What? Franklin Half Marathon
Where? rural Franklin, Tennessee
When? June 7, 2014
Who? 664 runners
How much? $60 to $80 depending on registration date
My finish? 2:33:23
Swag? technical T-shirt, medal, peaches
The Good: scenery, water stations, parking
The Bad: the mile-six hill
Pre-race dinner: balamati rice, tofu, steamed vegetables, soy sauce
Pre-race bfast: water, banana, almond butter and toast
Post-race snack: peaches, chocolate milk, water, blueberry bagel
Post-race bRUNch: garden salad, waffle fries, tropical punch Nuun
Because I live and work in the heart of Nashville, that is also where most of my runs take place. So all of my major races that take place in the city have me pounding on the same roads I drive and run everyday. The courses are familiar, and they can be mundane. The Franklin Half Marathon was a welcomed change of scenery that kept me captivated all 13.1 miles. The race took place in Tennessee’s countryside, about 30 miles south of Nashville. Runners started in Leiper’s Fork, just feet from the iconic Pucket’s Grocery, one of Middle Tennessee’s best bRUNch spots. It race course took runners down a two-lane state road past farms full of horses, cows, haystacks and corn crops. We passed several state historical markers, including the former home of U.S. Sen. Thomas Hart Benton.
And, of course, there were rolling hills, which were manageable until mile six – an eternal uphill that slowed me to a walk until I reached its peak. I hadn’t run hill repeats in at least two months and was under prepared. Otherwise, it was a good run during a great race on an unseasonably cool and foggy morning. Such a great race, that I finally snapped a decent race photo.
The crowd was small, and the volunteers at water stations did plenty of cheering since there weren’t many spectators. Although this wasn’t a closed race course, police did a good job of keeping the few vehicles in the right line, and runners stayed left.
My favorite part of the Franklin Half was water bags that made the water stations painless. I didn’t get frustrated with paper cups too full with water or volunteers standing in my running path. Instead, there were boxes of chilled 5-ounce water bags for runners to grab at their convenience, bite and gulp down.
Overall, the Franklin Half was a pretty seamless race. Free parking was available on a farm just across the street from the start line. Runners didn’t step on each other’s heals for the first mile, like in large races in Middle Tennessee. Post race amenities included a variety of bagels, candies, fruit and sports drinks with seating. I will definitely run the Franklin Half Marathon again.