Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Memphis in May - a taste of BBQ and the tri life

One of the biggest and longest celebrations Memphis has to offer is the entire month of May. Memphis in May is a month long celebration for the local, the national, and the international, for the permanent Memphian and the temporary Memphian.

For foodies, there's the World Championship BBQ Cooking Contest.
For musicians, the Beale Street Music Festival caters to rockers and hippies alike.
For the traveler, each year the festival represents and promotes the culture of another country.
And for family fun or the refined musician, there is the naturally beautiful Sunset Symphony.

But for the athlete, there is the excitement of the Memphis in May Triathlon Weekend, which includes the Triathlon, Sprint Triathlon, and 10K. A triathlon is a combination of three events, swimming, biking, and running. A sprint triathlon only differs in distance from a full race.

This year's Sprint Tri is on Saturday, May 18th, in Tunica, MS. Now I know it's called Memphis in May, but Tunica has hosted the event for several years now, and it seems to be working, and the BBQ can still be smelled from there. Start 2 Finish race management ensures that the standard of southern hospitality is upheld with their experience and standing as the top event organizer of the Mid South. Here, athletes of all ages and experience swim 1/4 mile, bike 12 miles, and run 3 miles.

Sound daunting? It shouldn't! Janell and I (Jennifer) both did it last year as our first taste of the tri life and lived to tell about it. It's a difficult combination for the every-day runner, without a doubt, but it's an incredible experience, and the training is all worth it. I'll speak for the both of us and say that we never got bored in preparing for the race. Run, bike, swim. Bike, run. Swim, bike. Run. It's a great combination that incorporates so many different muscles than those just used when running. And yes, I said, just those muscles used in running, because you don't feel that you don't have them until you try to bike 12 miles on your first ride and then jump off and start running. And, be sure to keep in mind that the only person who can look cool in goggles is Ryan Lochte; every one else looks like this when they get a fist bump from their Dad at the start line:

Not just anyone can handle wearing a "onesie" in front of hundreds of people like we can.

If you're stuck in a weight loss rut, bored with running in circles, or need a new twist for your next challenge, I have to recommend the sprint tri. But if you're not bored with running and you want to up the ante one skill at a time, there is also the Memphis in May 10K, held on the evening of May 17th, also in Tunica.

Memphis in May really is a beautiful thing. It includes the deepest passions of cuisine, music, and athleticism, all very different, but very much related. Become a Memphian this May and take part in all that the city has to offer.


  1. I really wanted to do the Memphis in May 10k, just wish it wasn't in Tunica!

  2. Where would you be coming from? Could carpooling be an option? The more the merrier!

  3. I wanted to do the 10K this year but my daughter's dance recital is that night :( Hope you guys have a great time, maybe next year for me!

  4. I'm considering thinking about doing the sprint tri this year; I'm trying to determine what all will be required! A triathlon outfit, a swim cap, goggles, a bike, running shoes...what else is required? Do you have any recommendations on brands of triathlon "onesies" that are not expensive? Also, do you get a medal or anything if you only complete the sprint triathlon? THANKS!!