Sunday, May 4, 2014

BCS Marathon Race Series Night Trail Run 15K Race Report

After being at Northshore Park Friday night and Saturday morning (and a little bit of a nap Saturday afternoon), a little "me time" was in order for Saturday night.

So what's somebody like me do?  Go run a race, if there's one available.

And the BCS Marathon Race Series fit the bill with its "Night Trail Run 15K" at Royalty Pecan Farms off Highway 21 just east of Caldwell and west of Bryan.

They had hosted a 5K there earlier in the morning and were producing a 10K and 15K that night.

In a sense, it kind of makes you think of what Robby Sabban started - locally - with the Saturday Half Marathon at the Seabrook Lucky Trail Marathon in 2007.

From a numbers perspective, there were 120 finishers in the 5K and another 276 in both the 10K and the 15K.  That distribution was a 2:1 split (185:91).

The one thing that Series founder Chris Field has done very well with his events is leverage the trend in our sport to bring women to the start line.

In the 5K yesterday morning, there were 83 female finishers and 37 men.

In the 10K, 131 women and 54 men finished.  Even in the 15K, 57 ladies crossed the finish line while 34 men.

This trend is pretty prevalent throughout, with the exception of the 26.2-mile distance.

2011 BCS Half Marathon - 902 overall.  581 women, 381 men.
2011 BCS Marathon - 408 overall.  173 women, 235 men.

2012 BCS Half Marathon - 2,089 overall.  1,310 women, 779 men.
2012 BCS Marathon - 614 overall.  262 women, 352 men.

2013 Girls Just Want to Have Fun 5K - 209 women.
2013 Night Trail Run 5K - 185 overall.  133 women, 52 men.
2013 Night Trail Run 10K - 146 overall.  102 women, 44 men.
2013 Night Trail Run 15K - 71 overall.  35 women, 36 men.
2013 BCS 5K - 193 overall.  128 women, 65 men.
2013 BCS 10K - 334 overall.  218 women, 116 men.
2013 BCS 5 And Dime 5-Miler - 116 overall.  73 women, 43 men.
2013 BCS 5 And Dime 10-Miler - 244 overall.  172 women, 72 men.
2013 Brazos Running Company Turkey Trot 5K - 769 overall.  420 women, 349 men.
2013 BCS Half Marathon - 2,052 overall.  1,348 women, 704 men.
2013 BCS Marathon - 944 overall.  419 women, 525 men.
2013 BCS Marathon Relay - 39 finishing teams.  No gender information available.

2014 Girls Just Want To Have Fun 5K - 260 overall.

When I attend a race, I typically am watching for race operations issues to see if there's anything that I can do better or the event that I'm working with.  Some might say that it is "stealing", but when you get to a group of top event producers, you really don't see too much different.

Really, it boils down to different styles and flavors.

No different than me and the events that I work with, this event (and the entire Series) has a really good public address announcer, Mark Purnell, out of San Antonio.  (In fact, his sister was working with the team on Saturday that was timing CB&I.  I also think I ran a 10K in Bandera in late March that she was the race director for when we talking a little bit.)

The trail race was running on the dirt roads that were in the pecan groves.

They had a 5K loop marked off that you ran twice if you were doing the 10K and a third time for the 15K.

The College Station Running Club served as water station volunteers for the two that were on each loop -- one on the far northwest corner of the course (just before the 2-mile mark supposedly) and another at the end of the loop.

Before you even hit the grounds, the entrance to the property was well-marked with BCS Race Series teardrop flags.  Volunteers helped people lineup parking to maximize space and minimize damage to the grounds.

Packet pickup didn't take too long, but the person that was helping with the 15K was struggling with the setup that she was given.  I had arrived in plenty of time; therefore, it wasn't an issue.

We received a race t-shirt and a pecan sample - and was welcome to go through a box that had leftover BCS Race Series technical shirts.  (Like I need another shirt.)

I had plenty of time to go back to the car and put on bug spray, relax and get my head lamp ready.

The race started on time at 8:17 p.m. and off we went.  I had positioned myself pretty far back and with almost 300 hundred runners, it took me 30 seconds to cross the start line.

We made a hard right after passing underneath the inflatable arch and crossing a "bridge" that was made even with a series of thick plywood sheets.

Afterward, there was a quick left to start a loop that was much like a retangular box standing on its end.

The paths between the pecan groves were wide and this race can hold many, many more people.

The majority of the surface was dirt, but wasn't so loose that you felt like you were running in sand or on the beach the entire time.

And with the exception of a stretch that ran north and south across both stretches that went out and back, there was a spot were it was built up and you had to pick your feet up like you were going over a large speed bump.

It was still a little humid, but not too warm as we were on the first loop.

I hit the first mile marker in 10:44 (10:43.98) and then completed the first loop in 34:38.36.

The second loop, which I finished in 35:58.64, was still pretty easy to run as you had more people doing the 10K to run near (and with), but the third loop got pretty lonely out there.

I passed a couple of people at the water stop to end loop two and then I'm not sure that I passed anybody else until after I got past the other water stop.

During the second and third loops, I took my light off of my head and carried it.  (During the last loop, the strap actually broke free from the light.)

Footing was pretty stable as this wasn't a technical trail by any means.  And by holding the light, it simply became easier to run.

Actually felt stronger the last loop as it got a little bit more cooler.  I was able to pass a few people in the last mile or so as I covered it in 35:39.42.

So, that gave me a time of 1:45:36.

The timer had me at 1:45:43.  That means he started the clock seven (7) seconds before the announcer said to go.  (Not an issue, by the way.)

No sooner had I crossed the finish line and got some water came Texas 10 Series participant Stephen Griffin of The Woodlands.  It was good to see him there as well.

I was going to run this morning one of the Houston Wellness Project 5Ks - actually the newest one that they started near the Heights.  I was beat and wiped out from last night.  Therefore, it was a "no go".

So work one, run one kind of weekend it was.

In case you were wondering, Caldwell was not a new city for me.  I had done the Kolache Krunch 5K there in 2007.  It was the last new city that I added that year to get me to 44!  :-)

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