Tuesday, November 25, 2014

BTC Triple Crown Challenge...36.3 Miles, Mission Complete!

Welcome to my Birmingham Track Club Triple Crown Challenge Recap!
     Training for a 48.6 mile race that takes place over the course of four days (aka runDisney's DopeyChallenge) is just tough. It takes determination. It takes focus. It takes ALOT of willpower. Quite frankly, it can be exhausting and mentally draining at times. Training for me began on June 1st so I knew going into it that there were to be a ton of miles to run between June and January.  When I decided to register for the 2015 Dopey Challenge, I knew how long I would be training and I knew that I would need to mix up my long runs. But hey, I wanted to run with my peeps anyways so this was just another way for us to meet up on the weekends. Not too shabby of a plan.

      There's one thing that I know for sure...my friends are just crazy and I love each and every one of them dearly. They make me laugh, keep me in the right frame of mind, they call me out if I'm being a pansy, they keep me motivated and they are absolute FOOLS when it comes to making fun of each other. And please oh please don't let there be a staircase for them to run up and down after a race...because that's what they do. They are insane. Most of this insanity unfolds on my Facebook on a daily basis and I love it. All of this to say...AKA: They rock my running world!

2014 Birmingham Track Club Triple Crown Bling!
Earned Double the Bling!
     I decided that if I was going to be running a ridiculous amount of mileage, I might as well run those long runs and earn a few medals along the way. I registered for the Birmingham Track Club Triple Crown Challenge. This is where you run (3) Half Marathons within three months for a total of 36.3 miles. The races that were included in the Triple Crown Challenge were the Talladega Half Marathon in Talladega, Al. (September), the UCP Life Without Limits Half Marathon in Florence, Alabama (October) and the Magic City Half Marathon in Birmingham, Alabama. (November). After each race, you receive a medal and then you receive an additional medal upon completion of all three races. Bring on the Bling!

     There were four of us that completed all three races together, earning the extra medal. The other friends either ran one or two of the three and if they weren't there for whatever reason, they were at home cheering us on. #BEST.

Talladega Half Marathon:
2014 Talladega Half Marathon Bling!
     13.1 Miles around the Nascar Talladega Superspeedway....Kachow! This is one of my most favorite races. I've ran it five years now and plan to always run it. I mean, how can you go wrong with running around an official NASCAR track. Who am I? Tom Petty?? Oh wait, wrong Petty. Lol. Just kidding Richard and Kyle...I know my Petty boys, I grew up about 15 minutes from this Nascar track!
Come on....it doesn't get much better than this!
Running on the Nascar track!

     Talk about feeling like a Superstar...oh yeah, that's me as I'm lapping around the racetrack like a winner.  The race benefits Prostate Cancer and finishes on Pit Row with a great after party in the pit garages full of Beer, Bands and BBQ! It's Dega Baby!!
Before we headed to the Start Line of Talladega Half!
Earned the Bling!
Hanging out on Pit Row with the Peeps!
Start Line with my Sis!
This is a race we always meet up for!
Finished this race with Rachel....super fun!
UCP Life Without Limits Half Marathon:
2014 Life Without Limits Half Marathon Bling!
     Life Without Limits Half Marathon in Florence Alabama takes you on a 13.1 mile scenic tour of beautiful Florence, Alabama., crossing over the Tennesee River twice and running us through corn fields! I'm not kidding...I loved that!  Proceeds went to United Cerebral Palsy and the community came out in tremendous support for this cause! After the race, we ate a DELICIOUS BBQ Chicken meal complete with all of the fixins'. Welcome to Alabama ya'll!
Running over the Tennessee River!
Seriously. A quarter of a BBQ chicken for a post race meal...
Now THAT'S what I'm talking about!
Earned the Bling!
This is our "One of these are not like the others pic"
Could be the guy with the banana stuffed in his mouth, just sayin'. 
Magic City Half Marathon:
2014 Magic City Half Marathon Bling!
     The Magic City Half Marathon located in Birmingham, Alabama takes you on a "running" tour of some of Birminghams legendary Sporting locations. We passed by Legion Field, (Home of the 1996 Olympics), Rickwood Field (The oldest Ballpark Stadium in the country) and finished up at the new Regions Park in Downtown (Home of the Birmingham Barons). This is a great course, great post-race venue with lots of craft beer on tap and they hit it out of the ballpark this year with the medal. It was PRETTY SWEET!
Rickwood Field Selfie!
Earned the Bling!
After the Finish at Magic City Half
     The race benefits the Ruben Studdard Foundation for the Advancement of Children in the Music Arts. Ruben Studdard, American Idol Second season winner, always helps out on race day either handing out awards, making announcements, running the race and cheering on the runners. Let's just say....I've been known to bust a move with Ruben post-race. Just sayin'. I'm proud to say that I've helped out on the committee for this race since day one. This is a race that will always be near and dear to my heart! Love that sweet Hometown boy.
Ruben gave me the thumbs up on the Bling!
     Overall, I can honestly say that training for a big marathon event like Dopey Challenge really doesn't suck the life out of me too bad.....I would run these races with my friends a million times again even if I wasn't "in training". We ran in the heat at Dega, in the cold in Florence and in the rain at Magic City. Three completely different races, three completely different courses, three completely different cities but three of the best experiences that I've had. I owe it all to my peeps who continue to make me laugh and keep me doing what I love to do. And oh yeah, those Race Directors and Committees for these races....You're not so bad either! See ya next year Triple Crown Challenge, me and my peeps will be coming for that triple bling again! :)

For more information on The Birmingham Triple Crown Challenge, please visit BirminghamTrackClub.com.