The Woodlands Half Marathon/Marathon race directors, coordinators, and volunteers put on a spectacular first year event. Something everyone involved with should be proud of.
Running this year seemed to have been going very well for me this year. Although last week was nothing but idle, as I started a new job and a commute in rush hour traffic along with moving to Fort Worth with now a sweet spot right by the Trinity Trails. However, I made due, like I always have.
The Woodlands had a spot for the "elite" athletes to rest up, drink coffee, and hide out from the crowds before we began our warm-ups. We were treated like Rock Stars, thanks to the elite athlete coordinators Doug Storey and Michael Barney. Those guys did an amazing job. As I began my warmup, I was relieved how good my legs and body felt. However, I had left my Garmin in my office before I left for The Woodlands. I borrowed Barney's watch prior to warming up.
I stood on the start line with the others. There was a small handful of us from the DFW metroplex, such as Joe Beisner, James Jackson, Steve Pfiffner, Steve Henderson, Matt Peters, and Chris Strait who moved actually The Woodlands not long ago.
The gun went off, I reacted quick but in self-control, the pace felt rather pedestrian-like. It didn't take long for the top 2 guys take out front. I was sitting in third at the beginning of the race. Where was everybody else at? Within a few minutes a big pack of 5-6 guys catch up to me. I was going to run with this pack, I knew I could hang. My running was going well, I had nothing to worry about. Boom, it hit me a side cramp by mile 3. What is going on? I am tougher than this. Why am I letting something like a little freakin' side cramp get to me. I'm falling off the pack, dang. Sometimes side cramps can be the worse pain.
Start of the Woodlands Half and Marathon
Matt Peters from Denton comes up to me. A big help, actually. Matt was encouraging me to stay up. I was digging deep trying not to fall back. At mile 6.5 he lets me know, he's going to attempt to chase down Joe. The gap opens between me and him, a substantial distance. Right after he took off something clicked inside of me. If he's going, I'm going too. Off I went. Side cramp somehow miraculously went away, too bad legs are getting heavy now.
I was cutting all the tangents close. I didn't want to run longer than I had to. During mile 10, Grant Glauser, a new pro triathlete, comes on by and Chris Strait is closing in by mile 11. The wind had picked up by now, a cold front was starting to come through. It was struggle the last two miles. Relieved to see that I am making my final turn to the finish, finding an extra gear I was able to "sprint" in to finish sixth overall for 1:15.09, not anywhere close to my goal time, but a PR, none the less.
James Jackson (1st OA Master) post race.
James and I @ Addison Oktoberfest 5k 5 years ago!!!
It was the first time we raced together since then.
I think I need new shoes
My friend Tiffany came all the way out to watch and support me race. Here we are hanging out with the big cookie.
Thank you to everyone for your support, especially Willie Fowlkes, Doug Storey, Jon Walk, Michael Barney, Angie Henderson for making this great race possible. Tiffany for the support and taking all the pictures. Jesus Christ for keeping us all safe with the race and traveling. I hope I'm allowed to come back next year. A big shout to my friend Bryce Fluker from Longview, Tx for winning the Spring Back Du, the next day in Houston! Next, I'll be gearing up for Texas 70.3 in Galveston, April 1.
Thanks for reading!