Tupelo Marathon 2013 Race Report

I did it!! I finished!! I finally tackled the infamous Tupelo Marathon. It’s a death defying 26.2 mile marathon not meant for the faint of heart . Okay………maybe that’s a bit much BUT it’s a tough one!!!

The best race shirts ever!!

The best race shirts ever!!

It starts at 5 a.m. on a very dark road that has rolling hills and little to no shade, on Labor Day Weekend!  Can you say 85 degrees at 9 a.m.?!?!  There’s so much I want to tell you all but I keep jumping ahead.

Alright let me back this boat up and start over………….

3:15 a.m. wake up.  It was a hard wake up too. For 2 seconds I wanted to say, screw it, I’ve lost my mind. However since my hubby made this trek with me as pit crew, skipping was not an option. So we slowly got moving and made our way downstairs to the hotel lobby. It amazed me at 4:00 a.m. how chatty people can be. I can function at 4:00 a.m. but don’t expect conversation. However, these people who all had on race bibs were chatty and chowing down.

The race site was about 15 minutes from the hotel and easy to find. Parking was a breeze and plenty of pre-race port-o-potties were available.  From there the start is in the middle of the road and there’s NO street lights. None. It’s dark!!

pre run

The very early and dark starting line.

Here’s a video of the race start……very quiet and dark!

So from there it’s 13 miles out and the first half is my favorite part. The camaraderie on the course is great. People are chatting, swapping tips and stories. It’s great! Literally my favorite part. Then the great divide comes. The half marathoners go one way and we (marathoners) turn back to recap the course we just left.  Only this time , it’s HOT AS HELL!  The sun is up and there’s no shade. Seriously people, it was hot!!  

Now, the people putting on the race did a FANTASTIC job. Plenty of port-o-potties, water stations and the course was well marked.   Every other mile  (I think) was a water station with all the other stuff a marathon needs. Really, this was well done.

Back to the heat. The best way I can describe it is rolling farm land with no shade on paved roads. By 9 a.m. I would dare say it was 85 degrees with 100% humidity. Rough stuff.  The last three miles of the race will make you feel like a bad ass just because you lived to tell about it.  The fact that I’m sitting here alive and recapping the last three miles of the race is a miracle!!  IT WAS THAT HOT!!

RESPECT THE HEAT!  Mississippi heat on Labor Day weekend will put you in  your place folks. The marathon’s slogan “Trample the weak and hurdle the dead” is there for a reason.

With all that being said, the last three miles is rolling hills with no shade.  The last quarter mile expect to go up a hill, slight down hill, followed by a slight up hill into paved parking lot and on to the finish line. PAVED PARKING LOT AT 10 A.M.   (I.E. HOT AS HELL)

I narrowly escaped with my life with finish time of 5:15:04 and a sweet finishers medal.


Will I go back? No. I got my skull and crossbones bling and I’m done.


I won’t be back to Tupelo for a Labor Day Weekend  race. If it was cooler weather, absolutely. However………..that’s the lure of the race. It’s a ridiculous early start,  hot, hilly and it just makes you feel like your ten times more bad ass than any other runner that day.

So there you have it folks.  Do I recommend you do it……… YES!! I wouldn’t have missed it for the world! 


Thank u for posting this. I'm Hoping to run this next month, but am REALLY nervous about the heat and hills!! Oh, and my old lady age of 55......


Hey there! I'm thinking of running this as a last resort BQ race this year. Do you remember the temp at 5AM by chance? Thank you!


Yeay! So happy to hear you completed this - Sounds like a nightmare. You should be very proud. Now you need to do an ideal weather one to see how your time compares :) Congratulations - SUPER badass shirt! You earned it!!

brandywindham moderator

@MarianMaxwellJohnson You will do great!  It's a tough course but very rewarding!!  Just remember one foot in front of the other, wear sunscreen, stay hydrated and dress appropriately.  It won't be super hot before the sun comes up but once that sun comes up the real fun begins!!  You'll do great!! 

brandywindham moderator

@AlisonRitter I'm sorry I'm just now getting back to you on this!  It's a rolling course but I bet you'll be fine!  Good luck and enjoy! 


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