Barefoot Rick's Waco Miracle Match Marathon Report - January 31, 2010
Luke 3:5 - Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth.
Temperature at start - 30 deg F
|Last Name, First Name
|Roeber, Rick (M54)||4:29:48||74||54 / 12||M50-54|
As my opening scripture alludes to "valleys and mountains", this was one hilly course that was finally tamed by just staying with it and conquering each new challenge as it came. When Race Director Nancy Goodnight told me this was a tough, hilly course I just kind of shined it off. I thought, how tough could it be in Waco, Texas? My memories of this central Texas city was flat pasture land filled with mesquite trees. However, tucked away in several places on the outskirts of Waco, namely Lake Waco and Cameron Park, there are hills that would rival any I have seen in Missouri Ozark marathons. This is one tough race. It may not be my toughest marathon (see Mountain Home Marathon for my toughest) but this course ranks up there in the top three for me.
The weather forecast was calling for 31F/49F for marathon day. Temps didn't rise above 32F during the marathon due to cloud cover. Also, we never knew whether the constant snow flurries were going to turn into snow showers. If I would have known the conditions wouldn't improve all morning, I probably would have worn a bit more than just a singlet and shorts. My hands did get a bit cold at times, but that was all. Folks would ask me if my feet were cold. My answer: "Nope, they're working."
The first 13 miles were fairly benign regarding elevation change with generally good barefooting surfaces. However, once we got into the second half, things changed somewhat dramatically. The hills at Lake Waco, McLennan County Community College, and Cameron Park added another difficulty factor, along with the deteriorating road conditions. (Without fail, when running through a park, one should ALWAYS expect bad road conditions. They just don't get the street improvement money like regular city streets.) I think it was a combination of the weather, minimal clothing, remarkable hills, and the diminishing quality of the road surfaces that really took it out of me the last half. This wasn't my slowest marathon, but it was close.
Would I run this one again barefoot? Without a doubt. I think the weather was an anomaly which took a lot out of my proverbial "tank". With that said, I know what to expect and would look at this one as more like an "adventure" marathon.
Kudos to Rob who ran his first barefoot marathon and took first place, and to Matt for doing likewise in the barefoot half-marathon division. You guys did awesome on a less than ideal day, and on a challenging course!
Running the R.A.C.E
Keynote Talk at Pre-race Pasta Dinner - Waco Hilton - January 30, 2010
(25 minutes in length)
Surf City Marathon - February 7, 2009
Olathe Marathon - April 10, 2009
*I am a marathon runner and do not prescribe to a run/walk method for MY marathons. Likewise, I do not judge anyone else for "finishing" a marathon in whatever way they can propel themselves across the finish line, whether it be walking, crawling, etc. All marathon finishes are notable in their own regard.
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