Saturday, January 17, 2015

Mississippi Blues Marathon Race Report

Mississippi Blues Marathon race was my first time in Mississippi. I decided on this race because it was a chance to spend time with my friend Rich who I know from New Hampshire. He now lives in Clinton, just a few minutes outside Jackson.

It was an uneventful flight to Dallas then to Jackson and Rich picked me up at the small airport. We spent the first night catching up over an amazing meal concocted by Rich, who while not a professional chef, might as well be. (He’s a web programmer by day)

On Friday we traveled to Vicksburg and a tour of artist galleries, museums and a view of the Mississippi River. My favorite was the HC Porter Gallery. Lunch at Rusty's and Fried Green Tomatoes:

This is me writing my Yelp review prior to eating fried green tomatoes
Then to packet pick up in Jackson.

Love to learn - the history of Mississippi is so interesting. I got a chance to learn all about the Blues. 
The goodie back contained a vest, a harmonica, and a CD of blues music. All awesome. 

At 5:00 we went to Rich’s favorite restaurant, La Finestra. I had an awesome lamb-pasta meal with a glass of wine. Yum!

The next morning it was easy to park close to the start and we walked over to the crowd. It was cold!!!! in the 20s with a bit of wind.

It was a hilly course although none of the hills were very steep or long. However, there was just a lot of them. The course winds around the city into neighborhoods and back through the heart of the city. There were some beautiful homes and a few spectators came out to cheer on runners.
The aid stations were great and volunteers were friendly and encouraging. I saw a lot of Marathon Maniacs.

The finisher medal was ginormous with beautiful blue glass-shaped guitar.

I ended up wearing my Thermoball jacket the entire time. I wasn't cold, but never really warm. The wind picked up at different times during the race and was glad for a hat, gloves, and jacket.
I ate 3 gels, a bar, and Shot Blocks. Lots of water and Gatorade.
The finish line food was great: Little Caesar’s Pizza and Chocolate Milk.

The best part of the entire race weekend was hanging out with my friend Rich and seeing Mississippi. Then he hosted a post-marathon party at his house with his family. Rich made an excellent meal of Mexican food and I drank a lot of beer. Ha.
Abita Beer
We played games and chilled out while recovering from the 26.2 miles race.

On Sunday Rich and I drove north to the Mississippi Craft Center to view local artists wares. After a leisurely stroll around the Ridgeland Reservoir and a southern-style lunch at Cock on the Rock we drove back to Clinton via the Natchez Trace highway and through downtown Jackson.

Once back at Rich’s house in Clinton we chatted for a bit then when I asked him to check the status of the flight, he yelled from the office to the living room “It’s canceled.”
90% of the time Rich is not serious and since I was having such a laid-back, no stress or anxiety weekend, I didn’t even think I’d have a hard time getting home. He was serious. The last flight out of Jackson was canceled. 

Panic set in. I called the airline and booked the earliest flight I could get - the next day leaving at 11:00 arriving in Tucson at 4:15.

The next day I got to the airport and was able to get on an earlier flight that was “booked” yesterday. I texted Rich to say I’m on the plane but fear that someone is going to come on and tell me to get off. That was a mistake because two minutes later the agent that earlier let me on the flight came on the plane and I heard him say, "she’s going to have to get off" and he couldn’t remember her name. Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, I just stared at the floor. Heart racing. Luckily, it was someone else and she got off the plane.

Once in Dallas I ran to the early flight to Tucson that was boarding. After a lengthy discussion with the agent and waiting until the very last minute, he let me on and I got to Tucson at 2pm.

A stressful end to a relaxing Marathon weekend in Jackson and now, one week later, I'm ready for the next one: a drive to Huntington Beach, CA for the Surf CityMarathon on Feb. 1. 


  1. Congratulations! I love reading about your 50 marathons in 50 states. That medal is huge but pretty unique. I can't believe it was so cold.

  2. Congrats on your marathon finish! Sounds like a fun race! What a relief about the plane!