The Great 38 Race Weekend Recap

The Great 38 8K & 1/2 Marathon

These were the 1st 2 races of the season for me. I was really looking forward to the weekend because of 1. I was going to be able to see my daughter, Kelsea, since she is in college at Ole Miss, 2. I ran the 8k last year and it was a great course/race and 3. They added a 1/2 marathon on Sunday this year.

The Great 38 Weekend, held October 6th-8th, 2017, honors the memory of Chucky Mullens. Chucky Mullins #38 will forever be a legend at The University of Mississippi. Orphaned as a child and later adopted by his high school coach, he overcame life’s obstacles and went on to play football for Ole Miss. Sadly, Chucky lost his life due to an injury obtained during a football game.

The race benefits the Chucky Mullins Foundation which assists Ole Miss students who have a physical disability or demonstrate exceptional financial need. Along with registration, runners can purchase discounted tickets to the Tailgate for Palmer Dinner held the evening after the race in the Field Level Club of Vaught Hemingway Stadium. Proceeds from the dinner benefit the children of Palmer Home.

Before we even made it to Oxford, my daughter, Kelsea, had already decided where we would be having dinner Friday night. See, since Dad was in town, she knew she wouldn’t have to eat on campus and would be eating better food the whole weekend. We picked her up from her dorm, stopped by the race expo to pick up my race bibs & packet and headed to Boure’. I have to be very careful what I eat the night before a race. Runners will know what I’m taking about! LOL! So, I was very boring and had one of their “Build Your Own Burgers”. But now, my daughter on the other hand had the Seafood Jambalaya! Yum! I did have a taste of it. We finished dinner and decided since it would be an early morning, to just head back so I could prepare for the 8K in the morning.

Boure's Seafood Jambalaya Boure’s Seafood Jambalaya

The Great 38 8K Race

8K Race Morning 8K Race Morning

Even though it was a little warm for this time of year, Saturday morning was a beautiful morning for a race. Since I had run this 8K last year, I was familiar with most the route. This year, there were a few changes because of all the construction going on around campus. But, the race director did an amazing job with the route. The start was between Vaught Hemingway Stadium and The Pavilion. We ran all throughout the Ole Miss campus including The Grove & The Walk of Champions. The route continued into North Oxford, to The Square, then back to campus and finished on the 38-yard line of the football field in Vaught Stadium. I had a good race with a time of 1:06:36 with an 8:19 pace. Good enough to finish 2nd in my age group (44-49).

Me on the Jumbotron Me on the JumbotronMade it to the Podium-2nd Place Made it to the Podium-2nd Place8K Race Time 8K Race Time

Saturday evening, we decided to go to one of Oxford’s best-known restaurants, Ajax Diner. You don’t get much better down-home cooking than the meals at Ajax. We have eaten there multiple times and have enjoyed it each time. They did not disappoint this time either. From the Meatloaf to the Pot Roast, everything was delicious.

Ajax Pot Roast Ajax Pot Roast

The Great 38 1/2 Marathon Race

1/2 Marathon Race Morning 1/2 Marathon Race Morning

What a difference a day made. With Hurricane Nate making landfall on the MS Gulf Coast, we thought we may get rained out…..NOPE!! HOT & HUMID!! The route for the 1/2 marathon was one I had not run before & my legs were sore from the 8K, so I decided to start off at an 8:30 pace. After about 4 miles in, the heat and humidity started to kick in. So, I slowed to an 8:45 pace. I held that for a few couple miles until the hills just north of The Square really started to put a hurting on my legs. By the time I made it up the last set of 3 hills, I was like……and we’re walking! Thank goodness there was a water stop. Ha! Once I made it to mile 10, I was able to get back in my rhythm to negative split the last 3 miles. I finished the race with a time of 1:57:12 with an 8:52 pace. Not my best, but good enough for another 2nd place in my age group (44-49).

Made it to Podium...Again! 2nd Place Made it to Podium…Again! 2nd Place1/2 Marathon Finisher & 2nd Place Medal 1/2 Marathon Finisher & 2nd Place Medal1/2 Marathon Race Time 1/2 Marathon Race Time

Overall, I would highly recommend this race for everyone. You have all ages, paces & 3 different races to run. Be sure to follow The Great 38 Weekend to keep up when they will have the races next year!