There was the option to pick up your packet Friday night, but we chose to pick it up Saturday morning. The race was fairly large considering it was in a small Texas town, but very organized. The race starts and ends near the high school, which receives all the profit. We were directed to a parking spot and made our way to the cafeteria to pick up our bibs and race shirts. They are adorable royal blue dri fit, a pleasant surprise, especially since the race only cost $25. I also appreciated the fact that they let my sister trade in her medium for a small since they were unisex and rather large.
The race was chip timed (another surprise for such a cheap race) via a bar on the back of our bibs. The school bathrooms were open for our use, which was much better than the usual race port-o-let. Lines were long, but moved quickly. Fruit, water, and some kind of breakfast bar were donated by HEB for pre-race snacks.
Races make for great people watching (probably because most runners are wierdos). Scanning the crowd, I realized that this was a family friendly and dog friendly race. Lots of pooches and strollers. Races included a 1 mile fun run (for the kids), 5k, 10k, and 10k relay. Start times of each race were staggered, with 1 mile run at 8:00, 10k relay at 8:15, 10k at 8:30, and 5k at 8:45.
The start was up a hill and around the corner from the high school/finish line. Upon reaching the start, I saw there were corrals. Volunteers held signs stating "under 7 minute miles" "8 minute miles" "9 minute miles" and "10+ minute miles". I shuffled in with the 10+ers, which was a mistake because this group included all the walkers.
The 10k continued into a very nice neighborhood, then at about mile 3 we turned a corner and I saw it. A hill so huge and daunting, it may as well have been Mount Everest. My legs were already burning from the unfamiliar ascents and descents. So I walked. I figured I could power walk up the mountain just as quickly as I could run up it. When I reached the summit, I looked to my left to see the most beautiful view of a field with a tin barn and looked to my right to see an empty water station. Damn. They ran out of water at the top of the hill! (Let me add here that there were water stations manned by athletes from the high school at every single mile, as well as someone calling out time as you reached each mile.) Oh well. What goes up must come down, and boy, do I love a downhill. The next mile was gorgeous. It was fields and trees and shade.
At mile 5, the 5k route met back up with the 10k to finish the race. I was dying. There was a volunteer who encouraged us by saying there was only 1 mile left. That mile consisted of a small uphill, then a larger uphill (still not even close to 3 mile mountain), followed by a downhill to cross the finish. When I finally reached the downhill, I booked it, but there were lots of 5k walkers in my way. I felt insanely fast as I bobbed and weaved my way to the finish.
My Garmin showed 6.39 miles at the finish, but I hit go before crossing the start and have never worried about tangents.
The sky was overcast and it was trying to rain, but I never felt more than a few drops. Just enough to make it humid. The wind was gusting at over 20 mph, but only a couple of times did I feel like I was running into the wind. Then again, while struggling to power up those monster hills, I wouldn't have noticed anyway.
The finish was crowded and I had to loop my way back around to find water. I downed 2 glasses then had one thing on my mind....free ice cream!
We made our way over to the ice cream truck, which was a feeding frenzy. There were boxes of every type of ice cream bar or popsicle imaginable set out. People were grabbing by the handful. I chose a peach bar and a cookies and cream ice cream sandwich. Immediately the wrapper was torn from the peach bar, and I took a bite as I made my way to the time tent. The peachy goodness kept me occupied as I waited to see my time. When I reached the front of the line, I realized it wasn't posted yet. Oh well. I was sick of the peach so tossed the last few bites and tore into my ice cream sandwich. Yum! This is what I think of when I think of Blue Bell. Creamy, smooth, delicious ice cream. I
We were on a tight schedule, so didn't stick around for awards. The winners of each division received an adorable medal which resembled a half gallon of Blue Bell ice cream. They were also giving away coupons for ice cream via a raffle, but I failed to throw my bib number into the pot.
The reason we were in a rush to leave was because we had to backtrack to our hotel to shower before heading to the bluebonnet trail. Little did we know, they had showers available in the locker rooms of the high school. That would have saved us an hour. Oh well. Live and learn.
All in all, it was a great race. Very organized and accomodating. Although, it was not a great race for me personally. I couldn't get out of my head, despite the fact that I was jamming an awesome new playlist.
-If you have the opportunity to run this race, do it.
- Book a hotel way in advance. We waited too late and nothing was available in Brenham.
-If you want to tour the creamery, go up early on Friday. It isn't open on the weekends.
-Train. More specifically, train on inclines.
- Bring your family and your dog.
-Pray for good weather.
Do you hill train? What is the most fun race you have ever run?
Obviously, I don't hill train. Hills are non-existent in my neck of the woods.
Red Dress Run in New Orleans is the funnest.race.ever! But it's not really a race, because even if you wanted to run, you couldn't. It's more like a bar crawl.