For those of you who aren't locals, Belle Meade is definitely the wealthiest area in Nashville, and I read at one point was one of the Top Five Wealthiest cities in the US. It's a small city, really more of a mailing address with a city hall and a police force, but it's residents are loaded. The homes in Belle Meade, especially on Belle Mead Boulevard (where the Bolt is run) are just gorgeous. Well, some are gorgeous - some are just huge. Either way, it's an impressive backdrop for a run.
Unfortunately, what Belle Meade doesn't have is a lot of parking - especially to handle the 8,300 people who registered for the Bolt this year. (Apparently, the Bolt is one of the largest 5-mile races in the country. I believe it. It was packed yesterday.) The good news is that the Bolt is well aware of this shortcoming and has a shuttle service from the Temple, which is about a mile away. I was worried that we'd have to stand outside shivering for a long time while we waited for a shuttle, but we didn't. YAY for organized races!
So, so cold.
Once we got to the race site, we started looking for friends - I think I knew about 20 people who were running the Bolt yesterday. The problem with cold races is that everyone is so bundled up that you can't recognize them. Any recognizable item, like an East Nasty shirt, was covered up. Well, except for my friend Kim. She was wearing a turkey on her head and I was able to actually find her.
Jamie (left) and Kim. Who needs a running hat when you can wear a turkey on your head?
There isn't anything too interesting about the actual race. It's an out-and-back on the Boulevard. It's actually a tough little course in that it has several false flats. But Dudley and I never really planned on running it because of the amount of people, so we just went with our own pace, and it was great! Crowded races are a lot less stressful when you don't care about your time. We were able to see the top finishers on their way back to the finish. They were HAULING! I think the top male was laying down something like 4:30 miles. CRAZY.
We're about 1/2 way to the front - and there are people on the opposite side of the road, as well.
Fortunately, the sun was shining for the entire race, and though it never got over 25 degrees, it really wasn't that bad out if you were moving. The best part of the race was looking at everyone's costumes. Unfortunately, I don't have photos, but I DO have a clip to a news story, which happens to feature my turkey-hat wearing friend Kim. It also shows some of the funny costumes - I love the guy with the pie on his head! Check it out here.
Overall, it was a great race and a perfect way to start Thanksgiving! Hope you all had a great one!