Monday, November 11, 2013

Race Recap:Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon Part 1

A lot went on this weekend with the Marathon and exploring new places.  There were so many photos to share, I thought I would divide it up into several posts.  You are welcome.  Big thank you to the Jayhawk for his photographic skills while I was out running.


Quick Visit to Chattanooga
Friday night the Jayhawk and I made the quick journey up to Chattanooga, TN. Only 20 minutes from the Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon start line, Chattanooga was the prefect place for us to spend the pre-race night. After seeing Chattanooga on foot a few week ago, I was excited to have the chance to explore. Though we didn't have a ton of time, we did get to see the famous Choo-Choo, which was made infamous by the Glen Miller song and had a great dinner at Urban Stack.
"Woo, woo Chattanooga there you are."
The Choo-Choo now resides permanently at the station which has been converted into a hotel. It's a fun idea with much of the original history and architecture preserved. They have even converted train cars into guest rooms. It's the one time you can sleep in a train station without feeling like a hobo.
The Florida Monument.
Pre-Race prep
The pre-race weather forecast showed the same temps as 7 Bridges Marathon (40s low/60s high), so I had planned to basically wear the same outfit. However, when we headed to the car in the morning, it was completely frosted over and only 33 degrees out. Yikes. I made a game time decision at the start line, and changed into my capris in the car (sorry people parked next to us, but you know you liked it). Thank heavens I did, because it didn't warm up that much during the race.
It's interesting to think what this area may have looked like 150 years ago during the battle.
This was the first time the Jayhawk has joined me on race day at a full marathon (he was running the 5k) and it was really fun to have him there. As we were discussing when I might arrive at the finish-line (between 4-4:30 depending how it went), he asked in jest if I could run a little faster today so he wouldn't have to wait in the cold so long. Sure honey, I'll see what I can do. While I was out on the course, the Jayhawk took a nice hike through the battlefield and took some great photos.
Even the reenactors looked cold.
A little background on the park
Now, I'll be honest. I'm not much of a civil war buff and I really didn't know much about the park before we got there, besides that it just commemorated the 150th Anniversary of the battle in September and that it was the most significant Confederate victory on the Western front.
Here is what I have learned since then. The battlefield is the site of one of the bloodiest battles in the civil war, second only to Gettysburg, with over 34,000 casualties in just 2 days. Throughout the park there are monuments to each of the states (Both Union and Confederate) that had units in the battle and there is a small museum with artifacts that have been discovered around the battlefield.
This is one of the more beautiful and incredibly well maintained parks I have run through. It's no mistake that the race is always on Veteran's day weekend and that many participates are from Team Red, White, and Blue. The battlefield is an impressive monument crafted with tremendous care and detail. It honors those who have fought for our country and the sacrifices they have made. Spending Veteran's day weekend at the battlefield was a powerful reminder of what so many gave to preserve our freedoms.
How did you spend your Veteran's Weekend?

Part 2: The Race coming up on Wednesday.

8 comments:

  1. What a great location for a marathon! Can't wait to hear about the race.

    I have to say that train station converted into a hotel sounds super fun!

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    1. It was a beautiful course especially with all the fall colors!

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  2. I have wanted to do this race because I always hear people talk about it. Can't wait to hear the rest of you review !

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    1. You definitely should look into it. It is a really well done race.

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  3. I've always wanted to visit this park. Hope you had a great race!

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  4. You have been doing some really interesting races lately.

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