This race is part of a series of races throughout south Texas; all the city names where the races are held are on the medal.
On Sunday, my fellow Renegades and I ran another race - the Texas 10 Series. This one was in town, and held just down the road from our house, which meant that Jeff and I headed over there right before 6:00 am for a 7:00 am race start. We ran this race on a whim last year when it was held in January. I don't know why they moved the date two months forward - as it turned out, with our wonky weather, the conditions were about the same, which meant it was 63 degrees with 94% humidity - not optimal, but we are used to running in it.
When we signed up for the race, we thought it was going to be held on the grounds of Texas A&M University, just like it had been the previous three years. We found out last week that it was moved to one of our local high schools, which wasn't a bad thing in my eyes, as I have run races at A&M more times than I can count and I'm not a die-hard Aggie who always wants to run there. So that could have been a minor glitch, but this race is part of a series, and there's points and standings and all kinds of mathy things that I don't care about, but other runners who run all of the races actually do, so I don't think they cared so much where the race was held, as long as they got to run.
Soft cotton t-shirt, cool design - and thanks to Jimmymeow, we all got the correct sizes!
The other glitch - or annoyance, really - was with the race shirts. The women's shirts were two sizes too small. When they handed me my women's extra large shirt at packet pickup I had to laugh - it looked like a child's shirt! Even Jeff felt like his men's large shirt was a little on the smaller side. The race organizer said that I could exchange my shirt after the race had started for a different size, but previous experience with this has not gone well - if all the shirts are sized wrong, everyone needs a new size, and seriously, even the 2XL was going to be too small (I'd had them show it to me). I brought the shirt to the race but wasn't holding out much hope; by the time I finished, I knew most of the shirts would be gone. Luckily, Karen's size medium was baby-sized and she actually needed an extra large (which is crazy - she is NOT an extra large), so Jimmymeow took my shirt and Karen's shirt and after the race started, got a men's XL for Jeff, gave my women's XL to Karen, and I took Jeff's original large. I'm really grateful that he did this for us - the shirts are nice, and I hated to not get to wear mine. That said, I don't understand why race organizers do this - you'd think they would want their shirts to be worn - after all, it's free advertising for their race - but when they choose a shirt company with ridiculously small sizing, no one is going to be happy with what they get.
Onto the race. It was pretty casual - we all hung out in the parking lot of the high school, close to the start line, before it started. There weren't a ton of runners - just a few hundred, I'd say, but when Diane and I decided to hit up the porta potties about 20 minutes before the race began, I swear every single person was in line:
Seriously?? It looked bad, but we finished with about five minutes to spare.
Pre race picture - it was so dark that this shot looked better in black and white:
Jeff, Diane, me, Cary, Julia, Karen, and Brian - Renegade Run Club, ready to race!
The race began right on time, and Cary, Diane, and I took off running. Now, Diane and I had run five miles on Wednesday and on Friday of last week, and we were approaching this as just another five mile run. We did our intervals and kept to them pretty well, even when we went through the water stops. We got off track once, but that was when the first female 10 miler finisher was approaching and in our excitement of moving over and cheering for her, we should have been walking when we were running. No biggie. This route was mostly unfamiliar to us - at one point, we were on a paved trail between two neighborhoods and we didn't know where we'd end up, but there were plenty of volunteers giving directions, so we figured we'd just turn when they told us to. The only hard part - and it wasn't that hard, honestly - was that the last mile had a series of little hills that were annoying, but then, hills are always annoying to me.
We came around toward the finish to see Karen and Jimmy at the finish line - Karen got some cute shots of us having fun:
Five miles - well, 4.95 actually - done!
Smiling for our cheering section!
We got our medals and were standing around talking with Karen and Jimmy for just a few minutes when suddenly we realized that Brian had just crossed the finish line - and he ran the 10 miler! He pushed it and ended up in third place for his age group which is pretty impressive as the runners who do this race series are fast and a lot of them take it very seriously, unlike me - but hey, I have a good time doing my own thing.
I was LiveTracking Jeff via his Garmin, so we went to the finish line to watch him come in:
This was the best race he's had in quite a while and also the best I've seen him at the finish line in a long time - usually he looks like he's ready to collapse, but he looked really good here.
We waited for Julia to finish:
She is all business at the finish line. Get. It. Done.
Then we waited around because not only were they doing awards and we had a winner in our midst, but they also do a drawing for five $50 winners for the five miler and ten $100 winners for the ten miler - all you had to do is drop the ticket from your bib into a bucket for a chance at some money.
I don't know what they were talking about, but it was a cute shot.
I also took a shoe picture - I used to do these all the time back when I first started racing, but I guess I forgot about this - I love seeing all the shoe colors:
After he watched me take this shoe picture, Jimmy, who'd had my phone earlier, told me he took a shoe picture of his own:
Not bad, Jimmymeow!
Brian got his award:
On the podium...
And close up - it's a stemless wine glass this year!
Jeff, me, Diane, Julia, Karen, Cary, and Brian
And with that, we were off to a very late breakfast at Blue Baker!