A few weeks before the Scenic City 5K, my mother taunted me, sending me info about the race and asking if I was gonna come to Chattanooga for it.
How could I turn that down?
So, yesterday, I ran my first race on the streets of the city in which I was raised. And frankly, it was a great experience, aside from the weather. It was a very, very cold 27 degrees at racetime.
The race was “out and back”, with Finley Stadium (home of the Mocs) serving as the home base. The race both started and ended on the 50-yard line, which probably made this the first time I’ve ever been on a football field.
Frankly, the size of the field surprised me. At one time, it both felt immense and tiny. Football fields look so incredibly large on TV, but your brain says it’s just an optical illusion. And your brain is right, but it’s still really, really large.
The course itself was pretty unremarkable, except that it was really flat, which is something that surprised me about a course in The ‘Noog. With all the hills in Chattanooga, I fully expected the course should be hillier. It wasn’t, and I was thankful. I do wish it had been more picturesque. Chattanooga has so much beauty to it, and having this race run through essentially an industrial area didn’t do it much justice.
However, every race should start and end on grass. The feel of that field beneath my shoes was amazing, and so much easier on my feet and knees. I could certainly get behind a full course run on close cropped grass! Might be a good use for golf courses.
After the awards ceremony, I wandered around the site, and found someone handing out drinks. I guzzled one while I walked, and heard someone say, “Hey, want a beer?”
The answer to that question is almost always “yes”.
I didn’t recognize (nor retain!) the name of the beer, but it was cold, dark and delicious. I started to drink it, when another runner facetiously asked after getting his cup of beer, “Where’s the pizza?”
And that’s when the beer guy said, “It’s right over there.”
Yes, there was a table with about 40 Little Caesar’s pizzas! Slices and beer. Every race should end like that.
And that was really that. It was a great race, I had a good finish, and I had pizza and beer. What’s not to like?