Saturday, March 10, 2012

Cowtown Challenge 2012

Race Report....Race Report....Race Report....Race Report The Cowtown Challenge 2012. So at the Cowtown marathon if you run a race on Saturday and a race on Sunday you get a Challenge Medal too so since I am all about the bling I decided to run both days....two runs, three medals...what a deal!!! Cowtown was Deb's first marathon so she was geeked up and ready to head to the expo the minute it opened...I calmed her a bit and we waited until about noon on Friday but she was ready to go get some swag. We had a fun afternoon as I had taken the day off work so we just hung out and had fun. To bed early Friday night as I had a run on Saturday. I got up early Saturday while Deb stayed in bed and drove to downtown Ft Worth. I had chosen to just run the 5k on Saturday with the Half on Sunday....MISTAKE...more on that later. There were a BUNCH of people there already as the 10k started earlier than the was chilly but not too uncomfortable. The 5k was uneventful except for the woman homeowner standing on the course that was in a flourescent vest and a had road construction flag screaming into a bullhorn to "STAY OFF MY GRASS" "STAY OUT OF MY YARD" - did I mention she did not look as if she had ever run a step and was not interested in us enjoying our run either. I did step on her grass just because that is how I am...a nice request would totally have been respected but she was downright rude.... And then - THE FINISH - I cruise down the chute - music throbbing - speakers wailing - names being called and a few 10k stragglers finishing and getting their medals....did I mention THEIR medals....yep...dang it....there were only medals for the 10k so I screwed up my three for two deal....I would only get two medals for two races...I was looking for the bonus... Fast forward to Sunday - Up early and on our way to Ft Worth - Deb is nervous I can tell but we just review her execution plan...we wrote sone notes on her hand so she would know what to do if necessary. When we were almost there I asked her if she wanted me to run with her until the course split...she looked very relieved and asked if I would do that....well of course I would....I was not even thinking PR and even if I had been this day was about we find some friends also running and hang out waiting for the start...BANG and we are off...I kept Deb on her pacing and run/walk plan through the first 10 miles. Shortly thereafter I peel off as the course splits and dial up the pace to have some fun during the last three miles...I was pretty fresh as I had been running her marathon pace so I was encouraging people I passed to "come with the old man". I got a few walkers running again and several people at least smiled and picked up their attitude and pace...we only had 3 miles left...."you got this"...and I then I saw HER. Struggling up a hill....really struggling....BARELY moving....pushing....hard...looking like it might not happen. I passed....then stopped turned around and started clapping for her and yelling encouragement...she looked up....she smiled....she pushed up her glasses and she said "I'm coming"...I said "I am waiting for you"....several others stopped to clap and encourage her as well. She lowered her hands back to the wheels and began to urge her chair up the hill. I kept backing up the hill and she kept coming...she looked at me at one point and said "I am going to kick your ass going downhill" and I knew she would...she made it to the top....I turned and started running down the hill - about halfway down she went by me like a freight train - her 2 cyclist escorts were even working to keep up...and she laughed as she passed me....I yelled for her again....we now had a bit over 2 miles to the finish....on the next flat....after her quarter mile lead I finally caught her....she said "it took you long enough"...and I ran beside her for a while...then there was another hill...I ran ahead and organized a small handfull of spectators to chant Courtney Courtney Courtney as she came up that hill....I took off and her she came screaming down the hill was pretty much flat from there to the finish but I have to tell you that I realized what is flat to you and me is NOT FLAT....I could tell how much she worked to get that chair up the road....amazing....a few people asked how long I had known her...I said about 20 person do you get to the tops of these hills ahead of me every time....I said..."it's only to get Courtney there too"....this was such a great day... Deb for 10 miles and then running with a challenged athlete for three cool....and then we were in the chute and done...medals all around....I congratulated Courtney on her finish...walked over to the Miller Lite truck and had a couple of beers...ate a banana and headed to the car to get the mountain bike out. I changed shirts, put on some wind pants and headed backwards on the course to find Deb....a few friends had come out to support Sherpa Deb as she had supported them and so I knew exactly where she was...I got out to the area between mile nineteen and twenty and ran into a group of our friends there for Debbie. A short time later she came around the corner looking great....still run/walking according to plan....our friends headed to the finish and I rode with Deb on her journey....we talked about the time apart from each other and that got her through a couple more miles. She was playing leapfrog with a couple of other people but she also passed a few as they were slowing and she was consistent with her execution. About mile 22.5 there was a run club group with a table of small cups of beer...Deb had one and they gave me a full can...LOVE the people of Texas - I poured it into an empty water bottle and thought I would be able to make it to the finish....About mile 24 Drew showed up to run in with Deb - he's a friend of ours and was a great source of encouragement and distraction through those last steps on her journey....we exited the park...she had a left turn and two right turns and then she was a MARATHONER.....she was one cared....she did it....26.2 rockin miles...way to go Deb!!! Off to lunch with friends...several margaritas.....then a nap and off to bed early that night....WHAT A GREAT DAY.....see you at the finish line.