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Run with Moe: Moe's better half approaches

Run with Moe: A column
By MOE JOHNSON
San Marcos Runners Club

Things are coming together at a very rapid rate for the ARA-Moe’s Better Half Marathon and CASA Speak Up For Kids 5K on Sunday out at the Tanger Outlet Center.

Things seem to go rather slow in the months leading up to a race, and then, at the last week, everything must come together for that final day. Emails are picking up in communicating between race organizers and volunteers, phone calls are more numerous, questions from entrants on parking, registration information, etc., all are becoming daily tasks for race organizers.

One day last month, David Alexander and I went out and certified the course, since it has been changed from past years. No major change, except the start will no longer make a loop around the Outlet Center Parking lot before heading straight out the exit to Center Point Road. The extra distance is made up farther down the course through a housing subdivision that should add to the challenge of the race.

Between riding, measuring, marking mile points, and making adjustments after the completed ride, a total of about six 1/2 hours had passed. Add some paper work and map making between the two of us and another three hours can be added to getting the course ready for the runners.

The paper work has been sent in for certification of the course and, since our measurement was only .04 percent different, we were under the standard needed to certify the course.  Hopefully all the figures will be accepted as some of the math work can get a little complicated.

The design of the T-shirts has been approved, and they look great with a black hi-tech shirt with a tan logo on the front to make a nice shirt to wear. Volunteer shirts will be a tan color with the black logo that also are very nice looking.

Awards have been ordered and should be ready for Sunday. The finisher’s mugs and pens have been ordered and will be ready for all the runners that cross the finish line.  Advertising has been stepped up, especially in Austin, hoping that the race can draw more runners this last week to experience a great country road race of some scenic outdoor sights.

Volunteers are being lined up for the various jobs that it takes to put on a race this size.  There is always a need for more volunteers. The more volunteers we have, the less work for everyone and everyone comes away with a new T-shirt, a mug and pen and a chance to see some runners putting in some tough miles.

The CASA Speak Up For Kids 5K is still open and runners can register on race day if they decide to enter at the last minute. This is an out and back course out Center Point Road and encourages runners and walkers of all levels of ability to enter.

The race has two categories for runners. One category is designed for the competitive runners trying for an award in their age categories. The other category is a fun run for runners that want to run for the benefit of supporting CASA, but not necessarily have to run fast for an award. CASA runners in both categories all receive race T-shirts and goodies after the race.

For the younger runners, a 1K kids run will be held between the start of the two races that morning. Whether you are up to the challenge of the 13.1-mile half marathon or will settle for the 5K distance, both races will be fun to enter. And if you are not into the running, but want to support a friend or spouse or family member, you can still volunteer and be part of the event.

The only requirement is that on Sunday morning you will have to get an early start, as the half marathon starts at 7 a.m. and volunteers are expected to show up between 5:30 and 6 a.m. Sometimes that can be a little intimidating for some people.