Monday, March 16, 2020

Running To Get Away; March 16, 2020

Saturday was just one of those days - and weekends - to just get out of Dodge, so to speak.

Early in the week, I had been looking to see what sporting events this weekend that I could wrap around a race or two.  I'm always looking at the possibilities to stay busy.

However, two dominos fell that quickly wiped all of that out.

The first was the announcement that a Montgomery County (Texas) man had tested positive for the coronavirus at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, which forced its cancellation and sent in to motion measures around the City of Houston and the entire greater Houston area.

Then it was the fact that an NBA player had always tested positive.

That set off the nuclear reaction that cancelled or postponed every major professional and collegiate tournament and event known to mankind.

I don't disagree, but the only other earth-shattering changes in my life and schedule have come with the passing's of my sister, grandfather and grandmother.

This weekend there were races in Castroville, Kerrville and Wichita Falls, as well as Amarillo, and all of those were cities that I've not run a race in before.  I even considered Chris McWatters and Tejas Trails' race in Rocksprings.

As of Friday, Wichita Falls' race, at 12 noon, was still on the books, but I think everything from Dallas-Fort Worth was going to have rain.

The only issues with the Castroville and Kerrville races were the prices of hotels in the west side of San Antonio - and Kerrville.  I have the money, but it doesn't mean that I wanted to pay it.  Especially since I have another night's stay elsewhere in my plans this weekend.

So I confirmed that the New Braunfels race was on, even though I've run a race here before, got a really good price on a Courtyard by Marriott near the Guadalupe River (although I was going tubing or anything) and came here.

Race start time was 8 a.m. and I got to the race site at about 7:15 a.m.

Race day registration was easier than anything I've seen.  Simple form:  Name, age, gender, sign your name and date it.  Bam, you're done.

I warmed up a little bit, ran a little bit on the banks along the Guadalupe and practiced my best social distancing as well as waited in my car some too.

The kids race went off at 7:45 a.m.

Runners were lined up about 7:55 a.m., an excellent National Anthem was performed (and almost every single person stood still) and we were off on-time at 8 a.m.

The course was a little bit of an out and back with a loop on the top of it so to speak and it had a few slight inclines as afterward indicated a gain of 103 feet.

I ran OK.  It was the first warm, humid weather race of the year.  I finished in 30:03.77.

As I had some plans for the day, I exited the race site as soon as I could and not to keep away from other people.

I think the right decision was made to cancel larger races, especially if you have somebody who isn't abiding by socially acceptable practices and showing up ill.  However, after the mile one mark, where the chatter of participants seems to go away and you start to really hear things, I realized that I was able to hear people's breathing -- and this was a race of probably 200 or fewer registrants.

Not in fear, mind you, but what if in their exerted breathing, because they were racing, and if they were carrying the virus that causes CovID-19, passed them along to everyone around them.

I thought about it a little and kept my distance as best as I could; however, I was still glad that I had the opportunity to be out there.

I was questioned later in the day - rather decisively - about who was still having races and why.  I responded the three towns that had them (Castroville, Kerrville and New Braunfels) and that they were all under 250 people.

Over the rest of the weekend, I added nine counties to my "run at least a mile in every Texas county" total and may add more this coming weekend.

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