Sunday, March 25, 2018

I Have a Coonskin Cap (WW # 138)



The purpose of this linkup is to
support active women.
Have you read the UPDATED RULES ??

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Raccoon Mountain Half Marathon
Chattanooga, TN
March 17, 2018
Half Marathon # 54


Our recent Tennessee Great Smoky Mountains hiking trip included the Raccoon Mountain Half Marathon.  It was a stormy morning and my son and I were drenched after walking to packet pickup. Everyone was instructed to stay in their vehicles due to lightning.  It was intense!  Thankfully, it passed quickly and the race start was only delayed about 20 minutes.  We were all given a rain poncho.  I thought that was a very nice touch.

My arm warmers are tucked into my top.
It was warm and steamy.
After two days and 17 miles on mountain hiking trails my quads were feeling every 5,505 foot of descending terrain I'd stepped (and the corresponding 5,505 ascending).  Even so, I pushed on the downhill portions of this race as I'm training for an upcoming downhill marathon.  I walked up the steepest hills.
  
This race bills itself on FUN.  It definitely had a laid back atmosphere.  The location was very pretty.  We ran around a large reservoir and there were scenic views off in the distance from atop the mountain.  The aid stations reminded me of the ones you find on Century Rides.  There were all types of food as well as themes and enthusiastic volunteers.  It's as if they wanted you to stop and hang out a while.

This view is from one of the aid stations.
This event historically has been run on a mix of trails and road.  This year they offered: marathon, double half marathon (morning and evening) half marathon, relay, 10k and the new "all road" half marathon.  I don't know if the volunteers directing runners were confused -- I certainly was -- or if they marked the course wrong, but my all road route came up short    Very short.  It wasn't just me as they apologized on their website. I think my official time was around 2:01 but I can no longer locate the results.  I have no idea how far I ran as my watch stopped a while during the race.  I'm guessing it wasn't even 12 miles.

  
They gave us a coonskin cap with a real tail (I'm serious), a moisture-wicking hat, a huge and heavy glass mug, and bib fasteners.  My son wanted a long sleeve T-shirt and they had a good variety of items for purchase.  I bought a tank top.  By the way, he walked/ran his correctly marked 10k at an awesome pace...but like I said, now I can't find the results.  They had grilled burgers, hotdogs, cupcakes, brownies and more at the finish.


Because we had on coonskin caps...


We continued with our adventures in Chattanooga at Rock City and Ruby Falls before heading home.


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Monday -- Strength
Tuesday -- 8 Miles Evening Run
Wednesday -- 14 Miles Bike Trainer Ride
Thursday -- 6 Miles Evening Run
Friday -- REST
Saturday -- 15 Miles
Sunday -- Strength / Yoga

Total Ran = 29 Miles
Total Cycled = 14 Miles

Dark, evening greetings from the mailbox!
Marathon training is coming along well.  I'm dealing with minor health issues which have me struggling to get up early after nights of poor sleep.  So, my weekday runs were after work.  I enjoyed them immensely.  Maybe I'm getting the hang of this evening runner thing.  Saturday marked my longest run since December 2016.  I didn't get started until around 10 a.m. and it quickly became very hot in the abundant sunshine.   The two bottles I stashed around my 'hood were not enough for 15 miles in the heat. I can usually rely on the water fountain in our neighborhood park but the city has yet to turn the water back on.  {Hello, City?  It's 80 degrees.  I think Winter is over!}    

And that's a wrap!

What's the most unique item you've received at a race?

Are you training for any races?  Which ones?



71 comments:

  1. The swag from this race looks amazing! Are you kidding, a real coonskin cap? I have wanted one of those since I was 6, and watched Davy Crockett on TV! The race sounds like it needs some organization, but as long as you and your son had a good time, that's what's important. Good luck with marathon training!

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    1. Yes, they tell you the tail is real so that you can decline it if you want to. I think the addition of their all road course confused some people Hopefully they'll get that straightened out.

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  2. That sounds like an interesting race! Im glad it wasn't delayed for too long due to the weather. It's too bad the course was short and you cant find your results now! Glad to hear marathon training is going well. Congrats to both you and your son on your races!

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    1. I've never been exposed to that much lightning before a race. We lucked out that it passed through quickly.

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  3. A coonskin cap! Well, that beats my aviator scarf (for an overall master's champion, none the less #snort) ;-) We don't even have trash containers back in our local parks yet. Ummm...do people not walk their dogs year-round ? Our spring reverted (abruptly) back to winter this week....but we're headed to Florida in a few hours, so #firstworldprobs ;-) Thanks for the awesome link-up!

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    1. They just installed new doggie poo containers in our park and the trash cans stay year round. Why would your's be taken up? I need to complain about the water. Maybe it is broken and they just haven't fixed it.

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  4. Rock City and Ruby Falls - oh my goodness, that brings back memories! I driven past those endless signs on the interstate, but have never stopped...

    Congrats on completing yet another half marathon, even if this one was short! The raccoons that live under my deck do not approve of the coon skin caps; although, I'd gladly donate them for future caps! LOL

    Thanks for the linkup!

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    1. I can't believe you've never stopped. Both are very nice attractions. They were also very crowded over that weekend! My dogs were so interested in our coonskins caps when we returned home.

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  5. I love that your son ran the 10K race! So sorry that that the race ended up being short, but I love all the swag that you received, especially the hat!

    Great job on your training this week!

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    1. Since I was using it as a training run, I didn't mind it was short. I would be irritated if I was having a good paced race though. It wouldn't count.

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  6. You're finding all the races with the best swag this year! I love the hat.
    I'm training (I use that word loosely lol) for three spring races! Glass City, Cap City, and My City - Pittsburgh.

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    1. I think their logo is spot on. It pops on everything it is put on!

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  7. I love the coonskin cap so much that I would consider running this race! LOL! I'm all about the swag....

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    1. It was simply a "when in the area" situation. How could I say NO to a coonskin cap? And the stein is awesome!

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  8. I agree with everyone else -- you find the races with the best swag! And the toughest ones. :) But a short course is always a bummer for me. :(

    Here it's finally warming up -- and by that I mean we're supposed to get up to mid 40s. It's a heatwave! Bathrooms are stilled closed, paths are still iced over -- but even though I'm sick of cold, I'd still rather tackle that than heat.

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    1. I think I was mesmerized by the raccoon graphics! I ran in the heat for my long run Saturday and I'm not ready for it. It sucked the very life from my soul. LOL.

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  9. How fun! Looks like some great swag. I am glad that they didn't end up cancelling the race for y'all.

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    1. We are lucky the line of storms moved through quickly. The lightning was pretty bad! I kept ducking...like that would help. HA.

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  10. Oh now that hat is a keeper! Well earned girl. I cannot even imagine how hard it must have been to run a half after all that hiking. Looks like a fabulous venue though (except for the lightening!) Thanks for the linkup

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    1. My quads were so sore! But they seemed to loosen up as the race went on. It really was a pretty location for a race. No traffic issues either!

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  11. That's definitely unique. I also have been delaying my runs on the weekends, hoping for the sun to come up and warm up the temps. It's really nice to not rush through breakfast, and I've been taking my time waking up.

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    1. With our summer heat returning, I'm going to have to get out earlier. Although I enjoy sleeping in, I can't run in the 80 degree heat again.

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  12. I love the shirt and your pictures from the race! Looks beautiful!

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    1. I think they did a great job on the graphics. That raccoon logo popped on everything I saw it on.

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  13. It was frigid in Virginia Beach last weekend and yes, I think winter is over for us down south! I’m sorry to hear about your health issues, but great job on your longest run since 2016! I will have to check out the half you ran! Love the tank, hat, and mug. I’m so glad Marathon Training is over and I am excited to follow your marathon training! I hope to see you down the road soon!

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    1. I hope the cold worked in your favor at your race in VA. I can't imagine running a marathon in the heat, although my first Disney was in the 70s and so very humid.

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  14. Wow, what an interesting race. Bummer on the confusing route, short distance and missing times, but yeah on the swag. I can't remember unusual swag but did win some festive party lights at an after-race raffle.

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    1. Sometimes the prizes they raffle off are really good! I've won a few items that way.

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  15. It's always a bummer when races end up a bit short! But good for you for using those hills to better your training. I hope your health issues are resolved soon. Poor sleep is the worst!

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    1. I didn't mind the short course since I was taking it easy. Had I been having a really good race, that would have really frustrated me!

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  16. Oh my, you are a machine to run that half after all that hiking!

    And what cool SWAG- a raccoon hat- so unique!

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    1. I'm not quite sure what one does with a coonskin cap. But, I have one! LOL

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  17. Wow! Between the hiking and the biking and the running, that's a lot of activity. Way to go! I was a training for one of the Cleveland marathon events, but now I'm not sure due to some directions from my doctor. Stay tuned - hopefully I'll be back running soon.

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    1. Oh, no! I hope everything is OK. Take off the time you need. Training will always be there!

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  18. That hat is pretty cool swag! The weirdest thing that I've ever seen in a race bag swag is canned goods like beans and carrot and a supermarket employee shirt. One of the race sponsors is the supermarket but it's like they went shopping in the store for the swag bags. So bizarre!

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    1. Ha! At least the canned goods were useful. But an employee shirt? That is hilarious!

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  19. I love races with unique swag. I'm not sure I would wear a coon skin hat lol but its cool to receive something different. At the moment I think the most unique item I've received from a race was a beach towel...which isn't that unique but I use it more than I wear the race shirt, so that's something.

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    1. I know! My first thought was "cool". Then it was replaced with "what am I going to do with a coonskin hat?". I love getting beach towels! That is one item that gets a lot of use around here.

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  20. That's some fun swag! That's weird you can't find the results and the course was short. But great job on your evening runs! Sounds like marathon training is going well.

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    1. They are probably making revisions to the final results. I think there was a lot of confusion on who ran what race, unfortunately.

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  21. Sounds like a fun race and I'm loving the tank as well as the cap. We did the Ruby Falls deal when the boys were young and enjoyed it immensely. Two of my boys also camped out inside Ruby Falls with their Boy Scout troop ...they thought that was really cool! Hoping you are feeling better soon!! xoxo

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    1. Camping out at Ruby Falls sounds fun...and a little spooky! We've been a few times but college kid was too young to remember much. It was so crowded over this weekend!

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  22. I love a race that has food as awesome sounding as this and love the hats! Too bad about the confusion on the course. Offering so many options has its challenges I guess.

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    1. I think you can definitely have too many options. They should really just focus on their original trail/road mixed course and offer the half and full distances, I think.

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  23. What a unique race experience- those hats are awesome! Looks like your training is off to a great start, too!

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    1. Fingers crossed I can stay healthy for two more months and run a strong marathon!

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  24. You and your son are really rocking those coonskin caps!! Well done to him and well done to you, even though the course was a tad short! I wonder how they managed that. Nevertheless it sounds like a lovely experience and glad you got to do it with your son. That's special!

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    1. They had us looping and u-turning a few times and I really think we weren't directed properly by the volunteers. They told us we would do the 10k course twice plus a little extra. We didn't do that at all!

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  25. Sounds like a fun race in spite of the distance being short. That was a nice touch that they had ponchos available!

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    1. Those ponchos were a life saver! I've never seen a race GIVE one to everybody there. Somebody was thinking ahead of time to have them available.

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  26. That's some awesome swag from a race. THe shirt is awesome and a coonskin cap? How unique!!!

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    1. I'm not sure what one does with a coonskin cap. But whatever it is, I'm ready!

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  27. I like the cap and the medal from that race! It's super unique, even if the course itself was really hard. Glad you had a fun trip overall.

    I think public water fountains should always be on, hydration is important no matter what the temperatures are and you live in the South, where it's usually fairly warm.

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    1. The water is still off! So now I'm wondering if there is a problem with it. I miss having it in case I need it. Like today.

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  28. I love when races have unique swag. It makes races feel extra special and not just your normal run of the mill race.

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    1. It certainly helps you remember the event a little better. After 54 half marathons, they tend to run together a bit. LOL.

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  29. That coon hat is the coolest!!! Again - I love that your son and you got to experience this race together. This race looks like one I would want to run!

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    1. The best part was sharing it with my son. I knew he would agree when he found out about the coonskin hat. LOL.

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  30. I love your coon hat! I don't think I've ever gotten anything really unique at a race. I think the only thing I've ever gotten other than a medal was an engraved wine glass. Great job on another half marathon, and especially after hiking so much!! Have a great week!

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    1. I like getting mugs and glasses too. I really don't need another T shirt and I appreciate out-of-the-box thinking.

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  31. Sounds like you had a great week! I agree, I love when races have more fun swag. I am currently training for a little race called the Boston Marathon..AHH!

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    1. You'd better believe I'd buy all the extra swag if I ever got in to run Boston. Enjoy!

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  32. That is some awesome swag for a race! I enjoy seeing races push the boundaries to make their swag unique...

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    1. I agree. The old "here's a cotton T shirt" routine has gotten stale.

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  33. Sucks about the short distance, but it does sound like it was a very fun race. Love all the swag!! I'm obviously not running the right races, as I can't think of anything all that unique that I've received.

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    1. I hope they'll figure out what went wrong and correct it. It was a beautiful location -- especially seeing the fog rise off the reservoir.

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  34. I can't get over how adorable the raccoon graphic on the mug and shirt are! I'm sorry that the course was short - that's always frustrating - but it sounds like a fun race!

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    1. I think they did an excellent job with their graphics. It popped off of all of the merchandise I saw it on. I love my mug, especially!

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  35. Love the caps!!! I've run in rain poncho's before during a race but quickly took it off after 5k as I couldn't handle it.

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    1. A very nice lady was standing at a van and collecting everyone's wet rain ponchos at about 2 miles in. The rain had cleared away.

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  36. Wow, great mileage! I just tried Endurance Tap fuel instead of my normal GU's for my long runs. Wow - amazing stuff!

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