Monday, November 17, 2008

Beware the Flying Monkeys

It isn’t really the monkeys I’m worried about as much as the hills. And really, it isn’t the hills so much as my ankle. Still, I have a week to work on the ankle situation so maybe I’m more concerned about the fact that I did not run my usual 18 miles 2 weeks prior to a marathon…

Ok, so I’m really looking forward to it.

This Sunday, November 23, Jason and I will be running the Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon. This is a marathon of a few firsts for me.

1. This is the first marathon my husband has signed us up to run. In order to get in to this race, you pretty much have to sign up on the day it opens. So Jason signed us up and informed me that we’d be running a marathon on November 23rd. I was game.
2. This is the first time I will run a marathon in a state I’ve already done. I ran Country Music two years ago, but it was not a very good experience and so I do not mind making better (hopefully) memories of a run in Tennessee with Flying Monkey.
3. This is the first marathon I’ve run for which I’ve received e-mails warning me against it! Yes, each e-mail I’ve received since we signed up contains warnings of the hills and the ferocious flying monkeys who are not pleased with so many runners running in their park. I’ve had the most fun with this part. Usually I skim the race e-mails to make sure I’ve got the when and the where and the rules so I don’t break them – and then I’m set. And most pre-marathon e-mails are all the same. But the ones I’ve received for Flying Monkey are hilarious and I find myself reading every word. One e-mail finished with, “Go run some hills. And them run some more. Even though it won’t help.”

Here is a snippet about the marathon from the Homepage.

Ours has become an age of flat and fast marathons on city streets and in urban jungles, with more focus on times, course certification, gadgets, charities and putting on a big show than on running. Many modern marathons have become spectacles rather than athletic events. But it was not always this way. Marathons used to be about running for the sake of running. They were about pushing oneself beyond the physiologic limits of the human body. While running.

The Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon is meant to be an antidote. Featured in Marathon & Beyond and in Runners' World magazines, it is a marathon that is about running. Running hard. Running over big and memorable rolling hills and through dense woods. Running with other like minded athletes. The Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon is about the joy and pain of running a unique, and uniquely challenging--some would say beastly--26.2 mile course in the beautiful and historic Percy Warner Park, nestled among the Middle Tennessee Harpeth Hills.

We will time and measure the distance, but the course will not be certified, we will not use timing chips, and it will not be a Boston qualifying event. If you get to the end and you (or your gadget) believe the route to be long, we won't charge you extra; if you believe it to be short, just keep running. There will be no bands, cheerleaders, wave starts or crowds. We promise no marathon Personal Records, but we guarantee every runner a PR - a Permanent Remembrance of a well-earned marathon finish. We promise to give you approximately 26.2 tough and memorable miles, with a total of 3500 feet of elevation gain and loss.

So while I am NOT going for a PR (personal record), I don’t know if I’ve trained enough for this thing, and I have an ankle that is still mad about a mishap months ago, I’m excited.

And if I don’t get carted off by an angry flying monkey, and if I survive the mean hills I am to traverse, I will write a post-race report.

Here’s the website if you are interested in more:


  1. woohoo! that sounds like fun! :) good luck!

    i think i might have run part of the percy warner route in my time in nashville. it is beautiful! enjoy...and i hope your ankle cooperates.

  2. Thank you! From the pictures it looks like a beautiful place so I'm looking forward to that! I'm hoping for lovely weather and a cooperating ankle. :)

  3. probably shoulda known i'd find you here.

    good luck on that run. i still think all that runnin' can't be good for you lol!!