doing this event, participants must be ultra-mindful of the course’s directional signs or risk missing a few turns.
- There was no crowd support. I mean zero. Most of the half marathons I’ve completed have been much larger than this one and people line the streets to cheer on the runners and walkers. I don’t know about you, but I enjoy reading those humorous signs folks come up with. They keep me going.
- The half marathon is very walker-friendly with a cut off time of 5.5 hours. I’ve never heard of such a generous time allowance. Someone finished in 5:20. I’m glad he was able to earn a finisher medal. He deserved it.
- All three of the events begin and end in the parking lot of the Union University athletic building. That means a dry place to hang out before the race and indoor bathrooms. Winning!
I don’t know if I’ll return for this one, but I haven’t ruled it out. Jackson is very easy to get to from Nashville. Barring another blister, I should be able to shave a huge amount off my time!