New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was in Nashville this past Sunday, taking advantage of off-season downtime to run in the St Jude Country Music Marathon. Finishing the 13.1 mile half-marathon portion of the race next to his fiancee, Linda Holliday, Belichick crossed the line in an official time of 2:36:46.
Belichick, who has run a marathon before, expressed his thoughts on the race to the Tennessean:
“It was a great run. I came out to support Linda in her hometown race for her first half-marathon.”
The 62 year old Patriots Head coach, who has led his team to victory in 10 out of the last 11 AFC East championships, held an average pace of 11:58 per mile for the race. Both he and Holiday have ties to the city: while Belichick was born there, Holliday is a graduate of Franklin High School as well as Vanderbilt (where Belichick’s father was, at one time, an assistant coach). Holliday took to Instagram to thank supporters, posting a photo of her and Belichick mid-race.
Had a blast running the @runrocknroll half marathon today with #myguy, my Sis, & so many friends from Nashville & Boston! So great to be back in the city where I grew up! #runcmm Thanks for so much support today from ALL of you!
The race ended in a familiar spot for Belichick, outside of LP Field, home of the Tennessee Titans (Both the Titans and Belichick’s Patriots are in the AFC). Joseph Chebet won the half-marathon, finishing in a time of 1:10:36.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick crosses half marathon finish line — 2:41:00 unofficial time pic.twitter.com/cQzsYw9Vu9
— Chip Cirillo (@ChipCirillo) April 26, 2014
Belichick’s outing marks a day away from an off-season rife with speculation that the Patriots are actively seeking out a Quarterback in the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft, which will take place may 8th-10th. This year’s draft is widely seen as an opportunity for Belichick to replace backup QB Ryan Mallett, who is thought to be leaving after this season. While current Quarterback Tom Brady is not expected to retire immediately, speculation has centered on the need for the Patriots to source an heir-apparent for Brady to train in the remaining years of his career.
Belichick’s trip to his hometown wasn’t strictly for fun, however. Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean tweeted that Belichick was spotted privately working out several Vanderbilt athletes, including offensive lineman Wesley Johnson.
— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) April 25, 2014
Fox Sports named several others who worked out with Belichick, adding to further speculation about his plans going into the draft. What do you think Bill Belichick and the Patriots will do on May 8th?