- Finishers Medals
- Brooks Podium tech shirts
- Post race food
- Post race showers at the Germantown Athletic Club
- Early packet pickup/ race expo on Saturday: Packet Pickup Schedule
The race starts at 7:30am at the Germantown Athletic Club (GAC), 1801 Exeter. There is plenty of parking at the GAC and the shopping center just south of the center. Arrive early in order to park, walk to the GAC and then make the short 1/8 mile walk to the start line on Neshoba.
The course is challenging due to the hills in the first few miles and the final mile, but there are minimal turns and plenty of downhill and flat road to make this a fast course if you approach it with the right strategy.
Miles 1 - 5: The first hill, on Kimbrough, starts out as a "false flat" just past the one mile mark. It then climbs steadily for a mile before pitching up in the last 500 yards as you approach the stoplight at Dogwood. Hold effort on this stretch but don't be afraid to let your pace drop a bit. Relax and don't stress over that mile 2 split. There is a nice long downhill after you turn left on Dogwood that will allow you to get back on pace and make up any lost time. Going too hard up this hill can make the final miles more difficult. By the time you get to mile 3 you should be back on your target pace. Just after mile 4 runners turn left on Forest Hill and enjoy a slight, 3/4 mile downhill to Wolf River Blvd. where they turn right and pass 5 miles.
Miles 5 - 10: The next 5 miles are on Wolf River Blvd with two quick detours through parks. This stretch of road offers few turns or hills so runners can really dial in their pace and effort. If it is a windy day this is where you will feel it. The next race landmark is Houston High School and Houston Levee Park. Runners turn in at mile 6 and make the one mile loop around the park. The halfway mark is inside the park and when you exit back onto Wolf River Blvd you are headed towards the finish with less than six miles to go. Take the opportunity in the park to reassess your form, nutrition and pace. Get ready to tackle the second half of the race. The next 3.5 miles on Wolf River Blvd. and Farmington Ave. are flat and require runners to stay focused and on pace. The quick loop through Cameron-Brown Park ends with a short steep exit back onto Farmington. The incline is less than 20 yards so just get up the incline and get back on pace. Runners soon reach mile 10 and begin the final 5K.
Miles 10 - Finish: A gradual false-flat greets runners at mile 10 all the way up to the Kimbrough intersection at mile 10.5. You are too close to the finish to relax now so just keep pushing. Turn right on Kimbrough and get ready to attack the final hills in the last mile. After two left turns runners are heading south on Brierbrook. Just after mile 12 runners are greeted by the most challenging part of the course. The hills are not overly steep but there are several rollers that will test runners, especially those that started out too fast. Be sure and save a bit of mental and physical fortitude for the finale: the 400 yard hill from Exeter and Farmington to the finish line.
*Course Records: 1:14:12 Janet Cherobon, 2010, 1:06:02 Michael Green, 2005
For half-marathon training tips: Conquer The Half-Marathon
Coach Kevin is an RRCA Certified Running Coach, National Coach for the St Jude Heroes Program & Team McGraw.