Run with Moe: A column
By MOE JOHNSON
San Marcos Runners Club
With the weather being almost perfect for runners recently, it is easy to forget that the last two races in San Marcos were held under less then great circumstances.
The ARA-Moe’s Better Half Marathon and the CASA Speak Up For Kids 5K a couple of weeks ago were run under the threat of heavy rain showers in the late morning. Fortunately, the rain didn’t start until after the race was over and the clean up crew was almost packed up and ready to go. But even the threat of rain kept a number of runners away from the race.
Last Saturday, the Wonderland Schools race, the Wonder Run 2010, was met with much of the same conditions, except the rain was already at the location. It was raining quite hard and, since I had to lead the race on the bike, I dressed in a full rain suit ready for wet conditions. As a race director, you always wonder if any runners will show up when it is raining.
This day was made a little more serious as there was also lightning along with the rain. Race Director Kathy Keys had things in order and volunteers from the San Marcos Runners Club were on hand to lend support. David Alexander had a laptop computer and was checking out The Weather Channel. It looked like the rain was about to pass through and clear weather was behind the red and green section on the screen.
Kathy decided to delay the start of the race until 8:30 a.m., and luck was on her side as the rain had subsided and the sky was clearing. It was still chilly and windy, but no rain or lightning. Were runners there to run in the rain? Not as many as last year, but a number of runners were there and ready to go. The road was wet, but not slippery, and the aid stations were set up and the turn around point was manned and ready for the lead runner.
The good thing about hosting the race at the Wonderland School is that Jimmy Fife was on hand to open up the school and let the runners and people working registration inside, where it was warm and dry. Once the race started, everything went smoothly and runners were rewarded with finish awards. I think almost every runner came away with an award of some type. The really amazing thing was the fact that they did not have to cancel the kids 1K run. Several kids were there and, rain or not, they were determined to run.
Kathy borrowed my bike and, loading up an orange road cone on the handle bars, pedaled out to the turn around point to drop off the cone, then pedaled back and organized the kids run. Hardy runners come in all sizes and ages, it seems. The lead runner was right behind me as we approached the turn around point as he said, “Is this all there is? It doesn’t seem very long.”
The one thing that made it seem that way was that the course was slightly downhill on the way out and a little more uphill on the way back. He finished strong, but a little slower on the return leg.
There was another race in San Marcos that morning at the River Ridge complex with the Race For Relief 5K. I have not heard how that race went, but knowing that the area does not have the advantage of getting under shelter of a building during the early registration time, it would take some hardy runners and volunteers to make the race a success.
Knowing how runners and race organizers do not want to let entry fees and pre-race efforts go to waste, I am sure the race was held, one way or other. Hopefully, the next races in our area will be under more favorable conditions with cool mornings, clear skies and big turnouts.
The month of April has a full calendar of nearby races and, with many runners using the Capital 10,000 race as the official start of the spring and summer racing season on April 11 in Austin, it looks to be a busy and fun summer of racing for runners. Check out the calendar on the San Marcos Runners Club web site for races coming up in our area (sanmarcosrunners.org).