Saturday, August 09, 2008

Elvis 5K

We're having an Elvis weekend, in fact! Yesterday afternoon life took Chasen and I to Tupelo, Mississippi -- birthplace of Elvis.

Getting there! I was excited.

This is where Elvis was born and raised. I'd say Graceland was a major step up!

This is a statue of Elvis at age 13.

This is the Plymouth the family used to drive from Tupelo to Memphis.

Since we were already on the road, we also visited Oxford, Mississippi.

Today, though, was indeed the Elvis 5K to benefit United Cerebral Palsy of the Mid-South. Chasen announced a few days ago that he'd be running the race, also. Cool! We've only ran one other race together (a 2-miler in 2006).

We arrived at Graceland and went to get our packets. We had to wait quite a while. Same thing with the port-o-pottie lines later on! But that turned out successful, also. And the weather? Heavenly! The running gods must have been smiling, because it was about 75 degrees with only 75% humidity. A real treat!

On Wednesday Lisa told me I'd probably run into this local running celebrity:

Elvis!!! Aka George the running Yorkie. Apparently he is at all the races. Cameras were snapping!

Chasen lined up way ahead of me, of course. We started and finished right in front of Graceland.

There were two different groups of military people there. Chasen knows the specifics of all that. But let me tell you this: they ran in formation the whole way. Pretty cool!

I thought I could stay in front of them. Their 'chants' were entertaining and kept me going.

But not for long. They left me in the dust!

My goal today was to ENJOY the race. I didn't want to go out too fast and then start hating the race by mile 2. I wanted to be "slow and steady."

We weaved through the neighborhood surrounding Graceland, which was just "normal" houses, not mansions. People were out clapping for us and some had sprinklers and water hoses on. I avoided the water. The weather was quite nice as it was.

I brought my own water bottle, so I did not partake of the water stops. However, at mile 1.5 or so the UCP folks were handing out ice cold paper towels! Now that was GREAT. I kept mine for the whole rest of the race. It was so refreshing. What's more, I am not a major sweater. I sweat a normal amount, in my opinion. What I do, though, is SALT. I am like a salt block after a race. So the paper towel kept me looking flushed/pink instead of pink with a layer of white on top!

Here are my splits:
Mile 1 - 13:15
Mile 2 - 13:48
Mile 3 - 13:20
Mile 3.1 - 1:34
Total - 41:58 unofficially (we wore timing chips - no results posted yet)

That is 1:11 slower than the Firecracker 5K, but this was a MUCH better race. I was slow and steady, so I met my goal. And I didn't curse every step past mile 1! I got my money's worth, you might say.

Chasen finished before me, of course, so he ran back to me and got my camera as I turned back onto Elvis Presley Blvd.

The finish line is in sight!

Apparently I wanted to greet it. The Graceland visitor's center is on the other side of me.

Post-race was a little disappointing. The food was great (as they even had hot dogs), but the live band wasn't even playing Elvis songs. Bummer! So we didn't hang too long.

But this shirt makes the whole event complete:

It's a very vibrant yellow!

So what's next? The Overton Park 5 Mile Classic in two weeks. I better get registered!


Road Warrior said...

How cool, Susan! I especially like the t-shirts that aren't white--much easier to wear.

Congrats on a good and fun race!

Kim said...

How neat!!! I envy you---looks like you guys had a great time!

Happy to see you're running again.

ShirleyPerly said...

Oh, I like that t-shirt color too!

Good job on meeting your goals and glad you had better weather. Sounds and looks to have been a fun event!

One Bloggers Life said...

I envy you!! I just began running and hopefully I can follow in your footsteps. I think you done great!! Looks like you had so much fun.

Lisa Webb said...

so glad you got to meet george & that you had a good time. love the pics -- it makes a little easier to bear since i didn't make it out. this is one of my fav races...

Jade Lady said...

Thanks for taking me to Elvis' birthplace! Great photos. Sounds like you had a great race and left with a memorable tshirt.

Dawn said...

So very cool!!! I wish we could have been there! How many running Elvi' were there? ha ha..
We miss you guys.

Cheryl said...

What a fun race, I love Graceland and the whole Elvis thing, I guess it's getting close to the "anniversary". I would have been disappointed they weren't playing Elvis tunes at the end too, but it sounds like you had a good race and got a cool T-shirt to boot! Way to go!

Maddy said...

How cool is that? Great pics and a great race!

The t-shirts are really cool.

What fun! I want to run an Elvis race!

gabsatrucker said...

Wow, I'm thinking that there are cooler races where you're at. hmmm, may have to start road tripping. I was wanting to run the Tupelo 14.2 miler this month but no way I'm up to that distance now, hopefully next year.

Great pics and glad you had a great time!

peter said...

What a lovely race! Sounds like it was a thoroughly enjoyable event. You've come such a long ways since the days of 'da boot.

Annette said...

we have been known to travel pretty far for a 5K maybe next year we will have to get a group together and make a trip to Memphis to run this race!! I think Fort Smith is further away than Memphis so definately doable!!

CewTwo said...

It sounds like it was a lot of fun. It is always fun when you can run with family and friends!

I ran awhile this weekend with one guy that was running with his 2 young sons and his father! A 3 generation race!

Cool shirt!

I did visit Gordon's blog and left him a message!

Bev said...

That is so awesome! I love the shirt.

Tammy said...

Love the pictures :D. Looked like it was alot of fun. Way to go on your run, I'm a really super slow runner, so good for you on the timing. I struggled and still do alot with my foot problems. Keep up the great work your doing a wonderful job. Happy running