Country Music Nashville Half Marathon

Nashville Travel Blog

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The start
Just returned from the 14th annual Country Music Marathon and half marathon in Nashville. Despite the wet weather, the event was a grand success - with lots of entertainment along the route - quite appropriate for the Music City. The route had more hills than my previous half marathons, so I finished with sore quads which is unusual, but with a big smile.

Eight of us participated - including two folks I'd never met but who've been part of my extended travbuddy group for years - kind of like distant cousins that you have heard of but never met. They were both great and really into music - which is pretty much how we spent the weekend after the race.

We all arrived the afternoon before to pick up our packets and get settled at the Opryland hotel - a huge hotel with numerous 'concourses', restaurants, and bars.
Entertainment along the route
It reminded me of a Las Vegas style hotel - you could live within its walls and never need to venture outside.

We got up at 4:30 on Saturday to make it to the start line by the 7am start. Five of us slow pokes were at the back and actually didn't cross the start line till 7:35 due to the volume of folks in front of us. The race organizers were worried about the forecast of tornadoes, but the rain held off till about 9:30, so many speed racers were already across the finish line. We were able to avoid tornadoes and lightning, but did cross the finish line a tad bit wet ;D

We immediately celebrated with a number of drinks, a nap and then a trip to the Grand Ole Opry, which is certainly unlike anything I've ever experienced. There were at least 20 different performers of all genres of country, frequent 'commercials' and a real down home atmosphere.
More entertainment
Loretta Lynn was the top performer of the evening and at 72 she still put on a good show.

The following day, we all trekked to Broadway, which is Nashville's main tourist drag. It's basically one bar after another, one band after another, and lots of tourists. I was amazed at the way a band would finish a set at one bar and then cross the street to play at a different venue. Music City is certainly an apt moniker for Nashville.

The original Grand Ole Opry House is one street over from Broadway and its presence is felt throughout the downtown area. One of the bars we visited, Tootsies, is famous for providing the Opry performers with alcohol back in the day when it was not allowed in the Opry House (which used to be a church).

One favorite bar of mine is called Paradise Park Trailer Resort - it's set up like a really tacky trailer park and it is tacky, but the selection of draft beer is astounding and the entertainment one of the best I saw the whole weekend, a guy named Paul Pace - if you like country, check him out.
More!
A voice like velvet and great lyrics, he looks like a Hell's Angel - a demonic visage which makes his voice all the more amazing.

We finished our long weekend at B.B. King's Blue's Club - probably the nicest bar/club we visited the entire weekend. The atmosphere was great, the service wonderful, other diners/drinkers really swell, and the band (The Bart Walker Band) really good - their keyboardist had previously played with Stevie Ray Vaughn and was simply amazing.

I would definitely rank Nashville one of the best weekend getaways - even with tornado warnings! If you like country or jazz & blues, it's the place to be.
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The start
The start
Entertainment along the route
Entertainment along the route
More entertainment
More entertainment
More!
More!
Pre-race pick up at the Convention…
Pre-race pick up at the Conventio…
Pre-race
Pre-race
Nashville skyline
Nashville skyline
The Old Opry House
The Old Opry House
Broadway
Broadway
More Broadway
More Broadway
More Broadway
More Broadway
Greeter at the new Ole Opry
Greeter at the new Ole Opry
We saw Loretta - 50 years after th…
We saw Loretta - 50 years after t…
Trailer Park Bar
Trailer Park Bar
Our reward for a race well done
Our reward for a race well done
More entertainment
More entertainment
Elvis sighting
Elvis sighting
Travelling Auntie starting em you…
Travelling Auntie starting 'em yo…
BBKings
BBKing's
As if we didnt get enough exercis…
As if we didn't get enough exerci…
Some of the group
Some of the group
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photo by: eurowestgirl