Sunday, March 27, 2011

Race to the Altar

2011 Race to the Altar Marathon MedalLast weekend I returned to trail races last weekend at the Race to the Altar. This race was put on at the Bluff Creek Ranch in Warda by a couple of friends, Jeff and Cheri, as part of their wedding weekend festivities the day before their wedding. This couple met a few years ago in a training group, which I was also in, that was training for the Palo Duro Trail runs. Since then they have been running a marathon or ultra per month.

The race had marathon, half-marathon, and 5k distance options, chip-timing and tech-tshirts. Between the 3 events, there were over 150 people who drove out to Warda, an hour and a half from Austin, for the event. The start times for each distance were staggered throughout the morning so that the runners for each event would all be finishing around mid-day. Since I am still constrained to a walking pace while recovering from last years medical issues, I got permission to start the half-marathon along with the marathon start at 7:30, two hours before the rest of the half-marathoners.

The bride and groom to be were doing the marathon dressed in faux wedding attire, but started the race well over an hour before everyone else (once the chip-timing was set up) so they could spend time greeting people later in the race. When the marathon started, they were waiting at a point shortly after the start (which was also around the 3.5 mile point for them, after the course loops back) to cheer on the runners.

The course was along trails usually used for mountain biking. It was a loop course, 2 loops for the half and 4 loops for the full marathon. The course had lots of turns. During the first couple of miles, there were frequently runners heard or seen nearby as different loops in the trail came near each other, even though those other runners were well ahead of me.

I tried to jog a little on some of the downhills, but I couldn’t sustain it for long. It doesn’t take that much exertion before I hit the feeling which is kind of like when scuba diving when your air gets low and you breathe in but are not getting much oxygen. That forces me to slow back to walking to catch my breath. It is frustrating to get winded so easily before getting tired. I could feel my heart racing slowly walking up the big hills, which were not all that big but they seemed like that to me. I finished in a little less than 5 hours. Despite these momentary discomforts, it was good to get out and I felt good after the race. I am hopeful the more I get out at activities like this the sooner I will get more fitness back.

I didn't take my camera to this one, but there are some pictures from the event up on this Endurance Buzz report.

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1 comment:

  1. Getting caught up on some blog reading... You're an inspiration to many of us, John, whether you realize it, or not. Great job on the Austin 1/2 and the run out at Warda! Whenever I'm out at Bastrop, there's a certain section of trail where we crossed paths a few years ago. Nary a time goes by when I pass that spot when I don't think of you for some reason. You give us all a reason to never give up. :)


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