A little rain Saturday morning didn't stop runners from competing in the Country Music Marathon and Half Marathon. I was one of the crazy ones out there at 5 a.m. gearing up to run my first half marathon. Running a half marathon was not something I ever saw myself doing, but some coaxing from friends led me to a spur of the moment decision to sign up in December, and it was quite the experience.
The rain began around 5 a.m. and only got worse. You would think this would deter runners and fans from attending, but that couldn't have been more untrue. I was part of a determined group of some 30,000 people all competing for different reasons. The positive atmosphere was contagious, and you could feel the excitement and adrenaline throughout the crowd. It was the first major U.S. race since the Boston Marathon, and sentiments were high. "Do it for Boston" was a reoccurring theme of the event, giving runners that extra "push" they needed when they didn't think they could go another step, let alone another mile. Bands and fans filled the sidelines of the course, not giving in to the disastrous weather. They truly made a miserable setting from Mother Nature, enjoyable.
This was the 14th annual Country Music Marathon, a part of the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon series benefitting St. Jude Children's Hospital. The race has become a Nashville tradition, each year attracting runners and fans from around the country, bringing multi-millions of dollars to the city. Visitors often come a few days ahead of time to spend some time in the city and enjoy the Honkey Tonks.
I can't say that I'll be jumping on the bandwagon to run 26.2 miles anytime soon, but I think I'm up for another 13.1 next year, hopefully with some luck better weather too. Did you attend this year's race? What are some of your favorite Nashville traditions?
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