Back to Back Marathon Weekend – Mississippi & Alabama

This weekend my friend Tina and I met up to acquire two more states to reach our 50 states marathon goal.  We began the weekend in Jackson, Mississippi.  This was a good but hard race.

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I have come to love smaller races since you do not have to arrive so early.  The race began after, “The Star Spangled Banner” was played on an electric guitar. Some of the things we loved about the Mississippi Blues Marathon were , the hospitality, the music and the medal.  The hospitality was very close to that of Little Rock.  Everyone was so welcoming.  Every person you passed said, “Welcome to Jackson” and “Thank you for coming to our city.”

The music was great except being a, “back of the packer” most of the music areas closed before we got there.  I think if you host a 7 hour marathon their needs to be something for everyone within the time limit to enjoy.

The hardest part about the run were the HILLS.  They were brutal, at least for those of us from Houston and Orlando. The roads were also very bad.  You had to watch your step all of the time.

Here are a few of the other highlights.

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I met Jim and Larry.  Jim, in red, was the first North American to run 1,000 marathons and Larry was the second.  I felt like I was among marathon royalty.

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The state capitol.

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The finish line.

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And did I mention the awesome medal?

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The second marathon for the weekend was the First Light Marathon in Mobile, Alabama.

When we arrived at packet pick up we were given a shirt for back-to-back marathons as well as a plaque for doing both.  The plaque was made by special needs residents at  the community of L’Arche Mobile.  We were late for the spaghetti dinner but I think that was good since there were quite a few with tummy troubles the next day.  Not fun for a marathon.

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The race had plenty of water stops and even had cold water.  They also had oranges which is a huge bonus and they did not run out.  The roads were much better than those in Jackson but that was it.  There were minimal volunteers and most were teens on their phones.  There were only a handful of spectators and the course was not exactly scenic. But here is a picture from one of the pretty streets.

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We were not quite sure what this said in this yard.  It made for an “interesting” yard decoration.

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We then ran through a University and I assume this was their mascot.  See I am not just slow I like to take pictures too.

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The most frustrating part of the race was in the last third of a mile.  They opened up a fun run that merged with the marathoners.  I am all for fun runs and encouraging kids to run, but when you are finishing up 50+ miles you feel “fragile” shall we say.  It was difficult to get through the crowd and I was afraid of being tripped.  I wish there would have been a divider to separate the two groups.

The medal was also made by the community members at L’Arche Mobile.

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So for recommendations.  I would definitely recommend Jackson as long as you train for hills, but Mobile was one of my least favorites of the now 18 I have done.

Overall is was a fantastic weekend.

Happy Running!

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