San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

August 7th, 2009
Run with Moe: The cost of energy

Run with Moe
By MOE JOHNSON
San Marcos Runners Club

There is still time to register for the Darndest Du Duathlon on Aug. 16 right here in San Marcos.

The event will be held out at the Tanger Oultet Center, and this year’s event is the Texas State Duathlon Championships. There is a limit to 500 entrants for this year, because it is the state championships.

The race consists of a 5K run, followed by a 30K bike ride, and then followed by another 5K run. The race begins at 7 a.m., but even with the early start, the temperature will heat up rapidly. There will be plenty of aid stations, and runners are advised to take advantage of them, especially during the second 5K run, when it begins to warm up.

If you have never watched a big race like this, then try to make time to watch the athletes as they compete in this duathlon event.

The 5K run will head out Center Point Road for an out and back run, followed by a 30K bike ride that leads back from Center Point Road and along scenic York Creek, then head back along Old Bastrop Highway.

Watching 500 athletes run and then ride some very high dollar bikes as they speed along the back county roads is something to behold. While you will see some of the finest conditioned athletes competing for the awards, you will also be motivated to see some of your local friends attempt the race.

Some of the local athletes will be very competitive and make a good representation for San Marcos. You will also see the newcomers to the sport and some athletes that just want to be part of a large event that will make you think that, with a little training, you could be part of this race.

As with most events of this size, organizers are always willing to accept volunteers to help out. It is quite a feather in San Marcos’ cap to be able to host this event, and we want the athletes to know what a great city we have to visit and compete in. Volunteers are the key to making this happen.

The beneficiary of the race is CASA of Central Texas. That makes volunteering even more rewarding. Contact Eloise Hudson at CASA here in San Marcos for volunteer duties.

On another subject, I was reading a short, informative article in this month’s Reader’s Digest. While this magazine is not your typical source of information for runners, there is an occasional tidbit that proves beneficial to athletes.

This one came from a very reliable source in nutrition. Nancy Clark, RD, and well known for her book, Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook, is the one of the contributors as well as some researchers from the University of Texas. One of the more popular subjects   for athletes is getting enough nutrition and energy during workouts and races. There are many kinds of energy sources touted in health food stores, running stores, etc. for athletes to fuel up during their runs. The researchers at University of Texas mention that you can get as much energy from a simple bowl of whole grain cereal and milk as from the very pricey sports drink.

Nancy Clark has her own sources of energy to replace the various sources sold in sports stores. As an example, instead of energy bars such as PowerBar or Clif Bar, which cost from $1.25 to $1.75 per serving, an athlete can chew on some Fig Newtons or granola bars or cereal bars for about 30 to 70 cents per serving. It amounts to quite a saving for the wallet.

Another popular source for athletes is the gel packets such as GU Energy Gel, Clif Shot and PowerBar Gel, which cost from $1.25 up to $2.50 per gel packet.  Clark’s recommendation for substitution is to try honey sticks, Go-Gurt, or single servings of applesauce that only cost from 20 cents to 50 cents per serving.

For those candy lovers who like to chew their energy, the Sports Beans, Luna Sport Moons, etc., which go for $1.25 to $2.00 per serving, can be replaced with jelly beans, dried fruit or raisins that bring the cost down to 35 cents to 75 cents per serving.

If you are looking for that extra energy during a workout, there is a much cheaper option to follow. At a race, if you want to impress other runners that you are in the elite runner class and need to have the appropriate food to be part of the “in” crowd, go for the high dollar energy sources. Otherwise go shop at the grocery store and get the same type of energy for a much lower cost.

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