I've been in Texas 5 years, but the first time I made it to this marathon. It sells out every year. 2015 was the first time I was sure I wanted to run a marathon on January 1.
The race is a full and a half with 700 people crammed onto a 6.55 mile, mostly out and back, bike path type course (4 laps). I got to see alot of people I see at all the races; and say hi multiple times.
Swag is a large duffle bag, nice long sleeve shirt, hat and the biggest medal ever (3.3 lbs). When they gave me my medal, I nearly fell over.
Personally, this was a hard race for me. I ran a very fast marathon 2 weeks ago and didn't really do any down time after that. I know it was hard because I discovered this mental pattern: the first 2 laps thinking I might drop out at the half, the third lap thinking I might cheat and take a shortcut. Finally on the last lap, I just let all that turmoil go and ran to the finish.
Because my legs were tired, I started doing 7x1s after the first lap. Even so, my time, at 5:06 by garmin (which is minus pit stops), averaged out to 11.7 min per mile. That is still excellent for me. This course was harder than the course 2 weeks ago since there were some minor ups and downs.
This race has a devoted following. One thing I like about Texas is the number of devoted marathoners. Lots of marathons and lots of people who just can't stop marathoning, no matter how old or slow. I see them over and over. They are lovely.
Another thing I noticed about myself is that I don't yearn for the ritzy neighborhood anymore. This race was in a neighborhood filled with very large houses, lots of paved pathways, lots of trees and lakes. It was beautiful. But I realized that the gravel trails of Seabrook, and my half a house, are perfect for me. I like where I am. I can see my retirement years on Seabrook pathways and on my own elliptical.
My first race in 2015 was on 1/25. So, with this race on 1/1, I finished 12 marathons in 12 months. I loved some of the marathons and struggled with some of them.
I keep doing races because: when I dream, that is what I dream of. I want to be a part of it. It is a thing.
8 races are in the plans so far for 2016. I'm going to try another double marathon and see if I have worked out my toe blister issues. I'm also planning to try ultras again later in the year.