This past weekend I participated in one of my very favorite races of the year, the RC Cola and MoonPie 10 mile run in Bell Buckle, Tennessee. The town of Bell Buckle has a population of about 500 people and normally 700-1000 people run the race. This is a very big day for the city of Bell Buckle. Not only is there a race, there is a festival all day with crafts, tons of food, and even some clogging! It truly is like no other race I have ever been to. For years I have always gone with a group of friends, and it is a guaranteed good time.
As you can imagine, it is 10 miles of wide open country roads with very little shade. There are a few small hills and one beast of a hill between miles 4 and 5. This is a very unpredictable race for me. I have finished in a wide range of times, between 1:11 and 1:19. This year I finished in the middle of my range with a 1:15, finishing 2nd in my age group and 7th female overall. The strange thing this year was that my second half was better than my first, which is not the norm for me. I like to run this race hard, but probably not as aggressively as other races. It is more of a laid back race, people are really there to enjoy the day and the atmosphere, and for a challenging 10 mile run. The people of Bell Buckle are so proud of their town and also so grateful to the runners for their participation. This day is a big day for the city.
So now let’s get down to business…..let’s talk post-race food! My friends and I always look forward to the chicken and sausage biscuits they have in the runner’s food line. In addition to the biscuits there are muffins, fruit, popsicles (much appreciated after the sweltering heat) and of course…..RC Cola and MoonPies! This is just what’s available in the runner’s tent. When you walk around the festival you will see ALL kinds of food! I am not even sure where to begin! There is fresh squeezed lemonade, funnel cakes (a personal fav), snow cones, ice cream, and literally every fried food you can imagine! There are fried Twinkies, fried Oreos, fried cheese, fried sweet potato chips, and yep you bet……friend MoonPies. Although it may be a stomach ache waiting to happen, it is still fun to see the options! (It’s ok to pick one or two treats, right?)
There are all kinds of random things sold at the crafts fair. There are some collectible items, artwork, clothes, small toys and dolls, and actually some very cute jewelry. You definitely can’t predict what you are going to find! You have to go in with an open mind!
I again loved my Saucony Rides, they are lightweight and breathable which is key when running in a hot and sunny race like this one. My friend wore my second favorite shoe, the Brooks Glycerin (love the yellow!) I had to go with my safe bet and wear my Nike Tempo shorts and Nike tank. The lightest and best dry fit clothes are the best for this race (of course). However as much as I love my black Nike Dry fit hat, I didn’t wear it because of the heat. Hats make you retain heat so on a day like this it could increase your core body temperature, not a good idea! I did go to my car after to put it on while we walked around the festival. It kept the sun out of my face and covered up my bad hair do.
This is a very inexpensive race, only $30-35 to register. The shirts are not dry fit, just regular cotton, but still cute and it is kind of nice to have a change from the normal tech shirts you get at races. For several years I have tried to talk my friend Kim into joining us and finally this year she and an out of town friend of hers from Dallas came. I really think she enjoyed it! It is a race unlike any other and one you really have to participate in at least once. Later in the day there is a parade. I have always left before then because I am ready to go to the pool! Part of the fun of it is that they parade around the world’s largest MoonPie, weighing in normally at about 60lbs! One of these days I will stay long enough to see that! It is definitely a race I will be doing again!