If you start now, you can be ready for the Country Music Half-Marathon

This is a shout-out for an event that takes place in Nashville every April, the St. Jude Country Music Marathon and 1/2 Marathon. This year, the event is on Saturday, April 28, and there will be 30,000+ participants in the two races.

I’m bringing this up today because it’s about 16 weeks until April 28. That’s time enough for you to start training for the half marathon, even if you’re not a runner (or, in my case, the world’s slowest jogger). I’m not saying it’s time enough for you to become an elite runner. I’m merely saying, there’s time for you to train enough to complete a 13.1 mile half-marathon between now and April 28.

I’m also bringing it up because I know there are some half marathoners from around the country who have heard about the Country Music Marathon — and I wanted to let you know that what you’ve heard is true: It’s a great event. (I’m addressing this to half-marathoners, as I figure marathoners have already planned out their year and, to be honest, I’m not sure they know what town they are in after about mile 21. )

As this is a part of the Rock ‘n Roll Marathon Series, there are about 40 bands along the route of the race. And the route of the half marathon is laid out in a way that provides a participant with a perfect site-seeing run (or, jog). It passes by or through nearly every major landmark people from around the country associate with Nashville: Music Row, the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Ryman Auditorium and Vanderbilt University.

The only iffy thing about the Country Music Marathon is the weather. That part of April in Nashville can be ideal (it was three four years ago, the last time I “ran” in it) or it can be a disaster: last year in 2010, there were tornado-strength winds and torrential rain and the previous year (2009), the temperature was well into the 80s by the time many of the slower runners were into the heart of the route. (Last year, the weather was great [see comments].)

This year, I plan to be in good enough shape to handle any condition — but I have lots of miles to go before getting there. But there’s plenty of time for me to do that — and for you to, also. (Okay, I started around Thanksgiving, just to be sure.)

I won’t be blogging about my preparation very often, but about once a month, I’ll report how it’s going. And while I’m a user of a “social training” service (runkeeper.com), I don’t use the social part for sharing my training publicly — except with my daughter, who will be running the marathon and is the captain of the Hammock family team.