Thursday, December 6, 2012

Memphis, Marathoning, and Eating

The Fat Ass Capital of the World

This past weekend Annie and I were in Memphis so she could run in the St. Jude Memphis Marathon. It was Annie's "A" race for the year and a trip that had been planned many, many months ago. Joining us on the trip were our good friends Deanna, Elizabeth, Jim, Jenn, and Dave. Annie, Dave, Jenn, and Elizabeth were all running the race while Deanna, Jim, and me were the world's best sherpas/sign makers/cheerers/drunks/rib eaters.

Now this "report" is going to be broken into two sections:

Part One - The Race

Part Two - Memphis (Page Down)

Part One - The Race

Lets get to the race first and see some excellent action shots by an extremely talented photog (me).

Jenn and Annie at the Expo.This was Jenn's first marathon and Annie's fifth.
Annie Pre-Race looking not nervous.

Beale Street lined with spectators waiting for the lead runners.

Elizabeth waving at us and holding strong with the 3:30 pace group.

The Throng of Humanity with the 4hr Pace Group!
Deanna displaying an inside joke - if your mind is in the gutter trying to figure out the joke you are in the right place.

Annie having fun!

Annie no longer having fun!
Jenn and Dave at the Halfway point.
Elizabeth still Rockin' it!

Elizabeth with a final kick for her 3:30 finish and BQ!
Dave grabbing his wife's hand at the finish line while the 1500 other women in the crowd look at their husbands in disgust. Thanks Dave. 
Annie sprinting in for her 5th marathon finish!

And this is where the race pictures end because ....

Annie stumbled into the medical tent. She decided that drinking fluids during the race was optional and ended up severely dehydrated. This led to her passing out for a brief second before she was brought back to life by the always awesome IV Drip! She was pretty out of it and really struggled during the last 10k of the race. But, despite the fact that she should have stopped running, she chose to soldier on and we are all proud of her for finishing.  And since Dave and I have spend ample time in medical tents it was hard for us to really say anything without sounding hypocritical.

Overall the St. Jude Memphis Marathon is an amazing race. It was beyond inspiring to she the children and families lining the course in support of the fine hospital that supports them. All the proceeds from the race go to St Jude's Hospital. If you are looking for a 2013 Marathon please consider this one as each dollar you spend goes to this deserving cause.  AND you'll get to spend a weekend in Memphis ....

Part Two - Memphis

The King says Hello

This was my first trip to Memphis and I can guarantee it will not be my last as I fell in love with this goofy place.

It could possibly be the most weird city I have ever visited. It makes Austin appear normal. Pretty much all the residents are crazy. Like screwed up in the head crazy but in an entertaining southern way.

If you stay in the city everything is within walking distance or a trolley ride. Beale Street is an absolute blast with live music galore and the food is beyond amazing. We saw ducks walk out of an elevator and into a fountain inside the Peabody Hotel and we were abducted by a horse and buggy...

Not this buggy, a much, much weirder buggy

And we saw this ...

My buddy Jim giving a thumbs up to the sideways smile!
We went to Graceland ...

Deanna and Annie in front of the entrance to hell.

Elvis's Jungle Room - Yep we paid $36 per ticket to see this.

Graceland really, really sucked. Maybe if I was a lot older or live in a trailer park it would have been cool (All you Elvis lovers feel free to send me hate email).

We ate at every restaurant in Memphis, or at least it felt like we did.

Memphis is known for it's food, especially the BBQ, and it lived up to this reputation and even surpassed expectations. Here is a smattering of the eateries we visited:

Rendezvous - We went here for dinner #2 on Saturday night. It is known for the back ally entrance way and amazing ribs. Neither disappointed as the ally was dark and the ribs were delicious.

Silky O'Sullivan's World Famous Pub - Dinner #1 was here on Saturday and I had a simple BBQ Burger and fries and they were excellent. We sat outside in a big courtyard and listen to a talented musician cover a bunch of 60's and 70's tunes on acoustic guitar. It was around this time when I could feel myself getting fatter.

Rum Boogie Cafe - Easily the best pulled pork BBQ sandwich I have ever had. So good that we ate here twice. The blues band on Sunday was great too.

Blue Plate Cafe - We had breakfast here during the marathon. The pecan waffles are freaking off the hook.

Blues City Cafe - Another self proclaimed World Famous BBQ joint. The ribs and sausage were good but I thought Rendezvous was better.

Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken - We had lunch here on Sunday figuring we needed to detox from all the BBQ. Wow, was this good. The building is a hole-in-the-wall which is the universal sign for delicious eats and Gus's was an absolute shit hole so this should tell you how good the fried chicken was!

Kooky Kanuck - Okay, this place was average. This was dinner #3 on Saturday night/Sunday morning and is also the place the butt-crack picture was taken. We got Poutine here. The lesson learned was never get Poutine anywhere but Quebec.

Wow. That was a lot of food.

Also in Memphis we got to meet long time blogger buddy James Ford (go check out his Race Report) and his awesome 3yo son Jesse. James lives in the Memphis suburbs (hence he is not crazy) and made the drive down to hang out and watch some football on Sunday. He also ran the marathon and set over an hour PR - Congrats James and it was great to meet you!

Sorry for crappy iPhone pic

Something amazing happened on this trip and after typing out all the restaurants above maybe it wasn't that amazing after all. When I left the house my weight was 146.6lbs, upon returning my weight was 158lbs. Yep, a little over 11lbs gained in a weekend. I am a bit embarrassed but also a bit proud. Nope, I am just proud. Dave figured out that we consumed over 18,000 calories on Saturday alone!

Okay, aside from Annie hanging out with volunteer medical personnel - this was just an incredibly fun weekend spent in an incredibly fun city with incredibly fun people.  Seriously consider doing the St Jude Memphis Marathon or better yet, talk one of your friends into doing it so you can hang out in downtown Memphis while they suffer on the course!

Hope to see ya again soon Memphis!

Thanks for Reading,



  1. F'N The White Kirby Puckett is BAAAAACCCCCCKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!

    OMG I am so glad you did not tell me about this on the phone today b/c I would have crashed my car from laughing so hard.

    11 pounds has to be a record man. That is outstanding. Screw the Wheat Belly you got BBQ Belly!

  2. Dave gained 10lbs and he ran a marathon! I felt like Kirby Puckett on Sunday morning.

    Already back to normal - 4 days of eating like a carnivorous rabbit and sitting at 149. Be back to 146 after Saturday's long ride.

  3. It appears that Jenn has a fuel belt... Did Annie?
    11+ pounds in one weekend? I am not sure how you do that..
    Did you weight pre or post...ummmmmmmm, no good way to put this.... dump?
    I am sure it would be epic and we need a post on that alone.

    1. It was about 3 days worth of epic Bob. In a very, very bad way (-:

  4. 11+ you looking to join the Clydesdale ranks? You they upped it to 225 now, your still a ways off

    I been to Memphis and your right, it is weird to say the least and the food is awesome.

    Congrats to everyone on the race and glad Annie is ok.

    1. hmmmmm .... tell me about this Clydesdale thing?

  5. Great post, Definitely great food and music here and yeah, we have some "goofy" people in my town! So glad you guys got to run the marathon and spend some time in Memphis!

    1. I am almost afraid to come back to Memphis.

  6. Congrats to all those finishers! Great photo work there, Jeff! You guys looked like you had fun. I don't think I would have liked Elvis's place just looks old. Packing on pounds is just motivation! Matty O and I subscribe to this!

    1. ha! I was actually thinking of MattyO at one point while eating ribs and a sausage at the same time - he would have been proud.

      Graceland is such a tourist trap. 2hrs of my life that I can never get back!

  7. Congrats Annie on Numero 5 !!!
    thats drinking fluids optional...great job powering to the end Annie

    great trip!
    and congrats on the weight gain
    seems you are healthy again:)


    1. Very healthy again dude - thanks!

      You planning on rolling down this way for a training weekend?

  8. Sounds like an amazing weekend (besides Annie ending up in medical, but if you do that, you're kind of bad ass so give her a high five for me). And that food sounded amazing. I love that you had three dinners on Saturday.

    Planning a trip there now...

  9. Hold on a second, is the dude with plumbers ass a set-up or did you randomly happen upon that? Too good.

    1. first, the dude was chick - which makes it just so much worse.

      And it was completely random. We were walking down second street looking for a place to eat. A sign in front of this restaurant was advertising a 4lb Burger that has been seen on Man Vs Food. I was thinking of taking the 4lb burger challenge when I looked up and saw that huge, bare, cottage cheese looking ass smiling right back at us.

      Of course, everyone first response was to laugh and then groan. My first response was to click the camera icon on the phone. Jim doing the thumbs up photo-bomb only makes it that much more funny!

      Oh, the best part was all the people walking by as I was snapping pics (yes, I took more than one). "dude, Facebook me", "WHOA!!!". An older couple damn near fell over from laughing so hard. This happened around 4pm on Saturday and the best part is that the night got progressively better from this point on!

      Seriously, on Beale Street they were doing a Santa Pup Crawl - if you were dressed as Santa you got free entry and drinks. There were literally 1000ppl dressed like Santa, getting hammered. It was awesome.

    2. Jim is a good man.

  10. I laugh at this measly "weight gain" you mention. This guy put on 20+ pounds in under 1 month. Yes, I am bragging, and yes, you are jealous ;) LOL

  11. 1) Glad Annie is OK!! That is scary!!
    2) "Dave grabbing his wife's hand at the finish line while the 1500 other women in the crowd look at their husbands in disgust. Thanks Dave." HILARIOUS
    3) Hairy ass. I think that is my favorite. I never told you my hairy ass story. I have 2 actually. 1 involves a rather large dancing Passamaquoddy Indian doing karaoke, the other involves an actual hairy ass contest that I was the one and only judge in (luckily I wasn't in the contest).

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  13. wow, that's scary about Annie's finish! Huge Congrats and Kudo's for finishing!

    That weight gain is mighty impressive, I'd be proud too : )

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  18. "Dave grabbing his wife's hand at the finish line while the 1500 other women in the crowd look at their husbands in disgust. Thanks Dave. "

    ^^^^Best caption ever!

    At least you and Annie are consistent with your post-race routines. Fluids!!!! :)

    11lbs?!?!??! I have nothing to say but "Congrats!"