If you are looking for a great half marathon for a PR, this is the race for you. It is small, extremely flat, and at just the right time of year for decent weather. My race morning was a bit brisk, but as you runners know, it doesn’t take long to warm up in a race no matter what the temperature might be. The race course starts and finishes on the MTSU campus and winds its way through Murfreesboro, TN. It passes several historic places including the Oaklands Mansion (a famous historic landmark) and Davis Market (a famous place for college kids to buy beer and rolling papers).

I started this race 10lbs heavier and with almost no training under my belt since the Chicago half marathon I did on August 1. Naturally I did not expect to do very well and wasn’t planning on taking this race very seriously. My main goal was to finish under 2:30:00 which was 12 minutes over my PR. It was just going to be a fun run and for most of the race that’s exactly what it was. Up through mile 9 I rarely checked my watch and mainly chatted with other racers, watched the cheerleaders, and thought about my old college days at MTSU. At mile 6 I even stopped and took a rather lengthy bathroom break.

I was really enjoying myself and the run at mile 9. I wasn’t fatigued and was on pace to finish at about my PR time, it was at that point that I decided to go for it at mile 10. The plan was to run the last 5K at or near my 5K pace if possible and get a new PR. The plan worked pretty well as I ran as hard as I could for 5 minute intervals and walked for 1 minute for recovery. With about three quarters of a mile to go I decided to run it out to the finished. I started getting a little tired with a quarter mile to go, but at that exact moment I came up on a couple (with matching running gear, how cute!) who were struggling a bit, but trying not to let me pass. I kicked in that lower gear and started pulling away from them and as I left them behind I could hear the guy start wheezing. At the last tenth of a mile, I stepped it up to a sprint and gave it everything I had in the tank and passed about 20 people for a time of 2:16:03 which was a PR by exactly 2 minutes! True to form for most of my races, I nearly collapsed at the finish line and was asked by a volunteer if I needed help. No thanks!

This race was probably one of the funner ones I have done. Everything about it was well done and the small size allowed me to run the race I wanted to run. As long as I live in Tennessee, I’ll be doing the “Middle Half.”