I got to Waco on Saturday afternoon. I walked around the starting area some. Waco seemed a sleepy town even though it is home to Baylor University. It is an old town, sporting the ornate courthouse.
Here is a map of the course.
You start off with a little bit of wandering around the Baylor campus. They have a brand new foot ball stadium which even has a harbor. Baylor is a Christian school, assuming Presbyterian since they have a John Knox Center. Many of the buildings appear like churches with Texas stars on them. Add in many ROTCs manning aid stations and intersections and I was able to describe the four most important principles of American Life. In this order: Texas, Football, Army, Christianity.
Ok, it was early. I started an hour before the main start. About 30 of us were there. One man who looked about 80 sidled up to me to chat. He was a little shorter and had a face like a rock and a hump on his back. He called himself Tortoise. I think he beat me.
At about 5.3 miles, we came up from the river to near the starting area. A band was playing. The regular race had started. There was an aid station that nobody had really used. I took a cup of gatorade. After drinking it, I slammed the empty cup on the ground and then raised my arms high. First one! Some guy watching me figured it out and started laughing.
We then spent about 4 miles going up Austin avenue. Some nice old houses here. We continued to wander up through neighborhoods. Did I mention up? Where did these hills come from? Its Texas and Waco had looked flat driving in.
About 12 or 13 miles, I was thinking how wonderful marathons are and how I just need to do them. Then, this particular marathon went to hell. Then real hills started, I thought. No, the real hills were these awful steep mothers between miles 21 to 25. Who puts 60% road grades at the end of a marathon? And then line the course with quotations about suffering every 20 feet!
Here is a picture of Lake Waco about mile 15.
I finished in 5:58. Here is the really great embroidered jacket I got for finishing. I'm never taking it off.