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Mississippi Blues Marathon Report

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Mississippi Blues Marathon Report

Post by echoguy on Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:37 pm

Hey Everybody:

While Don is caught getting back home, I thought I would post a few lines about our weekend trip.

Martha and I went to Jackson, Mississippi over the weekend for the Mississippi Blues Marathon and half marathon. We spent the first night at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis so that I could check "see the march of the Peabody ducks" off my bucket list. It was actually quite cute and we ended up with the best seats in the house for the show.

We drove to Jackson the following morning, checked into our hotel, and went to the race expo. It was actually a nice expo for the size of the race with a very talented blues singer performing the entire time we were there. Bill Rodgers was selling books and signing autographs which is always a nice touch at a race.

Race day was beautiful, sunny, and between 50 and 60, but the wind picked up pretty strong through the day. Martha and I started together and ran the first 6.5 miles at her pace, which ended up being about 10:45. At that point the courses divided and we went our separate ways. I started running about 8-8:30 pace, so I passed folks for the entire race. I felt pretty good the whole way at that pace, but the continual rolling hills did get to me at the end. Very much like the hills of the Heart Mini.

In the last mile I noticed the runner ahead had a bow legged style and he swung his arm wide. I was sure it was Bill Rodgers! I plotted my strategy to make sure that I caught him by the end so that he would be in my finish line photos. Unfortunately, when I caught him, he was just a skinny guy from NJ who looked a lot like Boston Billy from the back!

I finished in just under 4 hours, which is what I was shooting for.

My next plan was to visit the highest point in Mississippi on the same day we do the marathon. So we quickly showered and drove 175 miles on the Natchez Parkway (speed limit 50 mph) to Woodall Mountain. We made it to the top just as the sun was setting. Martha was really a good sport about all of the silliness.

Here's some of the photos that we took. Funny, more of the ducks than anything else.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/13545606@N03/sets/72157639713122023/

Next on the agenda....Heart Mini!!!

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Re: Mississippi Blues Marathon Report

Post by russwyd on Wed Jan 15, 2014 4:51 am

Well done Brian and Martha - and another 26.2 ticked off for you Brian.

I hope I get a chance to run the same race as you again at some point soon Brian - I'll be watching for your Peabody duck style so I can chase you to the finish  Razz 
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Re: Mississippi Blues Marathon Report

Post by Rachel August on Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:03 am

Sounds like a cool trip and fun run! I've never heard of the "march of the peabody ducks" they look like rock stars!!!

Great pictures BTW - oh to be warm again......




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Re: Mississippi Blues Marathon Report

Post by EugeneRunner on Wed Jan 15, 2014 4:26 pm

Nice run! It is always enjoyable to start slow and work your way up. Does Bill Rodgers still race? I ran a 10K against him (we were in the same race at least Very Happy ) way back in 1984, but I don't recall him racing much beyond the late 1980's.

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Re: Mississippi Blues Marathon Report

Post by Dave Tuttle on Wed Jan 15, 2014 5:35 pm

Great Races Martha and Brian!

You two really know how to mix running with interesting travel... As a fanatic lover of the Blues, I'm going to have to run that one someday.

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Re: Mississippi Blues Marathon Report

Post by echoguy on Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:05 pm

EugeneRunner wrote:Nice run!  It is always enjoyable to start slow and work your way up.  Does Bill Rodgers still race?  I ran a 10K against him (we were in the same race at least Very Happy ) way back in 1984, but I don't recall him racing much beyond the late 1980's.

Boston Billy is still running and participating in races...not really racing so much any more. I think that he ran the half marathon down in Jackson. He goes to races to promote his books and have fun with the folks that come. He really is a great ambassador for distance running IMHO.

When my wife Martha ran her first organized race, the Heart Mini 15k, in 1997, Bill came to town to actually race the local fast guys. He ended up getting 4th overall. I was not a runner at the time and was surprised that someone local could actually beat him as I assumed he was still king of the mountain. Boy was I out of touch with running back then!!

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Re: Mississippi Blues Marathon Report

Post by RoadKillBill on Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:44 am

Great trip report and a great second split. Sounds like it was a lot of fun for you both. I am not so much of a runner, but we have those kinds of trips with our bikes and they are very enjoyable.

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Re: Mississippi Blues Marathon Report

Post by twal on Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:59 pm

Great job, Echoguy.

I remember a 10 mile race in Amherst, Mass in 1975. The race was sponsored by a health food store and the first place award was a jar of honey. Afterward I was joking with the guy who won it about the prize. Two months later, that guy, who happened to be Bill Rodgers, won his first Boston Marathon. And the rest is history.

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Re: Mississippi Blues Marathon Report

Post by Gary E on Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:50 pm

While we're sharing Boston Billy stories, for a very short time he was a letter carrier (aka Postal Worker) during a summer when he was in college. Perhaps a decade and a half ago he was in town for a similar "promotional event" and I asked if he wanted a private "running tour" of downtown Columbus afterwards. He was a riot to run with (since I didn't have to actually "race" him) and then I offered him my postal cap just for a joke...and he accepted. Smile

Great write-up on your trip, Brian. Glad you shared it with us.
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Re: Mississippi Blues Marathon Report

Post by DonSoule on Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:43 pm

Congratulations on another one - great photo's as usual and really nice medal!! Smile

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Re: Mississippi Blues Marathon Report

Post by EugeneRunner on Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:49 pm

I ran against both Bill Rodgers and Frank Shorter in a 10K in 1984.  I was only 17 at the time.  Rodgers and Shorter were both 36, but Rodgers was still running more seriously, having run a 2:13 marathon at the Olympic Trials earlier in the year.  I was young and fearless, and I stayed in contact with Rodgers for quite a while at a suicidal pace. But I was in way over my head and crashed and burned.  But I did manage to beat Shorter however.

I hear that the Bill Rodgers running stores have shut down.

Again, nice!
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