Thursday, July 16, 2009

Run Chikin Run 10k course preview

The course as I ran it from General Bragg HQ's toward the starting line. The official map is here.

Really excited about having a 10k here in Murfreesboro. Seems 10k's are a rarity in the last several years. I've only run in less than a half dozen in the last 10-15 years. The biggest would be the Peachtree Road Race. But, I've only run in two 10k's in the last few years here in Tennessee. What I really want is to place 1st or 2nd in my age group to get some Chik-fil-a sandwiches for a year. That's way better than any age group awards I've won in the past. BUT, it's going to mean alot of my age group fast guys will have to stay home and I've got to run a fast race.

This morning I decided to run on the course of the Run Chikin Run 10k. It's starts at the pavilion on the new section of the greenway and goes out to Stones River Battlefield and back. I started out from the parking lot across the railroad tracks from the General Bragg Headquarters trailhead. From this point it's around a half mile or so to the start/finish area for the Chicken Run. I started around 4:30 am, so it was still dark. The sun didn't start coming up until around 3 miles in and didn't rise completely until I was finished.

I found a few of the mile markers, but never did find the start or finish. Looks like the markers are done with duct tape, temporary perhaps. Didn't stop to see if they were nailed down or not. Did notice loose pieces of duct tape around spots where a mile marker should have been.

Wished I'd have brought my camera to take some pictures. I really enjoy the Batttlefield loop. It's the spot where EB and I do a lot of speed training. Also, one of the loops that gets incorporated into at least a couple long runs each training cycle. Several wildflowers in bloom; blue chickory and black eyed susan and Queen Ann's lace were a few. Don't know what will be blooming on race day. Doubt the deer will be out either. They were out in numbers this morning. At least a dozen or so.

The course is mostly flat. From the starting point on the new portion of the greenway towards General Bragg HQ trail head is all open. Nice shaded portion for a half mile or so before you cross Old Nashville Highway and enter Stones River Battlefield. Lots of shaded sections in the battlefield. Mostly smooth asphalt until you get to the half mile section on Van Cleave, roughly around 1.5 miles into the race. This section is old asphalt that is slowly turning back to nature. A quick 100 meters or so of grass, adjacent to the Slaughter Pen area gets you on to the main 2 mile loop around the battlefield. Course continues toward the visitor center for the battlefield. Past the 3 mile mark is the start of the only rise of any significance on the course. It only rises about 90 feet or so. Shouldn't really slow anyone down enough they wouldn't get it back on the downhill on the other side. After you past the 4 mile marker you go back onto the 100 or so meters of grass and back the way you came. Slight rise just before the 5 mile marker, but the same amount of fall in the last half mile.

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