The Tupelo Marathon is a great small race give or take 300 full and 150 half participants. The weather was a dream for August in MS, mid 50s to start the day. A lot of the first half is run in darkness (a headlamp would be beneficial). The marathon is a double looped course. The good news is that given how dark the first is they are almost unrecognizable. (race volunteers light up very dark areas of the course with lamps)The new Race Director for 2017 did a great job. This race had the best case scenario of any marathon I've run. The team hotel is walking distance to the start line. Parking is just as easy as checking in the hotel. The people who run this race are all very experienced. I had great conversations with the many Marathon Maniacs, 50 staters, and others on the course. You also get very courteous course etiquette with a field like this. EXPO - very quick, located in a local running store. about as easy and basic as you can hope for. Parking - Event parking heaven, free, close, no hassleRace Management - there's a reason this race is well known. Great Race Management and organization.Elevation - this Marathon has hills on repeat. I used this as a training run for another marathon and it was a superb warmup. I ran 20 miles at pace and coasted into the finish at a much slower pace. T Shirts/SWAG - This race is known for its Tye Dye long sleeve race shirts and creative race medals. This year's medal was an oversized Skull with a spinning sign in it's mouth. BBQ and Beer at the air conditioned finish line. Plenty of room for friends and family.Aid Stations - With a slogan like "Trample the Dead, Hurdle the Weak", I was expecting sparing water breaks at the 5k marks. This race came equipped with bananas, orange slices, gatorade, freeze pops, cold towels, you name it. They really went above and beyond.
The packet pick up was nothing special. It was at Trail and Treads, which is a local running store in Tupelo. The Swag Bag we got did not have much in it, but the T-shirts were really cool. It was a tie dyed shirt with the skull logo on the front of it. The race actually started at 5 A.M. which was very really for me. I just went to bed around 7:30, and I actually felt fine. Before the race there were tables and chairs set out in the arena, but most people were standing in the hall way or out side. Time was getting close to 5 so we naturally made our way to the starting line, but there were no announcements. i was in the middle to back of the back starting, and couldn't get any closer. I could hear like a faint sound of a bull horn but couldn't understand anything they were saying. then all of the sudden a gun fired and the race started.I had heard all about how hilly the course was, but in my opinion they were not the hardest hills. They were not very steep, but some were long and gradual. The course only staying in down town Tupelo for a little while, and then you run most of the race through neighborhood; which doesn't make for the most exciting race. I had also heard how hot it was going to be. The 5 a.m. start really helped with this though. It felt really good almost the whole time. I did notice it start warming up around 9:00 a.m.. The aid stations were well equipped, and about every 2 miles. some had water and gatorade, others had oranges and bananas, one had cold rags. The course is open to traffic so one the 2nd loop of the marathon I had to pay more attention for cars because there are not too many people on the course around you.The finish line is in the arena which is very nice when you get done running 26.2 miles. I was met with cheers from the people who had already finished and were eating. They gave me my medal as soon as i finished the race and the medals were very cool. Once I finished they had gatorade, water, and beer. there were also serving BBQ. All in all it was a good race, but with the lack of hype and excitement of the environment, it is more of a one time thing for me. I would recommend it to a friend only because it is a good experience, but I will probably be looking for another marathon for my 2018 labor day weekend.
Hilly course. It's fun, and everyone is great. The race ends with a breakfast. It's easy to get to, and there is a hotel right next to the start/finish area. The race starts in the dark since it gets hot, but there are parts of the race that you're running and can only see glow sticks. The mile markers are spray painted on the ground. It's a low-tech course and not meant for a PR.