The St. Jude Marathon was my first ever road marathon.  It was the race that hooked me.  I would be a distance runner from that day on.  I felt something great when I crossed that finish line on that day.  Something amazing that only a person that has ran their first marathon can feel I would imagine.  Here I am with my wife after my first St. Jude:



I haven’t ran this race in the last two years.  I’ve been focused on longer runs. This year, however, I came across a bib for the Half Marathon that was given to me by someone that didn’t want to run it.  I must admit that I was a little VERY excited about running.  I had a bunch of other friends running the half, and a few of us were going to ride downtown together and have a lot of fun with it.  Unfortunately the Winter weather turned on us, and (long story short) the race committee decided to cancel the race the night before.  Ugh!

This is a huge race, and you can imagine the uproar on social media once they announced they were cancelling it.  People were PISSED!  All over Memphis I’m sure, phones were blowing up with text messages and Facebook notifications!  I know mine was.  Reading through all of the comments on Facebook, I came across a few comments that really set me off.  Some non-running, probably coach potato commentator would say, “It’s just a run.  Just shut up and go run 26 miles if it’s that important to you.”  I held my tongue (or keyboard) in check.  I don’t know those people, and they don’t know what it’s like for runners training for a race.  It. Is. Not. Just. A. Run.

Race day is one of the most important days of the year.  It’s like Christmas, and most of the time more important and more celebrated than your Birthday!  You’ve worked your ass off to get to this race, and you are ready to kill it!  You’re ready to put everything you have out there on the road (or trail) and leave it all out there.  It’s not just a run.  There is hype, there are people to compete with, there is atmosphere, and there are people cheering you on!  It’s time to PR!! It’s time to test all of the hard training you have completed.  It’s not just a run.  It’s a test.  We are testing our training and whether it works or not we’re gonna adjust it and make it better.  It’s not just a run.

While it really wasn’t a huge deal to me, there were thousands of people out there that had put a LOT of work into getting to this race.  Some probably even wanted to qualify for Boston.  A lot of people were disappointed I’m sure.  However, a lot of people are setting their sites on other races now with a vengeance.   I bet there are runners that will go to The MS Blues Marathon, the MS River Marathon, NOLA, Nashville, or Little Rock and do even better than they would have done in Memphis.  Because that’s how runners are.  We get angry and we grind.  It doesn’t matter WHY St. Jude was cancelled.  It matters that it didn’t happen.  Now we have to set our sites on another race.  Whatever that race is, watch out!  There are going to be some serious PR’s and great first marathon/half marathon times logged out there.

So…no race report from St. Jude for me.  Next stop Jackson, MS for the Blues Marathon.  I can’t wait to report that to you!

-Lift Heavy Run Long