Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Cowtown Challenge.. oh yes it was!

It's done. 2 days and 2 races.
They don't call it a challenge for nothing.


Here is the Cowtown play by play!

Saturday morning dawned COLD!! But beautiful.

Doug's race started at 7am, so by 6:30 we were standing in the freezing dawn. Doug raced in the 10k and did FANTASTIC!! He had been dealing with a nagging injury, so he didn't get to train like he wanted, and he still did better than he had hoped to do originally! Go Doug!!

Here he is getting started. He's the blur in orange.

Then, at 8:30am I did the 5k with Crystal, my challenge partner. Our third member got hurt and couldn't come. Super bummer :( .  So yes, I stood in the cold for 2 hours before my race. I'm learning that that's just what nutso runners do!  When the race started, Cyrstal and I didn't even realize it and so we ended up behind what felt like every walker on the course! There were over 4000 participants in this 5k and it was CRAZY!!  We didn't even start jogging until probably a mile into the race. And even then we were jumping curbs, running on sidewalks and through people's yards dodging walkers and other runners. We didn't break a sweat until 2.5 miles into the race. It's funny my run tracker on my phone even shows our weaving and curb running.

In the end, we had an awesome time, felt comfortable and jogged into the finish. I placed 38th in my age group out of 387. I couldn't believe it! If we had known, we could have RUN!  But really it was probably best, as we had the 1/2 marathon slated for the next day.

Here are Doug and me after our races.

Sunday morning dawned cold again, but not as cold as Saturday. By 6:30am I was jumping out of the car and walking to the start as the traffic was insane. It was unbelievable. There were more people here today than the day before.  The potty line was 50 people deep easy for every porta-potty and they had a lot!
Here is our team (Stephenville Women's Running Club) before the race.
The blur of our start. 6870 doing the half, 1500 doing the full and 420 doing the ultra. All of us started at the same time. 

When we got started, we were once again jumping curbs, running on sidewalks and running through people's yards! There were runners of all sizes, shapes and ages.
One of the coolest things about the race is that there were spectators everywhere and they were cheering us all on!  Truly, the only place along the 13 miles where there weren't many spectators was on a long, horrendous bridge that climbed and climbed and climbed. When we finished that, the crowds were large and soo incredibly supportive. That was mile 9.5.
Overall, I had a great run. I didn't keep to my training plan as I had hoped, but the volume of runners, the crowd and the adrenaline just kept me moving. My running app gave my time at 2 hours and 13 minutes. I paused it when I waited in line to go potty at mile 5!  My chip time was 2 hours 16 minutes and 54 seconds. I was the 270th out of 593 runners in my age group and 3664 out of 6870 half marathon runners. Given that I had never done this before, I am really proud of myself.
Here I am at the end with my medals!

With Crystal, my challenge partner!
And with the group that I train with each week.  

This has been one of those defining life moments and I'm already looking forward to doing the Cowtown Challenge next year!

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