This was my first venture into the Great State of Texas marathoning and I did so at the behest of my very good friend and his family, Marc! So I will start off with thanking Marc and his family for their more than generous hospitality for my stay with them.
I felt rather prepared to do the Cowtown with lots of prior training. I flew into Ft. Worth on Friday and Marc picked me up and showed me the sights. We went on into expo and picked up our race packets and got to meet and greet lots of fellow runners and friends of Marc. I just happened to know one of the volunteer race Directors who managed to sheppard us around. He took us past the lines to get our bib numbers and later on handed us our finisher medals at the finish line. All and all the Cowtown Marathon was a really first class production.
We got to the Will Rogers Arena at about 5:20 am on race morning, the 27th and went to find Marc's Pace group meeting and were pleasantly surprised to be part of a Sunday morning "Runners" church service. What was really neat was that the runners could wait for the race to begin inside the Will Rogers arena, with lots of bathrooms and such. Shortly after the service we went outside to the starting corrals where I hung around with Marc and got to know a lot of his running friends and his pace group. It seemed like he had a beginning group of about 45 members of the pace group.
The Star Spangled Banner played and a few announcements played and the race was off in a two corral start.
The race was new to me this year even though Marc had driven me around the entire course, at least I had a really good feel of what and where the course was going.
The race started pretty much on time with full marathoners and half marathoners mixed together. The wind was so hard at the first that the US and Texas flags were fully displayed and snapping in the wind! That was the last time the wind was at our backs till the 19th mile of the race. At mile 19 we turned the bend and headed back to the start/finish area with the same wind, only at our backs. Sure was nice to have a boost at the end of the race.
Oh well, For most of the race I tucked in behind Marc and his pace group and did as much drafting through the wind as possible and I think I saved up enough energy to finish the race in a pretty strong fashion. Out on the course there was great crowd and fan support, it seemed like every body had set up their own water stops for the runners. The Cowtown Marathon people had done a great job of getting their own aid and water stops out in the right places with lots of volunteers. And the support from the "TCU" community was fabulous.
I thought that I ran a pretty steady race with an overall time of 3:44:19. My best mile was at 7:09 and my fastest recorded time was 5:31 with my average pace being at 8:33 per mile. This was all good enough for a 135th place overall and a second place in my 60 - 64 year old mans Age Group and a BQ. Some old guy beat me out of first place by about 4 minutes, I think.
This would give me a 3:02:55 Age Graded time!!!
Anyway it was a great marathoning weekend with family and friends in Texas. Thanks Marc, I can't wait to return the favor in the future!!!!