What is a nautical mile, you ask? According to Wikipedia, it is exactly 1,852 meters or approximately 1.15 miles. When I looked up the equivalent miles for the race, Google said 11.5. My phone said 11.7 after the race. People online who used the hashtag #10NM said it was 11.8. So…let’s just say it was almost 12 miles aka 10 nautical miles.
Okay, so why is this the only foot race measured in nautical miles? According to NSA Mid-South, the Navy base in Millington, Tennessee, the unique distance represents the distance from a ship to the horizon line, a distance in which the United States military battled when they stormed Normandy in June of 1945. So part of this runs allows us to show support for the work of our Armed Forces. This race also gives back to the Sailors and their families in the Millington area. So, yeah, Go America!
Like any good military related race, the start was bright and early, 0600. Meaning I had a wake up call of 0345. while Sarah had the benefit of sleeping till 0400. Thankfully, due to a threat of storms, the entire race was overcast. The biggest complaint I have heard about this race is how hot it is. It was muggy but thankfully no sunshine to fry us or rain to annoy us. The popsicles we were treated with at Nautical Mile 6 were still a blessing!
We were drenched with sweat. There wasn’t a part of our clothing that was dry. I couldn’t even dry my phone off after a water station mishap! After this mishap, I got a false short burst of determination and started running faster. I thank T. Swift for motivating me through the haters (Lady in the red shirt, I’m talking about you!) Sarah began to get delusional as I began to get tired and over it.
Sarah was Miss Peppy, trying to motivate me to keep pushing, not only keep pushing, but push harder. I just didn’t think my legs could push any harder. We only had one nautical mile left. My personal cheerleader, who thought I was mad at her, actually helped me make it to the finish line. Without Sarah, I would have walked way more in that last mile. Thanks to her peppy cheering and pushing, I kept moving! She wouldn’t leave me behind and that is what I love about this friendship that grew around running. We have each other’s back. Even if that means yelling at the other, “We’re almost done! There’s beer at the end! And food. Keep pushing!” While in my head, I am like, “Bitch, shut up, I am dying.” (I say bitch in the most loving way). See below for the picture that pretty much sums up the interaction between us on that last mile.
I think it is safe to say, that we both highly recommend this race. You might not luck out with an overcast day, but you will luck out with free beer and food. The volunteers throughout the course were so supportive. They did great with making sure the runners had liquids. They also made sure to cheer us on. Even the military personnel that allowed us to come on base, were a great support! Sometimes you get a race where the volunteers don’t say anything. Don’t be that volunteer! We need a “WooHoo Keep it up!” There was also a great expo after the race that included vendors with lots of unique goodies for runners. They had different free food options, not just one lame-o choice. Overall, one of the best races we’ve done in awhile. Keep an eye out for next year’s registration and take the challenge!
Above, you can see this is what people mean by Runner’s Amnesia. I already had forgotten how much the last mile killed me. I was running on fumes and just glad to have a beer. We were proud of ourselves. Running isn’t easy. I think that might be the best part. You get to conquer a challenge and if you’re lucky, you get a free beer at the end!
Speaking of Runner’s Amnesia, Sarah and I have both registered as St. Jude Heroes for the full marathon in December. If you would like to donate to helping us raise money for the children of St. Jude, please follow the links below.
Sarah’s 10 Nautical Mile Recap
Overall I feel this was a great race! I remember when Kayla first told me she wanted to do this race. I totally did not want to do it. I’ve always been told how hot and tough this race is. Well, we lucked out this year. It was cloudy the entire race. It was a bit humid and still hot but at least there was no sun! And even though the race started at 6am, I am so happy that I was able to catch the sunrise before the race.
I do not know what was up with this race but I was hype the entire time! I was super energetic and positive. I did not feel much pain throughout the race either. My feet and knees were hurting near the end but nothing more than usual. I was dancing and singing all the way to the end!
Photo Courtesy of Blair Ball Photography
We finished the 10 Nautical Miles, almost 12 actual miles in 2:22. A bit slower paced than in our half marathon, but I feel we are on a good start. We have just started our marathon training and I know our pace will increase.
The race ended with free food and beer. Also a great expo with awesome running gear and gadgets! Great race! I would highly recommend this race and I’m sure Kayla and I will run it again next year. The absolute best part about this race and every race we run though was that I was with my bestie Kayla. Near the end of the race I wanted to go faster, but Kayla did not. She told me to just leave her. I wasn’t going to do that. No unicorn left behind!! Yes, races are competitive to me but it’s not all about winning or getting a better time than my running partner. It’s about the journey. The journey in which we push ourselves past our limits and push each other to be better. I know I would not have been in such a great mood this race if it wasn’t for my badass unicorn running partner with me! Even though during the last Nautical mile Kayla called me delusional and was annoyed with me, I’m so proud of her for pushing it even though she wanted to walk. Kayla even went along with her delusional running partner when I told her we were going to sprint to the finish line. As soon as we were past the finish line we quickly forgot about all the painful, tiring, almost 12 actual miles we just ran!