The drive down was uneventful, we got all the way across NC, into Tennessee, across the Blue Ridge Mountains, got to kiss Georgia for a couple of miles and ended up in the Central time zone. Chattanooga was beautiful we crossed the Tennessee river several times, and that actually made me want to swim in it. Ironman Chattanooga, Swim the Suck 10 miler, whatever. That river looks like a lot of fun, and fast.
We got into Decatur around 10 pm and checked in. Ended up in the very next room from Tammy and her husband, they agreed to give me a ride to Delano Park in the morning so Kelley wouldn't have to get up or be stranded without a car, so that was really nice. I love changing time zones by going west, it gets so much easier to wake up early in the morning.
And sure enough bright and early I was dressed and in the hotel lobby eating breakfast by 5 am. We made it to the park in plenty of time to get my packet and get everything setup before the 6 am start. Timed races like this are a very strange format. This park contains a 1 mile trail. So they start at 6 am, and you run as many laps as you can until 6 pm. Everybody who completes at least 1 lap is considered a finisher. Totally fine to sleep in and start late, sit down between laps, change clothes, or even leave early. Just do what you want. Turns out, it's a pretty amazing format.
|This is the trail through the park|
|Tammy and I ran together for many many many laps|
|This is the start/finish line on the other side of the park|
At mile 27 I knew I had Alabama knocked off of my 50 state list, so that was goal #1 completed. I stopped for a selfie.
|Run like Godzilla is chasing you|
|Fashion. Icon. You wish you were this pretty.|
|with new friend Chelsea|
|Obviously I had not seen Kelley yet but I would glad to be done.|
|41 miles! the last one took 22 minutes|
We found a local brewery in Huntsville called Below The Radar, and it was pretty amazing. I had first dinner there, then another dinner after we got into Tennessee. We wanted to cut the drive time down, so we made it to the other side of Chattanooga saturday night. Turns out, sunday was the Chattanooga Marathon, so every hotel was booked solid. Eventually we got far enough east to find a nice hotel, and drove the rest of the way back on Sunday. Splitting the drive like that made it a lot easier.
Kelley got to see the Rocket Center (Space Camp) while I was running, and got to go through the Botanical Gardens as well. So much fun! Overall we had a great trip. I am actually looking forward to going back to Alabama sometime!