2018 Oak Barrel

The Oak Barrel was my first ever half marathon and this makes my fourth visit here. But this year isn’t really about me at all because this year was Daniel’s first attempt at the half.

As settings for a race go, this one has all the best that small town USA can offer. Jack Daniels is an awesome corporate sponsor, they really spare no Continue reading 2018 Oak Barrel


It’s Saturday April 7, 2018 at 7:45 A. M. and there is a very irritating noise that has just awakened us all from a dead sleep. Early this morning we finally made it to the hotel and got a very little bit of shut eye. Then we were up, showered, grabbed some hotel style continental breakfast and we were out into the cold, wet morning driving to Wiseman Park in Lynchburg for same day packet pick up.

There was a slight hiccup as we explained to the nice elderly volunteer that while we understand that a valid ID is required for packet pick up, a 13 year old usually doesn’t have a driver’s licence. Someone stepped over to help and we escaped with our stuff in hand. Then one of those moments of pure genius struck, we had about 1 hour and 20 minutes before the race started and a nice warm car close by with blankets and pillows. ┬áBut now that noise is going off again… oh yeah, Daniel and I have to go run now. Good thing I set multiple alarms, 13 minutes until the gun.

Lessons Not Learned

You would think, out of all the life experience I have and the few years of running experience I could learn one simple lesson. Yet here we are, it’s 1 A.M. and the Oak Barrel is in the morning and we are just getting to the hotel. We have to get up early tomorrow, early enough to get some food in so it can be partially digested before the race starts and we have to drive the 45 minutes to Lynchburg to do packet pick up. And we are all exhausted.

It seems like a simple thing really, arrange things so you can sleep before running a race. Last year I got burned badly in Georgia as I started Merrill’s Mile with little rest. Then there was the Holston River Challenge after being up for hours on end. By Alabama I thought I had it figured out only to foiled by a Florida Georgia Line Concert across the street from the hotel. And now here we were again.

Today had about as much stuff shoved in it as possible. Picking up a rental car, getting clothes ready with Ladonna, going to work with her then 100 miles to my graduation ceremony. Then it was back in the car, 100 miles back home. Packing the car, rushing out to get Daniel after an out of town field trip. Daniel for his part had gotten to school before sunrise to go by bus to Atlanta for the day, returning long after the sun had set.

Drive thru food and we were off again, another 3 hours across the state to the hotel. The alarms are set for 4 hours from now. Then we will be eating, driving and getting ready for the Oak Barrel, Daniel’s first half marathon. Wish us luck and hope that we don’t miss the alarm.