First runner registers for the Festival Friday 4 Miler

By Emily Bishop

Have you registered for the Festival Friday 4 Miler yet? I’m sure you are planning to do that soon, or maybe you are the kind who likes to wait until the last minute. Nevertheless, this past month the first online registrations began to trickle in. In fact Jon Carroll was the first person to register for the race. And in honor of the race’s 20th anniversary we would like to get to know Jon. We know all runners have a story – a reason why they come out, sweat, and support the CYCA. Here’s what Jon had to say about the reason he runs and the reason he participates in the Cooper-Young Festival Friday 4 Miler.

I am 34-years-old and have been running for most of my life. I ran cross country in high school, but I only made the team because they needed a fifth to qualify in events. After high school I ran occasionally. That changed at age 30 when my wife kicked me in the butt and told me to start getting in shape because she wanted me to be around to see our son grow up. So, I started running again and promptly lost 40 pounds.

Last year was actually the first time I ran the 4 Miler. Heck, last year was the first time I ran any race since high school due to the long-time restriction on headphone usage. I openly admit to finding running boring and do it mostly to stay in shape and counteract my love of food. In order to combat the boredom, I listen to music and various pod casts while I run. Although I do have a modicum of speed, I am by no means a speed demon and run races for the camaraderie, and oh yeah, the T-shirts. Due to lack of speed, I don’t win anything except an occasional placing in my age bracket in small events (Yeah Meowathon!).

I would describe the 4 Miler as fun, quick, and enjoyable. For those used to a 5K, it is a transition as your body may want to start gearing down and cross the finish when you still have another mile to go. The spectators who line the 4 Miler course crack me up! It is great to see the community spirit both along and within the race. From a technical standpoint, the course is flat and easy, and I like the finish off the corner with a brief straightaway. It was a deeply enjoyable race, and I plan to do it again every year possible.

Register online at

Author: LampLighter

The voice of Cooper-Young, a vibrant, diverse neighborhood to live, work and play, in the heart of Midtown Memphis, Tennessee.

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