Cross Timbers Half Marathon
report by Linda Boggs
All day Friday John, Larry and Roger were out marking the trail as well as running various errands. The trail was marked unbelievably clearly; I don’t see how anyone could have taken a wrong turn. Someone even mowed the grass on one section of the trail where the grass had overgrown the trail. Plus, I am still amazed at how Larry gets his aid station our in the middle of “nowhere”. Fantastic job guys!
We stayed in one of the 4 “motel” rooms at Cedar Bayou Friday night…and listened to it rain and rain most of the night. We were happy to see that the temperature was good and the rain had just about stopped in time for the race to start. Silly me, I was concerned about running in the rain…I was not thinking about the hours it had rained before the race start. And I had my gaiters on to keep debris out of my shoes! ;-) Little did I know that I would need hip-waders to keep mud and water out of my shoes.
We watched the 50 milers take off then 30 minutes later the marathon and half marathon runners get to start. Down the road briefly then a sharp right turn onto the trail. How much fun! For about the first 5 minutes- then an abrupt stop in the line of single file runners- a mud puddle spanning the trail…oh, how do we get around this obstacle? We tip-toe around then off again, then more puddles and more mud and more puddles and mud…mixed in an “oh, sh##” I have to go up that muddy hill then down that muddy hill (repeat a gazillion times). I could not believe it took me an hour to reach Larry’s aid station! Then I got aggravated at myself for wasting so much time in attempting to avoid the mud puddles (most over the top of my shoes). I had as much mud and water in my shoes as on the trail…however, I did keep a fresh supply…with each step I squeezed mud and water out of my shoe so fresh mud and water could seep into my shoes. I constantly kept hoping that the mud suction would not pull my shoes off. And so I continued on with my new frame of mind to just slosh through the middle of it all. At the turn around I still felt strong and thought I had my technique down and “maybe it wasn’t so bad…”. However, by now all the runners in front of me (most of them) were now tramping through the mud on the trail again ahead of me; plus it had started to rain again, so the hills were almost impossible. I must say that I really did not know if I would make it up some of the hills; I actually had to grab trees and pull myself from tree to tree on some of the up hills…and then there were the down hills…
I crossed the finish line for my half marathon at 3:22…a personal worst time…but a fun experience. The finisher award was a beautiful/unique cedar plaque with the race logo burned into it. By the way, notice the trees in the race logo form XXV for the 25th anniversary…Teresa and John think of everything!
After finishing we were all treated to the wonderful grilled hamburgers and hot dogs with beans and all the fixin’s by Antje- who was sporting a cool grey apron with the race logo. Thanks to Antje for volunteering for post race grilling. Great job! There was also a large portable heater in the middle of the pavilion so runners could warm up after their run and relax while eating.
Teresa and John promised to have better weather next year!