Since moving to Nashville from a small town in Florida, I have had to get used to running in the city. I used to love my morning jogs on the beach, the sweet scent of the ocean, and the feeling of soft sand under my feet while my legs worked to keep pace. While I have grown to enjoy my 3-mile route around the Vanderbilt campus, I still have trouble getting used to the smell of sewage and car exhaust. But I’ve discovered that the best part about running in Nashville is not the sights and smells but instead the fun and unique races, like I Run For The Party’s Music City July 4th 5K/10K Run/Walk.
I Run For the Party puts on races almost every month of the year, all with interesting themes that can get even the most immobile person to start training. Their next race in the 2012 series is a part of Nashville’s exciting Independence Day celebration, which includes two days of concerts as well as fireworks on the Cumberland riverfront. The Music City July 4th 5K/10K Run/Walk begins at 8AM in downtown Nashville on Independence Day itself, taking you past landmarks like the Ryman and the Country Music Hall of Fame. Participants can choose to run or walk either distance when they register, and since the weather will likely be hot and humid, I recommend choosing the distance you know for sure that you can complete. Especially with this race taking place on a holiday, you don’t want to suffer from dehydration or exhaustion and derail your celebration of America’s birthday. Plus, this race supports the Park Center, which offers recovery services to those crippled with mental illness, so you can give back to the community while giving yourself the ultimate gift of fitness.
For all those who have never run a race before- start with this one! You still have over three weeks to get ready, and because this race is so relaxed, you shouldn’t feel pressured to run the whole distance. If you haven’t run a mile since gym class in high school, vow to lace up your sneakers three to four times every week until the race date, starting with run/walk intervals for 20 minutes and building up to 30-40 minutes. I promise you’ll be able to cross that finish line, and actually enjoy that July 4th slice of apple pie, if you follow this plan. If you run semi-regularly but are intimidated by the prospect of a race, step outside your comfort zone with the 5K distance. You could even make it an event by getting your friends to sign up with you. If you register on race day, it will cost you an extra five dollars and your sanity, so sign up early to eliminate stress and save some money! I know I love running with my boyfriend and my best friend from home, and doing so has only made my connections with them stronger. You and your friends won’t regret signing up!
If you still don’t feel ready for this particular race, check out I Run For The Party’s 2012 Race Series and Managed Events at the website listed above, download the Couch to 5K smartphone app, and start training. If nothing else, running is a surefire way to get your body swimsuit ready for the summer- and who doesn’t want to look like better in their bikini?
WHEN: Wednesday, July 4, 2012. 8 a.m.
Intersection of Union Street and 2nd Avenue N.
See event website for details.
REGISTRATION: Register before July 3 on I Run For The Party’s website for $35.