Thursday, August 21, 2014

Don't Be Cruel, Read This Race Report

August 16th is the alleged death date for the King of Rock N Roll Elvis Presley. So what is more fitting than to go out and run 5K race that starts at the gates of Graceland (which is basically In the Ghetto now)? The Elvis Presley 5K is now one of my favorite races and I think everyone reading this should go race it. I really have no excuse as to why in my 13 years of being a Memphian and a lifetime of being an Elvis fan, that I have never run this race before, but I guarantee it will be on my race list every year going forward.

**Fact, did you know that Heartbreak Hotel is actually at the end of Lonely Street in Memphis?

Em in front of Graceland
 This is one of the bigger 5K's in Memphis. This year there was 1,122 runners on the course. So naturally, I was not looking for a fast time or a PR. If you have read my blog before than you can imagine that I was concerned about following one of my race rules. Rule #2, No one in a costume beats me. There were plenty of people in Elvis hair, Elvis sideburns and Elvis gold glasses, so even though I was using this as a training run, I needed to keep the rules. My wife, Emily also ran with me and our main goal was just to stay together, which is so hard in a big race. But I am getting ahead of myself.

As we arrived to the race site that morning, the weather was great, there was no chance of a Kentucky rain comin downnnn, and I was shocked at how easy parking was. They had guards directing us right into a spot. One thing I hate about some races is simply finding a place to park. Once the car was parked, we walked right up to the race site and visited real bathrooms, not porta potties! Score!!!! We then just kind of strolled around looking at the sponsors booths and getting our picture taken!

We decided to roll up to the gates of Graceland and take a picture when they opened the gates! We got to walk up to the house, take pictures and visit the alleged grave of Elvis Presley and family. It was amazing to see all the flowers and mementos that people from around the world have left at the gravesite. You have to remember that this was the end of Elvis week, so there had been thousands of fans in town all week! So after paying respect to the King, we made our way to the start line, but first we had to get a picture with an Elvis, which left us All Shook up!
We lined up about a third of the way back from the start line. We did move up to pass the approximately 100 NAVY men running in formation carrying a flag. That was actually pretty cool to see. So before we knew it, the gun sounded.

Now many people started running, but we weren't close enough to the official start line that I had to hold Em back until we crossed the timing mat. Once we hit the mat, the watches were started and we were on our way. Like I said earlier, my main goal was to finish under 30 minutes and to stay with my wife. We are running pretty well, and we finally find that line where you do not have to dodge people anymore and we get into a good pace, and then we see him. There is an Elvis impersonator running in a full Elvis jumpsuit, wearing Blue Suede Shoes. He was throwing out Thank you very much and telling every dog that barked in the neighborhood he was nothing but a hound dog!

My wife was running great. She has come a long ways with her running. She will tell you I pushed her, but That's Alright Momma, she also pushed me. At one point I looked down my Timex and we were hitting around an 8 minute mile! We got in a great pace and held on. She did not wear her Garmin, so she only knew what I told her regarding pace, and I purposely did not tell her much. So much for my training run! I felt great also during the entire run. Once we hit mile 2, I knew we were heading for a good time. We ran on the last stretch, we knew it Was Now or Never and Emily said Little Less Conversation, Little More Action as we hit the final stretch to the finish line. We turned in a 27:25. Emily hit a new PR! I was very proud of her and she was stoked for herself! It's funny, you have one midset pre race, then it shifts and you have another mindset during the race! Here are some race shots.

As we crossed the finish line, we got a cool finisher's medal with the iconic "TCB" on it, which stands for Taking care of business, which Elvis was famous for saying. Gotta admit, it is one of my favorite medals.

Love Me Tender, Love me some finishers medals!

Next we spent some time at the booths, cause the warden threw a  party at the county jail (Jailhouse Rock Reference!) ate some donuts (seemed appropriate) and then we hit the results table for our official times. It was not a Heartbreak Hotel for either of us! Our official results were that Emily finished 7 out of 90 in her AG 216/1122 overall. I finished 24/90 in my AG, 215/1122 OA and our time was 27:25.

I know, a Hunk, a hunk of Burnin Love right there!

"Elvis Presley has left the building"


  1. Great race report, honey! I definitely want to do this one again. Any race that serves fresh Krispy Kreme donuts at the end of the race is doing something right. I had a great time with you. This felt like a really cool date - we got to be tourists, got to do something we both enjoy, and even did a little shopping at the Graceland gift shop. Thanks for pushing me to a new PR. I won't hold you to that every year.

    1. Really proud of your running Babe! You have come a long ways!

  2. Awesome race for both of you! Nice age group and over all placements as well. Very cool that you two can race together!

    1. Mike, I am having to run harder since she is getting faster!

  3. haha great race report!
    The last time I was in Memphis I went to Graceland and thought the same thing "wow Elvis lived it the hood!"

    1. Back in the day, it was a really nice area of Memphis, today, not so much...


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