Member Spotlight: Marshall Albritton

NTC is shining this month’s member spotlight on Nashville attorney Marshall Albritton of Parker, Lawrence, Cantrell & Smith. Married to Laurie and father to Grace, a sophomore at Auburn University, and Kelsey, a freshman at American University, Marshall shared with us his experience as a long distance runner and triathlete.

After six marathons, including the Boston Marathon, in his twelve years of long-distance running, he is now training for triathlons. Having battled a “pesky” case of tendonitis and several stress fractures, he finished one of those marathons, the Austin Marathon, barely crossing the finish line unaware that he had fractured his leg at mile 23. He describes those 3 miles as the “toughest I ever ran.”

Three years into his triathlon training, Marshall has been working to improve his bike and swim, and hopes that this year, after nursing injuries through three triathlon seasons, he will be able to race. Perseverance is a big part of triathlon training and Marshall has it.

In 2012, he entered three different races, the first being the Tobacco Marathon in Carey, North Carolina.

“That was not an impressive efforts due to the fact that I ran it injured. The race was a ‘rails to trails’ marathon. It was flat as a pancake, and most of the race was on an engineered fill that had been a railroad through the tobacco fields years ago.”

In September, Marshall swam his first 5k at Lake Lanier, Georgia in the Eric Shanteau, “Swim for Life” event and in December, raced the Lookout Mountain 50-Mile Race, sponsored by Rock Creek Racing. In his own words, Marshall describes his experience at these races:

“In September I swam my first 5k at Lake Lanier, Georgia in the ‘Swim for Life’ event. That was a lot of fun.  We swam 3-mile laps around a cove that was marked with large red floats.  There were lots of kayaks in the water and other boats to watch over the swimmer.  The start was not bunched up.  Each swimmer started one at a time, 5 seconds in between.  I had a good swim, but did not come close to placing.  Most of the people who entered were pure swimmers.  The weather was great.  There were lots of Olympians there.   If you are thinking about an open water swim, that is one to try.

In December, I ran my first trail run ever – the Lookout Mountain 50 mile Race, sponsored by Rock Creek Racing.  The race is 50 miles – at least! – and has 9000 feet of climbing. 

I had not planned on entering a race this fall, but I helped 2 of my friends train for marathons.  One of them trained for the Flying Monkey, which meant I spent a lot of time in the hills of Percy Warner Park.  I ran the 11.2 twice (22.4 miles) during those training runs.  I figured that gave me enough of a base to finish the 50 miler.

The race started at Covenant College on the top of Lookout Mountain.  From there, we ran down the side of the mountain to the point and then down to the bottom, where we ran around an area called Reflection Riding.  Then we climbed back to the top of the mountain to Covenant College, the starting point.  At that point, we were at 22.5, and had 27.5 to go.  I walked all of the up hill climbs, which I understand is a common strategy.

From Covenant College, we ran an ‘out and back’ course on the same track.  The first leg was 7.5 miles, then we had 3 separate 4 mile segments that brought us back to the last leg – a return on the 7.5-mile leg that had started at Covenant College.

The run was really fun.  I ran it easy.  I was sore the next day, but the day after, I was almost fully recovered.

I fell 3 times, but suffered no injuries.  I almost fell another 3 times.  I stubbed my toe about 100 times, which means you need some good trail shoes to do this race.

The only problem I had in the race was nausea from mile 22.5 to about mile 40.  After mile 22.5, I lived on Coke, Mountain Dew and electrolyte tablets.  I did not want to eat a solid meal until about 24 hours after the race.

I would recommend a trail run, and this run in particular, to anyone.  Just make sure and train a bunch before you go.  It is tough.  It takes a long time.  And it is grueling.  It’s hard during the race, but sweet at the end.  Ecclesiastes 7:8 applies to this race when it says, ‘The end of a matter is better than its beginning.’ “

Marshall credits his enjoyment of endurance training to the opportunity it gives him to keep his body in shape and to meet, and bond with, so many interesting people. Keep up the good work!