Well, initially when signing up for this race, I planned for this to be a race to kinda push it a bit to see if a PR or coming close to my PR from 2 years ago would be possible. Due to life and laziness I did not train properly for this at all. Adding in that the race date changed putting it one week after I was to pace a half, also added in additional complications. I wasn’t a stranger to back to back half weekends, but I knew from last year how my body felt post pacing after having to slow down and be consistent really worked what I call my other muscles and left me still with some recovery time. Adding in elements from being sick last week, and hip issues post pace half, I didn’t have the same expectations.
Fortunately I was running with a friend and fellow Ragnarian Emi, who is just a fantastic positive human being who was using this race as her comeback to running. Emi has some pretty legit friends, Aerie & Lexi (also a newly minted Ragnarian) who came out to support her. Since this race was an hour and half drive and did not offer race day pick up, they had opted to get a hotel in Ft. Worth and invited me to join them.
Btw, major shout of to my best running friend Jessica for helping hook me up with a great deal on a hotel room, and for Hampton Inn for Nutrigrain bar, and a bottle of water. Also the room was absolutely gorgeous, and the beds were comfy.
We all went out to eat at Texas Roadhouse and you better believe that I had a steak, cheese fries, and a drink called the Jamaican Cowboy. It was nice to just sit down with people who all had different interests and backgrounds to keep the conversations flowing and full of various perspectives and ideas.
After dinner we just simply went back to the hotel, got ready for bed, took pictures of our flat runners and that was it. Nothing exciting to note at all. Our hotel was only15 minutes out from the race start, but due to an early start (THANK YOU!) we still had to wake up early, but not so early that we missed breakfast that we were able to use to fill out water bottles, grab breakfast as well as post race snacks.
Location/Parking: The location and parking was at Gateway Park and Ft. Worth, if you arrived before 6:30 you could park right by the start… we did not arrive that early but still found a decent spot that was maybe a 5-7 minute walk to the start.
Start Line: Pretty uneventful, they did end offering race day packet pick up and delayed the start by 5 minutes. It was a small race so it was pretty much line and go. There weren’t any corral/pace signs, or pacers available at this race.
Race: The race ran out of gateway park which was beyond gorgeous and down the Trinity River Trail. The first portion of the race was an out and back, run out for about 4.2 miles turn around and run back towards to start, except then instead of left, you went right to go to the mountain bike trail.
Race organizers informed us Friday, less than 24 hour notice, that due to construction part of the race would be rerouted on a mountain bike trail. Miles 9-12 ended up being on this trail, the first and last 1/2ish mile being on grass, the rest on very narrow, rocky, hilly, tree roots everyone, tall grass, and tons of fun. This honestly ended up being my favorite portion of the race. I hurt my feet a lot, it was hot and hard, but it was fun. I took the most selfies during that portion and I’m not ashamed. It was also very slow, but I do not care, we were just wanting to finish.
Finish Line: Very uneventful, granted we were at the back of the pack, but I saw on Facebook that this was a common thing from people of various paces, nothing from vendors, no water, no music, nothing at all but finisher medals and a photographer.
Overview: It was an okay race, nothing truly special in my opinion. It was cheap so it’s a you get what you pay for kind of deal. Would a I run it again? Probably not, since it’s very rare for me to repeat a race in general, and if I do it has to have a special wow factor and this did not. The medal was cool, and the tank was cool, but there wasn’t enough pre/post race activities to make me want to return.