Hills, Hills, and Hills Oh My

ok, so i know we’re all a buzz about the hills in Nashville. i know i sound like a broken record, but i really don’t remember it being any harder than St. Jude. it’s different but i’m not so sure i would call it harder. maybe i’ll get there and be totally shocked at the huge, scary hills but i really don’t think so. i’ll give my 2 cents about what i remember and then we’ll get into the actual details.

the race (CMM) starts out in a pretty great downhill (see picture above- keith was at the mile 1 mark taking this picture). there are some small, rolling hills for the next several miles but you really can’t even see them ahead of you because of the other 60,000 runners. i remember there being a tough hill somewhere around mile 6 or 7 and i took this as an opportunity to take a walk break and drink some water. keep in mind though, right after this tough hill was a super downhill and i was able to make up all of my walking time. from that point until about mile 11 i feel like it was fairly flat. there was an incline near mile 12 that was tough but the finish is downhill by the stadium and, let me tell you, you can make up some time here if you want.

so now my re-cap of St. Jude- which i have run 3 times as part of a race and a bunch as training. st. jude starts out pretty flat, go down riverside with a good downhill around mile 2, take your right onto Beale for a beast of a hill (the one in nashville around mile 6 was much longer than this but not quite as steep if i remember correctly), up third which is a small, consistent incline, around to north parkway which is a constant incline with 2 fairly tough, albeit short, hills (over the interstate and under the overpass), into the park which is flat, around MCA and UP the hill, onto poplar which, somehow or another, is more incline to the finish.

i must say, if you ever asked me if memphis was hilly before i started running i would have absolutely told you no but now i can tell you it’s a constant incline no matter what direction you’re heading!

i know we’re all a little anxious about the hills but i really do feel like we’ll be more than ready since we’ve been doing speed and tempo work and have had a few runs out at the trails. i will, however, be sure to incorporate some more intense “hill training” over the next few weeks.

now on to the logistics of the race courses:
below i have pasted the st. jude elevation chart. i’m certainly no expert in reading elevation charts but you can see that there is a slight incline to mile 1, a downhill to mile 2 (riverside), an incline from 2 to 4, slight downhill from 4 to 5, continuous incline from 5 to 10, and a downhill from 10 to 13. funny because my perception was that the incline remained until the end but apparently not!

now for the CMM course:
it looks like it’s flat onto a downhill to mile 1, then some rolling hills from 1 to 2, then flat to 2.5 with an incline to 3, a downhill to 5 (maybe with 1 little hill- hard to tell), and some inclines to 7 (i think this is the part i remember being pretty tough- doesn’t really look like it on the map but i thought it was- a long incline), some quick downhills to 10, flat to 11.7 with a tough hill (short but steep) with a sudden downhill, again rolling for .8 miles, and downhill for last .6

does this make you feel any better about the course????? hopefully so!

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