Monday, December 12, 2016

Race Review: Panattoni Mt. Juliet Holiday Half Marathon

This weekend was a milestone for me - it was my 45th Half Marathon, but it was also a weekend with my runner mama who was in town.  This was our second Panattoni Mt. Juliet Holiday Half Marathon (Mt. Juliet is the town just east of Nashville), and I will preface this by saying that I really love small, local races.  There is no way that a race like this is even comparable to a bit city/big event race, so you have to appreciate it for what it is (which is sweet and home town-y).  As soon as my mom got in, we hit the "expo."
Okay, so "expo" might not be the right word - it was in the gym of the local middle school, but it was efficient - we were in and out of there in a few minutes.  And along with our long sleeve race shirts, we did get free ornaments and jingle bells for our shoes!  Race morning came with lots of sunshine and cold temps!
Couldn't resist!
Thankfully, the start time was pushed back to 10:45 AM, but it was still only 31 degrees when we lined up. Winter came suddenly to our little piece of Tennessee (and my mom was traveling in from southern Arizona), so we had a lot of talk about exactly how many layers we would need! Because this is such a small race (500 runners between the half marathon and 5k), we were able to huddle in the middle school and use indoor bathrooms before the race began.
Alright, so let's play a little game - anyone notice what's missing in this picture? Maybe in the wrist area? Yep, that's right.  I left my shiny new Garmin at home.  Thankfully, my mom brought hers and we were running together, but makes me crazy to forget things.
This race kicks off the annual holiday parade - think pickup trucks pulling trailers full of kids and decorations and music and candy (told you, sweet and home town-y).  It was cold, but we got a nice bright day with minimal wind. We were also excited to try out the new course, which we were told we would enjoy because it wasn't as hilly.
Without much fanfare (no fireworks), just the national anthem and someone yelling "go," we were off!  The race starts down Mt. Juliet's main road and there were spectators waiting for the parade (when we passed they must have thought it was the worst parade ever). The majority of this race is on roads still open to traffic, so runners do have to be a bit careful.
Though not entirely flat (this is Tennessee after all), the course was less hilly than last year.  Personally, I liked last year's course better because, though tougher, I thought it was prettier.  My mom and I both carried fuel, but there were several aid stations with water/power aid and gels/chews.  They also had awesome volunteers who worked really hard running out to meet the runners with cups in hand.
We had a great time, but were happy to see the finish line (back at the middle school) and collect our medals.  This wasn't even close to a PR for either of us, but we had a great time running together (always do).  And even more exciting, my mom placed second in her age group!
The Bottom Line:
Run This Race If: You're going to be in the Nashville area around this time of year and love small, local races (or if you're looking for a run to get you in the holiday spirit).  Good possibility to win age group awards and they gave out great prizes for winners!
Course: Loop route, all on roads, most open to traffic.  Not flat, but not the most challenging Nashville race either. Consider bringing some additional hydration/fuel to supplement what is provided at the aid stations.
What Makes It Unique: Kicks off the town's annual holiday parade, so more spectators and high fives than you might see at a typical small, local race.  Lots of local charm.
Cost: Moderate.
Half Marathon5k
12/01/15 - 01/31/16: $6012/01/15 - 01/31/16: $25
2/1/16 - 11/19/16: $702/1/16 - 11/19/16: $30
11/20/16 -12/09/16: $8011/20/16 -12/09/16: $35
Race Site: $90Race Site: $45
Date and Time: Saturday in early December.  Half Marathon started this year at 10:45 and the 5k started at 10:55.
Would I Do It Again: Sure would and hopefully my mom will be coming back to join me!


  1. Glad mom brought her Garmin. For me it would be like missing my shoes, lol.

    1. I know! Although I have to say that between my Garmin and my music ... I'd have to go with my music.

  2. Hey you were seated across cafeteria from me. I was seated close to restrooms lol. But I agree was a nice fun cold race.

    1. Okay how in the heck did we miss each other!? Not a large cafeteria or race. Unreal. We'll have to try again at another one! Hope you feel better soon!

  3. I had a little chuckle when I saw Mt Juliet because I have actually heard of that before. Here's a quick story: I was doing a press release for an author who lives in that area and I had to send it to the newspaper in Mt Juliet. I heard it was a small town but was surprised that their local newspaper isn't printed every day!

    Anyway, congrats on a great race and to your mom for placing. Those medals are adorable and I see they even give them to the 5K finishers too, no?

    1. What a small world! It's a small town, but growing really fast - maybe some day there will be a daily paper :) Yes, I believe 5k runners got the same medal. Winners got a really neat Tervis mug (so glad she left it here with me)!

  4. This sounds like such a fun one! Love the festive medal too! Wow both of your parents are runners. Lucky you!

    1. I am very lucky! My dad has always been a runner and my picked it up a little later in life (biking and triathlons were her gateway), but it's a really fun way to get to spend time with both of them :)

  5. Oh WOW, your mother also runs? So totally jealous of you! What a neat thing to husband runs some races with me, but he really slacks on come race day I sort of leave him in my dust (and I'm not exactly a sprinter LOL). I hope some day I can get my kids to do a race with me (currently, none of them have any interest...though the son is a decent swimmer, so I'm trying to get him to consider doing a triathlon). And, that medal! SOOOO cute!

    1. Thanks so much! Yeah it's been really fun. Your kids may get there, too! I didn't start really running until I turned 20 - never was a runner in school - so it's been a fun thing for us now that I'm an adult. That's great that your husband at least attempts to run with you! Great to have a support systems who at least mostly gets our crazy lifestyle :)