Flying Monkey Marathon

I was really nervous for this race!  The Flying Monkey Marathon takes place on the road through Percy Warner Park.  It’s really hilly and the race forecast called for 100% chance of storms.  Here’s how it played out…

I didn’t taper for the race.  My coach (Mark Hadley at Maximum Performance Running) used it as a training run for an upcoming ultra.


I ran 8 easy paced miles.
Packet pickup (love the Hatch Show Print race poster!)

Pasta dinner


Sunday Race Day:

5am wakeup, banana bread and coffee,


And got ready for the race


I hid in the car to stay dry until the start.


Off and on rain for the entire race and an 8am start time.


I never really looked at my pace.  This was a training run for me and I just tried my best to stay conversational and run by effort.  That was easier said than done on these hills…


7200 feet of elevation change with lots of fun signs along the way



The water stops were run by local running stores and clubs.  It was wonderful to see friends at each stop!  THANK YOU to every volunteer that braved the bad weather!!!!

Here are some of Jobie Williams’ pictures from the Fleet Feet water stop.



I was also blessed to have some company during the race.  My husband joined me from miles 11-14 and my friends Corrie and Christi Beth helped me get my butt up the big mile 18 hill.

The hubs snapped these pics during his run with me :)



Because I had been running conservatively, I felt really strong.  Around mile 20, I decided to step it up a little and had a strong kick to the finish.  I was soaked, but didn’t care.  I was so happy to finish!

Results: 2nd Overall Female (3:54)  


You can tell I was shocked when I went up to receive my award :)  I surprised myself!



Gu 15 minutes before the start, mile 7, 14, 21


Cocogo in my handheld and Gatorade on course.  Use code: JENCHOOSESJOY (all caps) for 10% off at!

Chocolate protein shake immediately after finishing.

And, some Monkey Cake!!!  The post-race was AMAZING!  Obviously, I was too excited about the cake and forgot to take a picture.


The whole race was really well organized with plenty of water stops and support.  Percy Warner Park is a gorgeous place to run.  Thanks to Monkey Trent for all of his hard work!!!  The whole day went smoothly.

When Jason asked me what I wanted to eat after the race, the answer was easy.  I had been dreaming of chips and queso the whole time!


My prize monkey had a front row seat for the car ride.  BEST RACE AWARD EVER!


And at dinner we celebrated….cheers!!


Did you race or long run this weekend?  Share!

Do you use races as training runs?  If so, do you start back with your training immediately after the race?  I’m supposed to get back at it tomorrow…fingers crossed.

What’s your favorite post-race food?  I always want Mexican food…it must be a salt thing.

My monkey needs a name!!!!  Do you have any ideas?



Join the Conversation

  • susan @2chixrun26

    Those hills! Amazing job….congrats!

    • jenchoosesjoy

      Thank you!!!

  • chasing26point2

    Amazing job lady!! I wish I could take actions shots as cute as you do!:) Have a great Thanksgiving!!

    • jenchoosesjoy

      Ob no!!! For every good one, there are 10 terrible ones!! Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!!!

  • Sarah @ KS Runner

    Congratulations! You rocked that race! When is your ultra?

    I think you should name the monkey Clyde. That’s the first name I thought when I looked at him! :)

    • jenchoosesjoy

      Im running the Pistol Ultra on January 3rd! He really does look like a Clyde!!!

      • Suzy

        You should come up here for the Whistler 50-mile ultra next October! Yes, I use races as training runs, but I haven’t raced in a long time. My 8-month old baby is stuck to me like velcro so it’s tough to stick to a certain time of day to run–I just run whenever I can fit it in. I totally need salt after a long run/race. I’m a salty sweater.

        • jenchoosesjoy

          You have your hands full with an 8 month old! I definitely crave salt after races, too. Ill check out the Whistler…thanks for the suggestion!!!

  • Sarah Kathleen McCartan

    I love the Warner Parks and would love to get up to Nashville for this one next year! Those are some serious hills. Way to take them on in the rain! And that is the best race award I’ve ever seen.

    • jenchoosesjoy

      Thanks so much! It was a tough, but special day:)

  • Shay

    Congrats! You totally killed it! You have so inspired me to start running trails.

    • jenchoosesjoy

      Wow…thank you so much for your kind words!!!

  • lmicklich

    I think Mojo would be a good name for the monkey…you must have had a lot of mojo left to finish strong! I’ve never used a race in training per se, but sometimes I race shorter distances with the purpose of gaining speed off season. I’ve had a few friends do marathons as training runs, though, and have paced them for a bit. I like being the support, too :)

    • jenchoosesjoy

      Thats a great name, too!! I should probably do more short tune up races for speed!

  • Abby

    I’m from Nashville too, and I’m home for break from college! I’ve never really run much when I’m home, but I’d like to take advantage of the beautiful places here to run. Which ones would you recommend that are also safe to run by yourself?

    • jenchoosesjoy

      Crockett park in brentwood had a really nice paved path that runs along a creek. Its a safe and pretty place to run. If you wany hills, percy warner park is great.

  • Running ‘N’ Reading

    Woo hoo! You nailed it, Jen! I’m so excited for you! That monkey really is the best prize ever…I like the previous name selection, Clyde; I think I have that stuck in my head now – ha! My grandfather was named Clyde. I had a couple of friends who ran in the race yesterday and they shared some of the pictures along the route – hilarious! At least they’re honest, right? You’re going to be SO ready for the Pistol; great work, girl.

    • jenchoosesjoy

      Thanks so much for your words of encouragement!!

      • Running ‘N’ Reading

        Right back at ya, friend! 😉

  • Marilyn

    Congratulations! You rocked it!

    I think your monkey needs an old man name – Clyde is an excellent choice.

    • jenchoosesjoy

      He just looks like an old man, doesnt he?!!

  • charissarunning

    Congratulations! You really beasted that marathon 😀 I’m in awe of the fact that this was an “easy” run for you!! And yes, I think your monkey is the best award ever!!! Leading up to my goal half marathon last spring, I ran two training half marathons with a friend and my sister. It was definitely a confidence boost to know that I could handle the distance with no issues :)

    • jenchoosesjoy

      Thats so good to hear that training races worked well for you!! Thank you!

  • RunfortheBling

    Congratulations Jen on another great accomplishment! You are amazing!

    • jenchoosesjoy

      Thank you so much for your kind words!!!

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  • mary @ minutespermile

    congrats on an awesome race! those hills look brutal!!

    • jenchoosesjoy

      Thanks! It was definitely a challenging course!

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