Sunday, July 7, 2013

Freedom 5K (Nacogdoches) Race Report

Another brick in the road to racing in 100 different Texas cities and towns was set today with a finish at the 2nd annual Freedom 5K in Nacogdoches.

The race gave me an opportunity to see a good friend of mine, Edwin Quarles, of Lufkin, who is the athletic director at Pineywoods Community Academy – a college preparatory charter school.

It was also the second time this year that I’ve run a race in his neighborhood after running the New Year’s Resolution 5K on my birthday in Diboll.

This event was the second one that I’ve run which was produced by TTR Timing Services – a small outfit that includes Nacogdoches’ Gerardo Moreno, 28, who just finished the Western States 100 Endurance Run in 25:51:42 a couple of weeks ago.

Since these guys are coaches, or at least Gerardo is, I’m gathering that the course was accurate.

And if I doubted it, there’s absolutely no way that I could remember what streets we turned on in Nacogdoches to go back and try and map it.

And if it was accurate, then my time – 30:17.71 – was OK.  (The gun time was 30:26, but it took me eight seconds to cross the start line.)

The race started and finished at Thomas J. Rusk Elementary School, but on the grounds was also what is known as the Old University Building.  A description on the Stephen F. Austin State University included the following:  “Located in the middle of Washington Square and now surrounded by the elementary school, the Old University Building was designed by John Cato and built in 1859. Called a university not because the original school offered higher education but because it offered study in a range of subjects, the building has served many roles in its lifetime. Besides a school, it has been used by Confederate troops, Union troops, the Catholic Church, the Masonic Order, and was a temporary home for Stephen F. Austin State University. It now operates as a museum.”

It wasn’t particularly a hilly course, but the first half mile I’d say included a nice decline for the 80 finishers.  Some of it was made up close to the finish as part of that last half mile was retraced.

Nor was it especially hot and humid.  The temperature, according to, was between 73 and 75 degrees.

I ended up being 49th of 80 runners while Edwin was 15th overall in a time of 22:50 -- not bad for coming off an ankle injury that had slowed his training the last week.

All in all, a nice little event that was supportive of all types of runners and walkers.  A couple of intersections there were even police officers to slow a very, very light traffic morning near the center of Nacogdoches.

The only negative was that there were no mile markers

The winners – Adam Saloom and the former Megan Jenkins, a pair of former track and cross country stars at SFA – each went home with a previously unannounced prize of $100, which also included breaking the course records.

And it was the fourth Saturday in five that I had driven to run a race two hours or more from my house in Spring.  Good stuff!

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