A Running Glance:
Things I loved
- My first half (in 2015) and a local tradition!
- Awesome finish-line atmosphere and FOOD
- Nice swag for purchase
- Super-sized medal #bling
Things I less than loved
- Not much to see on course
In its 13th year (after being canceled in 2018) the Magnolia Meltdown came back with a bang in 2019!
As with most races, the price increases as the date draws near. The early bird pricing, which was in effect until the month before the event was quite reasonable for a race of this size and distance. The Half was $70 ($85 on race day), the 10k was $35 ($45 on race day) and the 5k was $30 ($40 on race day). The Magnolia Meltdown (MM) strives to raise awareness about the obesity epidemic in the US, particularly in Mississippi, and the proceeds benefit the St. Dominic Community Health Clinic.
The t-shirt is Canvas brand, 90% cotton, 10% polyester. It’s a perfect fit, nice and lightweight for the hot Mississippi summer ahead. My only complaint is that it’s black. I own a white dog so I can’t wear black without looking like a used lint roller! (Thanks, Nora!) I did, however, purchase a MM visor for $15 and a sticker for $5 online when I registered. I always try to grab a sticker from my Halves. (Is that how you refer to multiple half marathons? Halves? It sounds so weird!) I was a teensy bit disappointed that this year’s sticker wasn’t “branded” like the ones from years past. No biggie though. 13.1 indeed! However, I *love* the visor. Headsweats is my FAVORITE brand so I was stoked I snagged this guy for only $15. Score!
There was no expo this year, but the finish-line had a lot to offer. Music, awards, pizza, pancakes fresh off the grill (Thanks, Primos!), fruit, granola bars, sodas, Gatorade and water were all plentiful!
THIS MEDAL THOUGH! It’s YHUUUUGE as Donald Trump might say. MM’s medals are always heavy duty, top quality, and custom designed from year to year. Magnolia Meltdown was actually my first Half Marathon back in 2015, and I ran it again in 2017 & 2019. Check out the medal progression below.
There were ample volunteers at packet pick-up, on course, and after the event. Everyone was helpful, friendly and encouraging.
As for the course, the most scenic portions were along the Natchez Trace Parkway, but it seemed I spent the majority of the time along the highway. There wasn’t too much to see, but I still enjoyed running in places you can’t run any old day!
Course Difficulty: LEVEL 2
There were just a few inclines but lots of turns. The terrain was mostly even which made for an overall low difficulty score. It was a little humid on race morning, but they don’t call it the Meltdown for nothing!
There were several water stops along the way. And check this out… the most beautiful sight in the world! Port-a-potties as far as the eye can see! (Do I hear angels singing?)
We arrived maybe an hour before race time and were able to park nearby at the Hyatt Place Hotel. I also spotted a parking garage that looked to be a hot spot for racers. Overall, parking was copious and convenient.
This race is well organized and always a pleasure to run! Like I said, it was my very first Half back in 2015, so this event is very special to me. I plan to return in 2020 and hope to see you there!