Nashville Half Marathon Race Report – Mark Fuentes

Race: Nashville Half Marathon

Runner: Mark Fuentes

Race Date: 11/12/2022

Location: Nashville, TN

Results: 1:40

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3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?

  1. The route ran past the major highlights of downtown Nashville.
  2. The organizers were very responsive with questions.
  3. The event itself carried on without a hitch despite the rain and cold.

Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you

  1. It was a very cold and wet race. It could be held a bit earlier in the year to avoid the cold.
  2. The finish includes the sharpest incline of the race.

Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?

The bridge over the Cumberland river wasn’t equally up and down on each side, but was significantly lower on the stadium side, making the finishing mile to include a substantial incline.

Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?

I made sure to stick to the pace I felt comfortable with, despite the occasional passer. I really enjoyed the sights and atmosphere of downtown Nashville, and being around so many people just like me who were trying something challenging.

Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner

Get the VIP pass! It allows you to park right next to the start line, and in the weather conditions, this proved hugely vital for me to stay warm until I absolutely had to get warmed up to run.

Lessons you learned that will help you next time around

I slowed considerably the last two miles of the race. This was exacerbated by the uphill sections towards the end, so factoring that in next time will help.

Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race

The bridge over the Cumberland river wasn’t equally up and down on each side, but was significantly lower on the stadium side, making the finishing mile to include a substantial incline.

Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?

Very pretty, and full of interesting sights.

Difficulty – Is it a tough course?

Total elevation gained and lost was about 1000 feet, so I’d consider it a moderately tough course.

Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?

Very well run race, with very responsive organizers. I especially liked the access to Nissan Stadium during check-in. Made it feel like it was an exceptional event.

Competition – Is there a strong field?

Moderately strong. From elite to beginner.

Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.

Registration was a breeze, but check-in included searching for one of the dozen or so emails they sent us for a special QR code. That could be simplified more. I booked everything two months in advance with no issues.

Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?

Every two miles there were aid stations, and from what I noticed there was only water. This was strangely only true for the first 9 miles. The last four were devoid of aid stations.

Weather and typical race conditions

Weather was drastically different race day morning than the previous week. A strong cold front with rain moved in the night before, making it 35 degrees and drizzling at race start. Typically it should be better than that, and more ideal for running.

Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next runner?

I needed lots of extra warm gear, to include hat and gloves, thermal tights, and rain jacket. Some chose to forego one or more of these items.

Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?

This is a super friendly course for spectators, and the roads were blocked off sufficiently for people to access at any point they chose.

How’s the Swag?

Decent swag, just a T-shirt and a solid finisher’s medal.

The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?

4 stars. This was my first half marathon, however.

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