Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration

The Black Expo in Indianapolis, IN is a celebration of African American culture.  Underserved communities have a one stop shop with over $2,000 worth of free health screenings, job applications, voter registration and supporting black owned businesses.

Indy Black Expo Convention Center

Being in Indianapolis is like a homecoming for me.  From the ages of 17 to 23, I lived in Fort Wayne, IN while I earned my B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Indiana Tech.  After my first interview, I was hired as an Industrial Engineer at Ashley Industrial Molding, INC.  There was not much to do in Fort Wayne, so the short drive to “Nap” was where most of the entertainment was.

Downtown Indianapolis

The first Black Expo I attended was in 2001, when Alicia Keys and Jill Scott emerged as new artists.  It was also the time I fell in love with Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse after looking for a place to eat dinner.  From the sidewalk, I admired the fancy table settings and décor, not knowing what those menu prices were looking like.  My brother Jason said, “Never let Kelsie pick the restaurant again.”  That’s OK, because I’m still picky.

Fast forward to 2018.  It’s time to pass the torch to the next generation.  My foster daughter Brandy, and Savannah whom I have provided respite care for over the last two years got to experience their first Black Expo.

Brandy is entering her senior year, so we hit up all the college booths first.  I wanted her to practice speaking with people about her career goals.  She and Savannah enjoyed the STEM projects provided by Cummins.

Black Expo Cummins STEM

Cummins STEM engine

IU Indy Black Expo

“Royalty Lives in Your Blood”

Indy Black Expo Royalty Stage

Indy Black Expo Queens

Cultural Arts Gallery

Indy Black Expo Art Exhibit

ArthenticFit Indy Black Expo

Indy Expo Cultural Arts Pavilion

Indy Black Expo ArthenticFit

Indy Black Expo Cultural Arts

Indy Black Expo Art

Indianapolis Black Expo Art

New Jack Swing Concert

New Jack Swing Concert Indy Black Expo

#GOALS

I wanted the girls to meet my Mentor, Steven E. Babcock.  Steve is my go to for financial, career, and relationship advice.  I admire him for his 43 years as a Federal Mediator.  His talents are irreplaceable as he mediates cases across the U.S. and in Europe.  On top of that, Steve is a real estate investor with eight properties ranging from single family homes to triplexes where he mainly rents to people needing a second chance.

Steven E. Babcock Indianapolis

Speaking of #GOALS, my little brother Brad purchased a home just outside of Indianapolis.  I had to pull up on him and check out his renovations.  I’m proud of my Army Vet brother and his accomplishments.Bradford Smoot Kelsie Smoot

Kelsie Lou

Posted in Art, concerts, Education, family, foster parent, health, Indiana, Indianapolis, landmarks, mothers, Travel | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Don’t Worry, Beach Happy!

Summer should get a speeding ticket.  I’m trying to get the most out of Summer Break without doing too much and defeating the purpose.  I flew to Florida for a week to cool off from the 108° heat indexes in Louisville.  My Mom and Dad took me to Treasure Island Beach to watch the fireworks.

Phillip and Alice Smoot

Phillip L. Smoot

It was nice to experience a beach setting for the Fourth of July.  The fireworks were not as extravagant as we had expected.  Later, we found out that the company hired to put on the show had some issues.  To their defense, there were some storms in the area.

St. PETE BEACH Fireworks.gif

Another show on my agenda almost got cancelled due to Chris Brown’s arrest in West Palm Beach.  Thankfully, C-Breezy settled his legal matters so my Mom and I could enjoy the Heartbreak on a Full Moon concert.

 

Alice Smoot

Chris Brown Tour

We were seated in the second row behind the orchestra level.  I added valet parking to the ticket order for a treat to my Mom.  I was impressed with the stage set up being that his Heartbreak on a Full Moon tour is in amphitheaters instead of stadiums.

Chris Brown Concert

Chris Brown Tour Stage

The next day, I recuperated poolside with ensalada de frutas con chile.  Later that night, it was Giordano’s in Orlando for deep dish pizza and a shopping spree.

Giordanos Mexican Fruit Cup

Because Florida is my second home and future retirement destination, I am always looking to explore places off the beaten path.  Florida is home to the largest concentration of freshwater springs on the planet.  We picked Blue Spring State Park this time around.

St Johns River Cruise

We reserved a two-hour ecological cruise on the Saint Johns River to learn about the native plants and wildlife.  St. Johns River is unique because it flows north.  We spotted alligators, alligator nests, owls, egrets, eagles, and herons.

St Johns River Cruise Blue Spring Park

Blue Spring State Park

After the cruise, we walked on a boardwalk towards the Blue Spring swimming area.  My master swimmer Mother said she was not getting in that water!

Blue Spring State Park Swim

There were park rangers monitoring an alligator that was swimming nearby.  The swim area is very clear and we could see gar, catfish and a manatee sharing the same space.  I always thought manatees were slow mammals, but they actually swim 5 mph.  Michael Phelps tops 6 mph, which puts that manatee lifestyle into perspective.

Blue Spring Swimming alligator, gars, catfish

The spring water temperature is 72° year-round.  It felt so refreshing.  I wish I could have stayed longer and taken photos underwater.

I figured we would stop by Bethune-Cookman University as I had mentioned in my Memorial Day post about Daytona Beach.  I wanted to take a tour of the Mary McLeod Bethune Home, but it was closed due to a high-profile interview taking place.

Mary McLeod Bethune Memorial

I was a little disappointed, but June 10th is Ms. Bethune’s birthday and there was a huge block party to celebrate.  The atmosphere was like a family reunion with a free food buffet, music and activities for children.

We did the typical eat and run.  Ten minutes later, we were driving on Daytona Beach.

alice smoot kelsie smoot

It was very sad to leave Florida, but the beach ain’t going nowhere.  Sea you soon!

Daytona Beach Florida

Kelsie Lou

Posted in concerts, family, Florida, Travel | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Biltmore Estate

The highlight of our Smoky Mountain road trip was taking a tour of the Biltmore Estate.  Kelsie L. Smoot Biltmore Estate

George Vanderbilt took his inheritance from his father’s railroad and steamboat monopoly and invested in 125,000 acres of land in Asheville, NC.  The Vanderbilts enjoyed this view designed by Fredrick Law Olmstead from one of their balconies.

George Vanderbilt Land in Asheville, NC

My favorite room of the house is the Banquet Hall which features a seven-story-high ceiling.  Mr. Vanderbilt was very generous and loved to entertain family and friends.

Biltmore House Banquet Hall

As a P.E. and Health teacher I can appreciate his dedication to recreation by having a home gym, a 70,000 gallon heated indoor pool and a bowling alley.  Mr. Vanderbilt also made sure to have plenty of private changing rooms for his guests.

Biltmore Estate Gym

On the lower level of the home is where the servants lived and performed most of their duties.  There was one servant per guest who stayed in the home.  The female and male employees lived in separate areas of the estate.

Biltmore Estate Servants

With 250 rooms and 43 bathrooms, the Biltmore has several kitchens, pantries, and laundry areas.

Biltmore Estate Tour

The Vanderbilts had separate bedrooms to suit their personal tastes.  They were also adhering to the social standard of it being inappropriate for servants of the opposite sex to enter into the bedrooms.

Mr and Mrs. Vanderbilt's Bedrooms

The estate’s library is a reflection of George Vanderbilt’s love for books.  I was impressed by the thousands of books and the size of the fireplace.

Bitlmore Estate Library

Every room is full of detail from floor to ceiling.  There are hidden doors to avoid disruption in the decor.  These photos show a seating room, the breakfast room, the organ loft in the banquet hall, and the music room.

Biltmore House Asheville

There is a portrait of Fredrick Law Olmstead in the Second Floor Living Hall.  The 50 feet tall, iron chandelier weighs 1,700 pounds.

Biltmore House Chandelier

The lower right photo shows the exterior view of the staircase:

Biltmore Estate Exterior

We walked outside to the Italian Garden where there is a concentrated display of Chihuly glass artwork.  There are Chihuly exhibits throughout the estate which took two years to plan and install.  The glass exhibits will be on display until early October 2018.

Chihuly Biltmore Italian Garden

Kelsie L. Smoot

This a view of the Biltmore home from the Italian Garden:

Biltmore House view from Italian Garden

We were in awe when we caught our first view of the four acre Walled Garden after walking through the Shrub Garden.  The beauty hits you out of nowhere.

Biltmore Estate Walled Garden

The conservatory was designed to nurture exotic plants and flowers.

Biltmore Estate Conservatory Hot House

Biltmore Estate Conservatory Cool House

Admission to the Biltmore Estate includes wine tasting that is about a 10 minute drive to Antler Hill Village and Winery.  I was surprised that minors were allowed at the bar.  The girls enjoyed their sample of grape juice while they tried to tell me how to swirl, smell and sip my wine.

Biltmore Estate Winery

Biltmore Estate Wine Tasting

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimension” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

Kelsie Lou

Posted in Art, Education, family, foster parent, landmarks, Photography, Travel | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Road Trip: The Great Smoky Mountains

Visiting the Biltmore Estate has been on my travel list for about a year.  My Foster Daughters and I decided to make some stops along the way to make the most of our drive through The Great Smoky Mountains.

Kelsie Smoot

Our first stop was in Pigeon Forge, TN.  Food was first on the agenda.  I normally eat at Paula Deen’s, but I wanted to try another top ranked restaurant called The Old Mill.  The Old Mill was good, but the food at Paula Deen’s is more of a flavorful, down-home type of cooking.

Kelsie, Brandy, Cassie

What I liked about The Old Mill is getting a full course meal included in the menu prices.  We needed to-go boxes for the left overs that went to waste in the hotel’s refrigerator.  This is something to think about when people complain about Paula Deen’s family style dining that does not allow take outs.

The Old Mill Pigeon Forge

After dinner, we walked down the Pigeon Forge Parkway and enjoyed the change of scenery.

Brandy, Cassie

Pigeon Forge Go Carts

From Pigeon Forge, we made our way to Asheville, NC for a day at the Biltmore Estate.  I will follow-up with those photos in my next post.

We stayed overnight in Asheville by the outlet mall, if you want to call it that.  It was the smallest outlet I have ever been too.  The Nike store was weak!  The girls were happy with Forever 21.

The next morning, we drove to the Asheville Visitor Center to catch the Gray Line Hop-On/Hop-Off Trolley.  It felt good to let someone else do the driving.  We enjoyed learning about the history of Asheville.

Asheville Montford Historic District

Homewood Castle Asheville

The Grove Asheville, NC

First Baptist Church Dome Asheville

The Cathedral of All Souls Asheville

Asheville, NC City Hall

Asheville River Arts District

The tour started with the painful history of the Native Americans in the area and how they were moved West.  The guide mentioned there being a Cherokee Museum in Cherokee, NC.  I decided that we would stop there on our way back to Kentucky.  The Cherokee Museum is only an hour drive from Asheville.

Cherokee Indian Museum

Museum of the Cherokee Indian

Chamber of Dissenting Voices

The Five Civilized Tribes

Proclamation of 1763

The burning belt, Sequoyah, Thomas's Legion

Cherokee Women Walini, Agnes Welch

After a beautiful drive along Highway 441, we bypassed Gatlinburg and stopped in Knoxville, TN for dinner.  Sweet P’s BBQ is one of the top ranked in the area according to Trip Advisor.  The food was great, the servers were friendly, and we left full for our final stretch to Louisville.

Kelsie Lou

Posted in Art, family, food, foster parent, landmarks, restaurants, Travel | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Fit & Fabulous

Summer is officially here!  I am excited to near the completion of my capstone project for a certificate in Diversity Literacy from U of L.  This means no more project deadlines, and I can focus on 2018-19 lesson planning.

The school year ended on a good note.  I was recognized for being “Fit and Fabulous” and given one of four awards from the Multi-Tiered System of Support team.

Kelsie Smoot Stuart Academy

2018 will be a “go with the flow” type of summer break.  I spent the first week attending the JCPS Deeper Learning Symposium.  It was good to reconnect with my friend Brandi, whom I’ve known since my earlier years of teaching at Job Corps.

JCPS KY Deeper Learning Symposium

Between school and work, one thing I miss is running consistently.  My goal is to run as many local races this summer as possible.  First on my list is the Crusade Barnyard Dash 10K.  I ran it in a dress four years ago.

Barnyard Dash 10K

Crusade Barnyard Dash 10K mile marker 1.  The dreaded hill at mile 4.5.

I saw my time and knew I wasn’t going to place in my age group.  I finished eight minutes faster in 2014 and barely squeezed out a 3rd place that year.  I stuck around, ate strawberries and took a chance on the door prizes.

My bib number was called for a $50 check.  I wasted no time using my Chase app to deposit that bad boy.  Since I waited around that long, I decided to listen to age group awards.  I was shocked again when I was called for 2nd place.

Barnyard Dash 10K Results:

Time 56:24

2nd Place Age Group

63/132 Overall

Crusades Barnyard Dash 10K

To cool off from my summer runs I drink smoothies almost every day.  Something new I’ve added is baby spinach.  The taste is overpowered by the fruit and almond milk, but I know I am getting a vitamin boost.

Smoot Smoothie

Greek Yogurt, Almond Milk, Blueberries, Banana, Pineapple, Mango, Strawberries, & Baby Spinach

The next race I did was the Iroquois Hill Runners Pizza Pig-out 5K.  The all-you-can-eat pizza at the finish line was enough to persuade my foster daughters to run with me.  Brandy and Cassie got to experience what I go through trying to stay fit and fabulous.

IHR Pizza 5K Iroquois Park

IHR Pizza Pig-out 5K Results:

25:35, 8:14 Pace

7/76 Women’s Division

33/144 Overall.

Happy Summer!

Kelsie Lou

Posted in Education, family, fitness, foster parent, health, Indiana, Juicing, Louisville, recipes, running | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

5 Reasons to Visit Daytona Beach

My Memorial Day weekend trip to Florida was almost a bust due to the Alberto storm.  I normally visit the beaches along the Gulf Coast such as Treasure Island, St. Pete, Clearwater, and Siesta Key.  The Gulf Coast had rain on the radar for the entire weekend.  Something told me to check the Atlantic side and it was a go!

Daytona Beach Florida

The only dilemma was deciding between Daytona Beach and Coco Beach.  I picked Daytona because it is a straight shot off I-4.  Thanks to storm Alberto, Daytona Beach will be my #1 choice when I go to visit my Mom and Dad.

This is a quick list of what I loved about Daytona Beach:

1. Driving on the beach

A $20 fee will give you access to park your vehicle between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.  I left earlier because the tide was getting too close for my comfort.  Although I am a great swimmer, I was not trying to get swept away.

World's Most Famous Beach

2. Daytona Beach Main Street Pier

Compared to Clearwater’s Pier 60, Daytona’s Pier allows you to walk to the end of the pier and fish without any fees.  The pier also has a few restaurants.

Daytona Beach Pier

3. Daytona Beach Boardwalk

There are souvenir shops, arcades, restaurants, and Screamer Park Amusement rides along the boardwalk.

Daytona Beach Boardwalk

The Daytona Beach Bandshell offers free weekend concerts in the summer.

Daytona Beach Bandshell

4. Food!

Food trucks on the beach made my day!  The fruit I packed in the cooler was less appealing after buying a “loaded” funnel cake consisting of two scoops of ice cream.  There are healthier food truck items such as salads and grilled chicken.

Daytona Beach Food Truck

5. Close to Orlando

Like I mentioned in the introduction, Daytona Beach does not require a lot of back road driving.  I believe the storm threats kept everyone away because I did not run into any traffic.  The only snarl was in the downtown Orlando area that has major construction underway.  It was nothing to stop off International Drive and grab dinner.

Hash House A Go Go Orlando

What I missed

  • I would like to visit Bethune-Cookman University and take a tour of Bethune’s home.
  • The water sports were in a different location from where I was parked.

I favor Daytona over Clearwater because there is more to do and the convenience of having personal belongings very close.

Daytona Beach ParkingClearwater has the advantage of facing the Gulf and offering beautiful sunsets along the horizon.  Overall, I choose Daytona Beach because there are more things to do and a more diverse population.

kelsie smoot

KelsieLou

Posted in food, landmarks, Photography, Travel | Tagged , | 10 Comments

Black Excellence

On May 12, 2018, I was awarded my 2nd Master’s Degree in Education for Teacher Leadership from the University of Louisville.  Upon completion of a capstone project during the summer, I will earn a certificate in Diversity Literacy.  This degree will also increase my Kentucky Teacher Certification to a Rank 1.

Kelsie_Smoot_U_of_L_Grad_2nd_masters

As a teacher in a priority school, this opportunity was made possible through a partnership with Jefferson County Public Schools and U of L.  In the Fall of 2016, I began taking 2 classes a semester, year around in the Competency, Awareness, and Responsiveness to Diverse Students (C.A.R.D.S.) Program.

I was blessed to complete this program DEBT FREE with tuition assistance from JCPS, Stuart Academy tuition reimbursement, and good personal budgeting.

My school work was with me all the time as I vacationed at Siesta Key Beach, Las Vegas, and moments prior to boarding a cruise to Cuba. I am very proud of my 3.93 GPA.  I had some classes that started off with low scores as I caught the hang of updated learning due to being out of school for 10 years.

Kelsie Smoot Foster Care

I’m not going to lie.  There were times when I wanted to quit the program to get my life back.  I would calculate how much money I would have to repay JCPS.  The money is not what pushed me.  It was the support from loved ones and the initial encouragement from the late Kevin Carter (God bless his soul) that gave me the strength to persevere.

Phillip L. Smoot Sr Alice Smoot Kelsie Smoot

Lucy L. Smoot Family West Virginia

I would like to thank my advisor, Shelley Thomas, my cohort group Aubrey and Pashun Barnes (another Detroit native), and my favorite professor, Dr. Kaila Story.

Kelsie Smoot Kentucky

Kelsie L Smoot Kentucky

For the current school year, I was elected by my colleagues as a union rep and I am the Related Arts Department Chair.

I love teaching P.E., but my plans are to perfect my craft in Health Education.  My goal is to be the golden standard for teaching strategies to reach diverse learners and to pass that knowledge to my colleagues.  I have already been asked to lead some trainings for the 2018-19 school year.

Kelsie Smoot Graduation Louisville

 

“Don’t complain about having too much on your plate when your goal was to eat.”

Kelsie Lou

Posted in Education, family, foster parent, Louisville, Photography | Tagged , , , , | 34 Comments

Busy is Good

I’ll just go in chronological order to catch up with what’s been going on with Miss Smoot.

After Christmas Break, we missed a week of school due to snow days.  I took advantage of a mild weekend to visit my Grandma in West Virginia.  “Once a man, twice a child,” is what my Grandma kept telling me as I helped her with daily routines.

Lucy L. Smoot Madison, WV

By the end of February, the melting snow caused flooding in the Ohio Valley.  My school formed a Polar Plunge team to raise money for Special Olympics, with a portion going towards our Unified Basketball Team.

Stuart Unified Basketball Team

The Polar Plunge turned into a No Splash Bash due to high river levels and debris.

polar plunge 2018

March went by with getting to know my two new foster daughters, ages 13 and 17.  I was also at the midpoint of two classes at U of L.  Spring Break couldn’t come soon enough.

Phillip L. Smoot Florida

I won 1st place in the Masters Division for the One Million Centimeters 10K in Sebring, FL.  It was a nice park location with a canopy of palm trees that helped me acclimate to the humidity.

Kelsie Smoot One Million Centimeter 10K Florida

Clearwater Beach was lit with all the Spring Breakers.

Kelsie Smoot Clearwater Beach

Aside from my regular stops in Florida, I wanted to try Bern’s Steakhouse in Tampa.  I’m a Ruth’s Chris fan, but Bern’s was a better overall experience.

Bern's Tampa

Bern's Steakhouse

Following our dinner, Mom and I took a tour of the kitchen and the wine cellar.

Bern's Steakhouse Kitchen Tour

Bern's Wine Cellar

To top off our evening, we went upstairs to the Harry Waugh Dessert Room.  The seating is arranged in private booths made with wood shipped from California redwood wine holding tanks.  We had our choice of music and could pick up the phone to request a selection from the pianist.

Alice Kelsie Smoot Florida

Harry Waugh Dessert Room

During Spring Break all hell was breaking loose in West Virginia, Oklahoma and Kentucky with changes to teacher pensions and salaries.  Regardless of the sociopolitical climate, I’m going to represent that #TeacherThugLife and teach my Smootents to the best of my ability!

Kelsie Smoot Ketucky JCPS

Kelsie Louise Smoot

Posted in family, Florida, food, foster parent, Louisville, restaurants, running, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Good Vibes

School:

The last two months of 2017 were super busy for me.  I earned an A+ and an A in my two Fall courses at the University of Louisville, with an overall GPA of 3.9.  I am only 3 classes away from completing my 2nd Masters in Teacher Leadership and certificate in Diversity Literacy.  In August, I will also move up to Rank I KY Teacher Certification.

When I wasn’t studying, I took breaks to check out a few football games and a basketball game.  I had a ball tailgating with co-workers for the Clemson game. Murray State was a blow out, and the Syracuse game was on a rain delay that made me leave early. Seton Hall upset the Cards by two points in basketball.

Kelsie Smoot Univerity of Louisville

Teaching:

While teaching can be challenging, it remains a fun and rewarding career for me. My Smootents keep me on my toes, and I practice what I preach to keep up with them. I have the Physical Education part down pat. I want to focus on professional growth by teaching a skills based health curriculum with restorative practices for behavioral management. I started a twitter account, @KelsieSmoot to promote what my Smootents are learning.

Kelsie Smoot P.E. Teacher

Kelsie Smoot Health Teacher

Running:

On Thanksgiving, I returned to the hills for the 38th running of the Iroquois Hill Runners Thanksgiving Day Run. There are other turkey trots in the area, but IHR knows how to put on a race with plenty of cash prizes, giveaways, and food at the finish.

Results:

5 Miles- 42:57

3rd Place age group $10 prize

51/336 Female Overall

Kelsie Smoot IHR Thanksgiving Day Run 2017

During Christmas vacation, I ran the Santa’s Run for Our Kids in Winter Haven, Florida. The course was a double loop around three lakes and a residential area. The lake breezes blew my antlers off.

Results:

10K- 49:22

1st Place Woman Masters (40+)

2nd Place Female Overall

12th of 93 Overall

Santa's Run For our Kids Winter Haven FL

 

 

 

 

Self-Care:

My brother Brad has been visiting Louisville more often now that he lives in Indianapolis. My Aunt Vera came to visit and show support to my cousin Maria who is battling cancer. I got to visit my Grandma before the weather got too cold. When I’m craving stuffed chicken, Ruth’s Chris remains as my favorite splurge dinner.

I’m still fostering teenage girls which seems like a revolving door sometimes. We were all that age and know the struggle. My job is to provide as much support and stability to help them transition into womanhood.

Kelsie Smoot Smoots

 

I went to visit my parents in Florida for Christmas. We did a 45-minute session in the Salt Room in Lakeland. My breathing was so much better when I raced the following day. My Dad felt relief from his breathing conditions as well.

The Salt Room Florida

We kept it laid back with most of my time spent pool side and enjoying the lake views. The beach shore temperatures were too chilly for me to waste a day playing in the sand. Between my Mom’s cooking and dining out, I ate plenty of good food.

We ate at Hash House a go go in Orlando for the first time. The chicken and waffles rival my Las Vegas favorite in Grand Lux Café. Harry’s Seafood in Lakeland was absolutely scrumptious! Shrimp and grits with Oreo beignets for dessert gave me life.

Phillip Smoot Michigan, West Virginia, Florida

During the holidays, I was missing my Aunt Mary who passed away in Detroit back in July. She was always festive, immaculate, fun-loving and throwing down on some food. Her spirit lives through me.

Happy New Year everyone!!!

~KelsieLou~

Kelsie Smoot Louisville

 

Posted in Education, family, Florida, food, football, foster parent, health, restaurants, running, Travel | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

Iron Horse Half Marathon Review

Iron Horse Half Marathon Recap

Location: Midway, Kentucky

Date: October 15, 2017

kentucky horse farms midway952082726..jpgI heard about the Iron Horse Half Marathon in Midway, KY a couple of years ago from a Daily Mile friend named Tiffany. It was no coincidence that Tiffany approached me after the race to say “Hello” and to formally introduce herself. After all, I am easily recognized simply by being one of the few Black women in majority of the races I do.

Initially, I wanted to PR this race because I had some good training runs leading up to it. I did not consider the elevation changes and the warm fall temperatures to start the race. The weather for this time of year can be hit or miss. The wind was strong throughout the rolling hills with temps around 67° and humid. The saving grace was the cloud cover.

iron horse half marathon course319380541..jpg

Midway is only about a 45-minute drive from Louisville. I arrived in the small town and went to the Midway Christian Church for packet pick up. The church allowed use of it’s restrooms which was nice to avoid the porta potties near the start line.

iron horse half marathon midway683841595..jpg

Going through Midway towards the 2nd loop of the course.

The national anthem was sung by a group of young women. For the first time in my life, I questioned what I was standing up for. I observed how it was not a big deal for people to mill around, but there is so much controversy about athletes taking a knee to protest social injustice.

iron horse half marathon midway ky1477072792..jpg

Start Line

 

 

The Iron Horse Half course can be described as a figure 8 course. There is a down and out for the first 6.5 miles that loops the farms and back towards the heart of Midway.

iron horse half marathon course map1214132826..jpg

First loop turn around.

 

 

The entire course was very scenic and I stopped to take photos along the way.

iron horse half marathon route325873067..jpg

Plenty of activity to distract runners from a hilly course.

kelsie smoot kentucky1631055302..jpg

Only because I took a selfie at Run the Bluegrass in Lexington.

 

The next down and out went past the college towards more farms before looping back into a residential area. The hills on this section were grueling.

iron horse half mile marker 11508646560..jpg

The difference between running down and being defeated by having to walk up the hills.

The race towards the finish line was intense as with all of my finishes. One guy tried to hang with me for the final sprint, but he gave up and told me to take the lead.

Tiffany and I walked back to the starting area where she took a photo of me at the caboose and we signed up for free massages.

20171015_101612178031462.jpg

RJ Corbin Caboose

Another perk to running the Iron Horse Half Marathon is free professional photo downloads.

Kelsie Smoot

I was happy it was over.

 

 

I ordered a medium in the race shirt, but I cannot wear it because the sleeves are too tight in the forearms.

iron horse half marathon ky1892456956..jpg

Poster, finisher medal, Brooks tech shirt, bag.

 

 

Overall, the Iron Horse Half Marathon was a good race to check off my list for Kentucky racing.  The course was more difficult than Lexington’s Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon.  I liked the scenery of Iron Horse more, however, I was not a fan of the figure 8 course.

Iron Horse Half Marathon Official Results-

Finish Time: 1:53:04, 8:38 pace

Age Group Place: 5 of 47

Women’s Overall Place: 24 of 306

Overall Place: 104 of 586

♡KelsieLou♡

Posted in fitness, half marathon, health, Lexington, Louisville, running | 13 Comments