Saturday, December 07, 2013

Memphis St Jude Marathon 2013

Cancelled because of ice that fell all day Friday as freezing rain.  Friday night the race director gave his reasons: First, although the roads are ice-free, the course is not safe for runners in the start and finish areas; Second, the sidewalks are icy and dangerous for volunteers and spectators; Third, the course goes through a park where the roads are icy, at least one tree is already down, and more trees are hovering over the roads, threatening to break; Fourth, as of Friday night 30% of volunteers had already cancelled because they have their own ice problems; and Fifth, the entire area around Memphis is in a state of emergency, with power lines down and people out of power everywhere, so the police and rescue services needed by the marathon are required elsewhere.  I find it hard to disagree with that reasoning.

Plants coated with ice

He didn't even mention the unseasonable cold.  This morning, race morning, the low was about 20 with a stiff wind and a resulting wind chill temperature less than 5 degrees.  If the race had gone forward, it would easily have been the coldest of our 78 marathons, by at least 20 degrees, not considering the wind chill. Coming from Minnesota, I was ready for the cold, but we would have heard reports of frostbite or worse, so it's good that the race was cancelled for that reason as well.

This is the third time that we three have gone to a race that was cancelled after we arrived.  Chicago in 2007 was cancelled during the running because of heat (they ran short of ambulances), but I was far enough along that I was allowed to finish.  Then St. Charles MO, in 2008, was cancelled during the running because it got flooded by the remnants of Hurricane Ike, and part of the course went under water.  No one finished that one; we all ran 10.5 miles and got half-marathon medals.  Today's race was cancelled the night before the race, so today we're all carbed up with nowhere to run.
We rode this

I do like to blog about a race as soon as I can afterward, while the memories are still fresh.  However, as Sunshine points out, I've never before been able to blog during the time of the race.  Oh well, we took Amtrak to get here and that was fun.  Also we enjoyed a day in Chicago making the connection, and downtown Memphis isn't a bad place to be either.  We even rode the trolley from our hotel to the expo during the ice storm.

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