Saturday, June 29, 2013

Always Somebody to See: Race to Read 5K Event Report

Anymore I almost expect it.

That is, regardless of where I'm running a race, I'll see somebody I know.

Really, it isn't the most far-fetched thing.

The very first marathon I did was the 2004 Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C., and in the middle of a sea of 20,000 people waiting for the start was Ray Alexander and Hans Jaeger from Tomball and Conroe, respectively, of the Seven Hills Running Club.

Two summers later, I'm standing in a field of grass in Sequim, Washington - getting ready to do the North Olympic Discovery Half Marathon -- and all of a sudden I hear, "Jon Walk, what are you doing here?"

It was my very good friend, Becky Spaulding, who I met two years before while doing HARRA's Power In Motion program at Memorial Park.

I kind of wondered doing this morning's 5K in Harker Heights -- the Race to Read 5K from the Harker Heights Community Park -- who I was going to see that I knew.

However, I really didn't give it a serious thought.  Fleeting, for sure.

Nonetheless, I saw Calvert's Dennis Alston who has been at the last two 5K's that I've done -- the Kosse Greyhound 5K and the Polish Pickle Run 5K in Bremond last Saturday.

Dennis asked where Ken Johnson from the Seven Hills Running Club was.  It was just a tad bit far for Ken to run a 5K.

Me?  I got more out of it than just to run a 5K.  I came over on Friday and watched the New Orleans Zephyrs do battle with the Round Rock Express in Pacific Coast League (PCL) action.  I figured since I'm going to be seeing a bunch of ballparks this summer that I might as well get my game watching endurance up.

When you buy a single ticket, you can pretty much get a really good seat and that was certainly the case Friday night.  Right at the end of the visitor's dugout on the first base side and on the third row.  Great place to watch a game from and take pictures.

When I got to the hotel, I did the final 4-1-1 on this morning's race.  One good thing is that it was a 7 a.m. start.  Perfect with the heat this weekend.

But on their paper registration form, it said that they weren't going to take any more entries after 6 a.m.  Seemed kind of strange for a small race, but lo and behold I was in the parking lot -- first -- at 5:50 a.m.

And there was a kind, friendly volunteer to take my money and entry.

An outfit out of Belton, Pro-Fit Event Services, was doing the timing (and they did a really good job), but they used the IPICO timing device that affixes to the back of the bib (which didn't have holes to run the pins through).

However, everything worked out OK.  The bib never came off.

On-time start, which is always good, and a very well-marked course although it didn't have mile markers.

Lots of inclines and just one short quick hill (which was in the first mile), but it was enough that you didn't feel that you had enough declines to make up for what you lost on the inclines.

My time was where I wanted it to be as I move more closely to my normal workout pattern and my new effort to cut sodas - diet and the leaded variety -- out of my diet.

However, Dennis said that the course was long -- 3.17 miles.  If so, that would put my time close to what it was last Saturday in Bremond, including the inclines.

I can live with that.

A race in Texas city or town #82 is in the books.  My next new town looks for sure to be Nacogdoches on Saturday, July 6 when I go run the Freedom 5K and check in on my good friend Edwin Quarles.

Already looking forward to it -- and announcing the Fourth of July's 24th annual Baytown Bud Heat Wave.

Always good to get behind the microphone.

Thanks for reading!

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