What a weekend. The Country Music Marathon and Half Marathon attracted almost 30,000 people. Amazing.
When I lived outside of Nashville I ran the old "Music City Marathon and Half Marathon" I ran the half a couple of different times. In those days, in the mid 1990's there was about 700 people in the whole and may 1,000 or so in the half. When Tim Murphy of Elite Racing talked to me about bringing a big "Rock 'n' Roll" style event to Nashville I told him he was crazy.
And in the first few years it looked like I was right. They started with ONLY a full marathon and after a strong first year saw the numbers dwindle down to less than 4,000 participants. Then they added the half marathon and the numbers soared. Two years ago there were a total of 17,000 participants in both races. This year that number was nearly doubled.
What's going on?
Hard to say, but I have a guess. People have figured out that Nashville - the city - is a FANTASTIC destination. If you stay downtown you just have to fall out of your hotel and you'll hear LIVE music played VERY well. It's fun, there's plenty of good food, and the atmosphere is "pure" country. What's not to like?
I did manage to run 3 times while I was there which is good. I took today off to recover from the drive but I'm looking forward to getting back out there tomorrow.