Photos are here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/zkpGp6ZzkPESNFQd8
BEFORE MY START: My 25th race of 2021 was the Texas Tough 5K held on July 18th in Helotes, Texas. Start and finish area was in the historic “Old Towne” part of Helotes. The main event was the Texas Tough 10-miler, starting at 7:30 am. There was also a 10K, starting 5 minutes or so after the 10-miler and then the 5K participants went a few minutes after the 10K start. This was my 2nd race of the weekend, having done the Stars and Stripes 5K the day before. I arrived about 35 minutes or so before the 5K start time and got a few pre-start photos.
ON THE COURSE: The Race Title does not say “Texas Tough” for no reason. This is one of the hilliest events I have ever done. As I was doing the 5K course, I kept thinking ‘If this is what the 5K is like, I can’t imagine what the 10K and 10-miler participants are having to deal with.” Out-and-back course for the 5K. I think the 10K was out-and-back also. Not sure about the 10-miler. We started in Olde Towne in the parking lot of a local store, GG’s House. Out the parking lot and very first thing, down a hill we go and then up another hill. Left turn that took us down another hill and then up a short incline. We turned right into a very nice neighborhood area and had a flat course for about ¼ of a mile or so. Rounded a curve…..and the REAL hills began Down we went, 1st hill, then up the looooong hill; around a curve and then another downhill that took us to our 5K turnround point. Of course, now we did the hills in reverse on the way to the finish. These are what Race Directors euphemistically call ‘rolling hills” and I was thinking, I’d probably get down these faster if I did roll down them, lol. Downhills are always a problem for me with my spinal arthritis – pounds my back more – so had to be careful and just take it real easy on parts of the downhills. Somehow I managed to get through these tough hills, and finally all that was left were the shorter inclines/hills left to do that we’d first come out on, only in reverse this time. I ended up with a chip time of 41:46, averaging 13:27 per mile; 4th out of 8 in my 65 – 69 age group. My hilly 5K on Saturday was 41:02, so at least I am consistent, lol.
AFTER MY FINISH: First thing, get some water and walk around rehydrating, and watching my pacemaker take my heartbeat back down to normal levels. All-in-all I felt pretty good. Then sat for a while, sipping my water, eating a banana and also a breakfast taco, chatting with friends I had been running with off-and-on while on the course. Then enjoyed a post-race cold one, courtesy of Shiner beer, nice, as I wandered around getting some post-race photos. Also gave a few doggies some treats. Very enjoyable.
Epilogue: This is a pretty challenging 5K course – especially for an old dog like me, lol, with a pacemaker and currently dealing with prostate cancer – but also a well laid out one. The course design allows a lot of interaction between participants coming-and-going, so lots of cheering each other on as participants passed by each other. Really nicely designed and good quality race shirt; and finisher medals to all. Nice goodie post-race, including Taco Cabana breakfast tacos, various fruits, Shiner beer, etc. I would do this one again sometime and would recommend it to others, especially those looking for a good hill challenge; you will certainly get that!
MUCHO THANKS TO: eDragon Productions local company that managed the event and I think they also laid out all the courses; iaap for timing, race results, etc. friend Gilbert for his usual excellent array of fruits and post-race goodies; all the race volunteers; and, of course all race sponsors. Also, thanks to local police. I saw one police officer before the 5K started and she told me there would be a police presence, so thanks for helping keep us safe. Also thanks to anyone involved that I may not have mentioned here. Thanks for what all of you do so we participants can do this event.