RANTS AND RAVES: Joplin Memorial Run

You’re probably thinking “wait, didn’t you just run a half marathon last weekend?!” Indeed, I did. But I got this wild idea a bit ago that I wanted to be a Half Fantatic. So I signed up for JMR, a mere six days after my last half. More like five days. But whatever.

If you’ve heard of Joplin (of course you have) you may know that three years ago this month they were hit with a devastating EF-5 tornado that killed 161 people. I wasn’t living in Missouri at the time but had met Boyfriend and remember how scary it was for him and me, 2000 miles a way with zero experience with severe weather. I’ve visited Joplin a few times since moving here and the effects can still be seen and it is very eerie. After the tornado, the race was renamed the memorial run and it is very special to the town.

We arrived Friday afternoon since the race had a 6:30am Saturday start time. Here are some of my rants and raves!

RAVE: Packet pickup it was organized, easy to find and had plenty of space. We got there late so some vendors had already packed up, but it ran until 9pm, giving out of town runners plenty of time to get there.


RANT: No race day pickup?? first the event advertised no race day pickup. Then it was for a fee. Then someone was told all packets would be moved to the start line for race day pickup. Confusing!! I still would’ve come to town the night before to stay there, but some people may have made an unnecessary trip or paid a needless fee.

RAVE: Accomadations!! JMR did a great job partnering with hotels and recommending LOCAL restaurants to eat at. Three of the partner hotels were a location for bus pickup/drop off, as the race start had limited parking. Partner hotels also offered a special early breakfast! Not a full spread but enough for me! Fruit, toast, coffee, cereal. Full breakfast was available after the race and it was wOMNOMNOMNOMnderful.

RANT: Prerace announcements the day was expected to be warm and humid. Event organizers made an announcement before the start about flags at aid stations and what they meant in regard to weather. BUT YOU COULD NOT HEAR. To me, that’s pretty important. Print up a sheet, put it in the packet. Make sure I know what a red flag means!

Other raves: great course support, aid stations, post race food, scenic course and a sweet medal.


I have to say, the crowd support for this race was unbelievable. So many people coming out to cheer, sit in their front yards and watch. It was very powerful to see how much the event means to the community. If you’re a Midwest runner, this is a must-run event.



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