Thursday, March 31, 2016

Your Pace or Mine - Texas Independence Relay 2016 - 200 miles of Fun!

During my last post, I was discussing my up and down health the last few months.  I also mentioned that Susan and I had been asked to run in a relay race called the Texas Independence Relay. We were asked to join the team by our friends Brad and Kristi Clyburne. Brad has talked to me about this race for many years, but I was always focused on triathlons and never could fit it into the schedule. Well this year it worked for both Susan and I to be part of the TIR challenge. I have tried to describe what this relay is to many people, but couldn't do it justice, so below is a description from the TIR website.

The Challenge
The Texas Independence Relay is composed of 40 relay legs of various lengths, totaling over 200 miles. The course starts in Gonzales, where the spark of the Texas Revolution took place, and it finishes at the San Jacinto Monument, where Texas Independence was won! To tackle this formidable task, your team will have of up to 12 members (your choice!), and you’ll have an exceptional time furthering good friendships and making new ones! You’ll encourage each other along the way while you visit the small cities of Gonzales, Shiner, Moulton, Flatonia, Schulenburg, Weimar, Borden, Columbus, Altair, Eagle Lake, Wallis, Orchard, Simonton, and Fulshear. Then, you’ll make your way through the paramount city of Houston, experiencing it in a way you never have before! Racing on a team with your friends in this unique format over an incomparable span of Texas steeped with momentous history all amounts to a GREAT time that you’ll fondly remember for... well.. the rest of your life! This all takes place over Saturday and Sunday, April 2-3, and don’t forget the Texas Independence Party (the TIP!) on Friday, April 1! Come and take it… if you have what it takes!

Your Epic Texas Journey

Gonzales is a wonderfully welcoming town, rich with history and attractive to tourists looking to escape the big city! Your entire team will run a small loop together around downtown, marking the commencement of your journey. You’ll enjoy picturesque rolling hills replete with blooming Texas wildflowers on perfect relay roads as you journey over rural dirt roads - even passing Sam Houston’s Tree! After leaving Gonzales, you’ll get a taste of smaller Texas towns with exceptionally large hearts! Shiner, Moulton, Flatonia, Schulenburg, and Weimar, you’ll appreciate each town’s individual flavor, but you will also note that they all possess a distinct relaxing quality. By the time your team reaches Columbus, the sun will be retiring for the day.
Eagle Lake, Wallis, Orchard, Simonton, and Fulshear will be sleeping communities as you pass through (though at least a few will stay up to curiously observe your unrelenting journey through the night). Pressing on tirelessly toward the finish, you and your team will follow the beacons of flashing lights (other runners).

When you begin to make your way through Cinco Ranch on the west side of Houston, you’ll notice early indicators that a new day is being gifted to us! You’ll also become aware that you’re crossing the threshold between country and city. Between here and downtown, you’ll traverse paths that wind through pleasing parks (George Bush Park, Terry Hershey Park, Memorial Park, and the Buffalo Bayou). You’ll admire stately homes in well-preserved neighborhoods, and then, you’ll stride through Houston’s very downtown, passing right by reflective sky scrapers and the Toyota Center!

After exiting downtown, you’ll head south to Houston's museum district and Hermann Park, even passing beneath Sam Houston's impressive statue that points the way to the finish! You'll continue to navigate east on the Brays Bayou Path followed by quiet neighborhoods. Finally, your epic Texas journey culminates with a momentous celebratory finish in La Porte at the San Jacinto Battleground and Monument!

Here is also a nice description from our esteemed crew chief, Brad: Our team, Your Pace or Mine?, consists of 12 runners from Fort Worth, Aledo & Lubbock.  Several of the runners have completed several half marathons, marathons, ultramarathons, & triathlons, while others will enter the TIR with a race resume of a few 5 & 10K races.  Eight of the 12 runners are running along with their spouse, therefore we split the vans into male and female.  The thought process here was two-fold privacy and ...self preservation, but the ultimate goal is just to have some fun. 

Susan and I have both been having our struggles with training, but today we realized that we are very excited to meet up with a great group of folks and just have a weird sort of fun. So tomorrow we are going to head off early to meet the group in Aledo then all drive to Gonzales, TX. Then Saturday morning we will go off at 7:20am, and we should finish around 3:00pm on Sunday in Houston. So if you pray put one out there for our group this weekend. We'll see you soon!

If you want to follow our unusual weekend go to the links below:

Keep Fighting,

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