Saturday, March 30, 2013

Chisholm Trail Half Marathon Race Report

When I started running and signing up for races, I used other races as built-in training and to keep me motivated.  Almost 10 years later, nothing's changed.

I have the Illinois Marathon on the dance card in four weeks.

So I thought it might be a good idea to put a few half marathons on the schedule in between.

Today was the first of two that I have paid for.  

It was the Chisholm Trail Half and Quarter Marathon, which was hosted by the Waco Striders Running Club from Tonkawa Park in Crawford.  (Crawford, about 15 or so miles northwest of Waco, is probably best known for being the residence of former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura.)

I got into Waco Friday evening early enough to pick my packet up at On The Run, which is located in downtown, and stayed at the Homewood Suites near Hillcrest Hospital at I-35 and Hwy. 6.

The race was an 8 a.m. start.  Therefore, I was up at 6 a.m., grabbed a danish and a bagel at 7 a.m., drove out to about 8 miles from Crawford, picked up some fluids and then went on to the race site.

Still had plenty of time, though, and visited a little bit with Monica Montoya and Keith Cotropia from League City - frequent supporters of all of Robby Sabban's race.

We were off on-time and it took about 17 seconds to clear the start line.  The weather was cool and breezy, but it was only about 61-62 degrees.  (It would be at around 72-74 at the end of the half marathon.)

Wished for a little while that I had brought and put on a long-sleeved technical top, but later on it would warm up.

We took a left out of the park on 4th St. and made a right on to Chisholm Trail Rd., hence the name of the event.  This course reminded me of so many races that I've done before - ones like the Country Roads 10K in San Marcos, the Dime Box Mini-Marathon (10K) in Dime Box and some of the ones that I did on weekends in Washington state in 2006-2007.

Mile 1 -- 10:03.27
Mile 2 -- 10:12.17 - 20:15.44 (10:08 gun)

These first two felt really, really quick - for me; especially since the end of mile two had a 2% grade drop.

Mile 3 -- 10:34.49 - 30:49.93 (10:13 gun)
Mile 4 -- 11:15.88 - 42:15.81 (10:34 gun)
Mile 5 -- 9:57.35 - 52:13.16 (10:27 gun)

No surprise on the slowdown as there were plenty of segments where the grades climbed 1% and 2%, according to

At mile 5, there was a turnaround and we came back a mile to take a left on Bible Hill Road (which I didn't know the name of then but I'm certain I invoked a lot of praying on the three-mile stretch).

Mile 6 -- 10:38.40 - 1:02:51.56 (10:28 gun)

I didn't get as much back in that mile as I thought I would so after I took in some water at the stop, I tried to make quick work of things.

Mile 7 -- 10:03.68 - 1:12:55.24 (10:25 gun)
Mile 8 -- 10:38.71 - 1:23:33.95 (10:27 gun)
Mile 9 -- 11:16.37 - 1:34:50.32 (10:32 gun)

But by the time I got back out to Chisholm Trail Road, I was hurting a little and where there wasn't an uphill, there was wind (out on the prairie!)

Mile 10 -- 11:22.58 - 1:46:12.90
Mile 11 -- 10:36.59 - 1:56:50.49 (10:38 gun)

Honestly, looking at the elevation on the course map, I should have gotten more out of mile 10, but did get the time that I should had in mile 11.

Mile 12 -- 11:49.87 - 2:08:40.36
Mile 13.1 -- 12:28.13 - 2:21:08.39

Mile 12 was an uphill and the last 1.1, well, I was just exhausted even though it was pretty flat at this point.

Hills, wind (which left me a little partched) and too quick of an attempt to "race" - by my definition - left me with a not so solid performance.

The final "chip" time, according to my watch, will be 2:20:51.

The Waco Striders were using manual timing so my time there will be listed as the gun time.

I had a chance to visit former Houston Strider (and Houston Running Blogger) Bill Cox, who is trying to get back running again - and drop some weight.  He took the early start at 7:15 a.m. and made it to the finish before me.  I crossed paths on the road between mile 6 and 7 - for me going out.

It was really good to see him.  I didn't get a chance to see Monica and Keith come in as I wanted to get back to the hotel, relax a little, shower and then I grabbed lunch at Chuy's.

With the way that Highway 6 is completely two lanes each way all the way from Waco to Waller, the complete drive in return, including a stop in Navasota, was just under three hours.  Nice.

So this was my 89th half marathon and a race in my 77th Texas city or town.

Have to have some things to shoot for when you're not as fleet of feet as others.

Thanks for reading!

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