In preparation for the St. Jude Country Music Marathon on April 26, the Nashville City Club’s second annual training group took to the streets for its first run on Sunday, Jan. 19.
The group, which is open to the public, will train every Sunday at 7 a.m. until the week before the race. Yup. 7 a.m. Virgil Statom, a familiar face to club members and one of the evening servers at The Grille, is leading the group this year.
“We want it to be fun and the more people the better,” he says.
Last year 31 City Club members who trained together finished either the marathon or the half-marathon. All but three were first-timers.
Benefits of joining the training group go far beyond camdraderie. Group members receive City Club race t-shirts, a post-race celebration in a City Club tent with food and drinks and support along the race route. Pre-race bag checking handled by City Club staff members simplifies logistics.
Membership in the training group, which does not include race fees themselves, costs $25 for members and $40 for non-members. The bag check alone is worth the price, Virgil says.
Participants in the annual Country Music Marathon have topped 30,000 and grow at a rate of 500 to 750 new people each year, says Ashley Evans of the Country Music Marathon. The race is part of the Rock ‘n Roll Marathon series and is the largest destination marathon among more than 20 events that include races in New Orleans, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, Chicago and Las Vegas.
Course changes this year include a start line in Downtown Nashville. The new route will be announced on Feb. 5.
An early bird discount on race fees is available through Jan. 28 through the City Club. Contact Member Relations Manager Ashlee Polk 615.620.1329 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to sign up for the training group.
The group meets Sundays at 7 a.m. in the lobby at 201 4th Ave. North. Many participants are training for the half-marathon, and new runners (or trotters) are welcome.