Planning for Race Day
(Note: Updated for 2018)
Out of town races call for a little more planning than a local race. The main point to remember is leave nothing to chance. Here are some points to consider:
- Pack more running clothes than you will need. I usually end up taking more clothes than I need so I am prepared for any last minute changes in the weather.
- Pack a gear bag with a change of clothes. My experience running in Memphis has been that I have gotten chilled very quickly after finishing the race. The ball park tends to be in the shade and the concourse tends to be breezy. So, I highly recommend changing into dry clothes as quickly as possible after crossing the finish line. Once you get chilled, it is hard to warm up.
- Plan your meals. Know what and where you are going to eat Friday Night and Saturday Morning. I eat oatmeal before a long run, so I take a bowl and fix breakfast in my room. Don’t leave race day breakfast to chance.
- Purchase and take your race nutrition. Do not wait to purchase your nutrition at the expo. You may not be able to find the brand and flavors you have trained with at the expo.
- Race day parking. If you are not staying downtown, review the map of the area and have a good idea of where to park. Multiple parking lots and parking garages are located within four to six blocks of the start and finish lines. The average charge is $10. Remember there is a 5K that starts at 7:00 AM, so some streets will be closed and some parking lots will fill up early. Be sure to arrive early.
- Wear compression socks or sleeves in the car both to and from Memphis. Also, if you have “The Stick”, take it. It is great to help roll out tired muscles on the trip home.
- Review the course. The course has been changed again this year, for both the marathon and half marathon. The new starting line is on B.B.King at Lt. Lee Ave (in front of FedEx Forum). The finish is still in Auto Zone Park. The roads in Memphis seem to have more of a crown than those in the Nashville area. Stay away from the running next to the curb as must as possible.
- Allow Time for the Crowds. Last year, there were security lines (metal detectors) to get into the Auto Zone Park and gear check. This is a bottle neck and can slow things down race day. Plan accordingly!
- Know when your race starts. I know this sounds a little ridiculous but the times have changed for 2018.
- 5K – 7:o0 am
- 10k – 7:00 am
- Half Marathon – 8:00 am
- Marathon – 8:00 am
Expo and Packet Pick Up
The expo and packet pick up are at the Memphis Cook Convention Center located off of I-40 downtown. Parking is usually an issue late Friday afternoon but there is parking under the Center. The entrance to the parking garage is located on North Front Street. The expo and packet pick up are open on Friday from 11 am to 9 pm (expo closes at 8 pm). There is NO race day packet pick up.
Hopefully, you will find this information helpful. If you have additional questions, please feel free to email me.