Race Review: Magnolia Meltdown

You know you’re a true half marathon fanatic when you look for races after you schedule a job interview. I set up this interview about 3-4 weeks ago for a hospital in Jackson, MS. Shortly after, I searched for races and found the Magnolia Meltdown, about a 10 minute drive from the hotel I stayed at. The best part of the whole thing? It’ll be my cheaper races I’ve traveled for, because the flight, hotel and rental car are all covered. I can’t complain if that takes Mississippi off my list of states!

I got in Thursday night and took care of some things for work and interviewed Friday morning. Friday afternoon, I headed off to pick up my bib and shirt. It’s a small race that’s a 5K/10K and half marathon. The 5k and 10k have been around for 7 yrs or so, but this was the first year for the half marathon. Pick up was at the Hyatt Place in Ridgeland, MS and was the bear basic packet pick up. It was your bib, your shirt, some hand outs for other races, maybe 2-3 local running stores and that was it. Since it was a race sponsored by a hospital, they had a CPR dummy to do demos of how to do CPR.

The race started at 730 on Saturday. I was up and at em at 630 or so (but with the body being on EST, it still felt like 730) and got to the race at 715. Parking was no problem. It started/finished at the Hyatt Place at the Renaissance (I think?). Though we were told a 730 start time, after announcements, prayers and the National Anthem, we didn’t start until closer to 740. The first mile was decent, but I didn’t realize that there were hills involved. I didn’t see the elevation map till after the race (whoops- but maybe it wasn’t there initially?). The race was a combination of roads and paved running/bike trails. It was pretty well marked, especially for a half marathon with 410 total runners. I learned real fast as to how it got the ‘meltdown’ part of the name. As the race wore on, the heat and humidity went up. The sad thing? When I met with the realtor after the race who showed me places to live if I move to Jackson, he said that the humidity on Saturday was a good day for them. Sigh.

Anyways, between the heat, humidity and hills and my 3rd half in 3 weeks (in addition to a 15K 4 weeks ago), my legs weren’t all that happy with me. There was more walking than I would have liked, but one will do anything to check a state off their list when trying to do halves in all 50 states.  There were water/hydration stops every 1.5 miles up until mile 7-8 and then every mile after that. Only 2 medical tents though, it would have been nice to have a few more.

Regardless, my worst half time later and I have Mississippi crossed off my list of states. Post race, there was a little food tent with gatorade, propel, water, pizza, and some other stuff. Music was playing and I think there was some other shenanigans going on too (I just wanted air condition and a shower).

Overall, a well run race. It was nice to have a smaller race that was just that. No wall to wall runners, but the people running were nice, no bands every mile, a reasonable race fee ($55) 3 weeks before the race and a pretty decent after party. The only thing I would change would be some more porta potties so people weren’t clogging up the hotel’s and maybe a 630/700 AM start time.

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About drrunner
6 time marathoner, 40 ish time 1/2 marathoner with a bucket list item to hit all 50 states. New title of BibRave Pro member so watch for discounts and products! Do what you love and love what you do!

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