The Christmas Lights Fun Run was another success with about 15 runners heading off down San Antonio Street. At the San Marcos Activity Center after the run there was a larger number of participants. It just goes to show food will bring more people out than exercise. Good food, drawing for prizes, and gift bags for everyone was the benefit of showing up for the after run activity.It was fun to have a group of runners sit around and swap running stories and maybe talk over where the next race will be or how training is going. David Alexander and I had to be considered the historians of the group as both of us have been around the running scene in San Marcos the longest. Both of us have had our share of being race director at almost all of the races held here in town. We started counting the number of races we held over the past year and figured we are one of the areas most active communities for putting on races. We don’t compete with Austin or San Antonio for numbers where they often hold several races every weekend. We do hold our own with cities our size and in some cases hold twice or three times as many races as nearby area communities.
We then started thinking of the races that have been held and are no longer around. It started years ago with the Cinco De Mayo 10 K and it eventually became a 5K and had upwards of 200+ runners. It is no longer around. The Junior Chamber of Commerce put n the Mud Bug 5 K and I don’t think either of those is still around. Sights and Sounds 5K was a popular run with a very colorful long sleeved T-shirt for the runners. Many of the races that were held started at the Courthouse on the square but parade permits, insurance for running on State roads, etc. more or less put an end to that route. The CTMC had a Run For Your Life 5K that was run on all State roads and was put out of business because of the restrictions.
The Civic Center used to be a starting place to run many of our races. The American Heart Association put on a Turkey Trot 10K there and the Chilympiad 10K was also held out there. This race met its demise when it turned out that runners and chili cookers trying to get an early start at cooking chili just did not seem to like to share the road.
The high school was a good starting point for the River Road 15K and the River Road 8 mile run that headed out Staples Road. We gave tank tops instead of t-shirts for that race and when the Physical Therapy Rehab Concepts sponsored it one year the tank top had a bright red nylon top with a mesh bottom that was a favorite for many of the runners. Development and the resulting traffic sort of made that run dangerous.
Jim Neuhouse had a run from his gym for a number of years. That was the only race that I have ever taken first overall in. Again the race crossed a State highway and had to be cancelled. We even started a race at the gym but ran out to the sub division Siesta Verde and back for a nice hilly and scenic race. Traffic again became a problem. We had one run, “The I Love to Run 10K” where we gave a nice towel with the logo on it. We tried something different but runners like T-shirts best.
I think the latest race to be absent is the Juneteenth 5K that Harvey Miller tried to keep alive. Lack of support made it hard to continue this race.
One of the oldest races was the Hays Memorial Hospital 10 K run where the runners received a sleeveless hooded T-shirt. It was their 25th anniversary run. Other one time runs that popped up now and then included the Playscape 5K that ran down Cheatham Street and back in the neighborhoods finishing at the Playscape.
The Mardi Gras 5K had several runs and had three for sure (My T-shirt has the 3rd Annual on it). Travis Elementary School 5K ran out Lime Kiln road but gravel trucks sort of made that route dangerous. The physical therapy students at Texas State have put on a few runs. In fact, their race was the one that changed the course out at River ridge when they were told in no uncertain terms that they could not run on the 200 yards length of the access road portion as it belonged to the state and high level permission was needed if it was to be held. It actually resulted in a better course with the start and finish nearer to each other.
There have been several other races from various locations in the city but somehow they seem to escape memory. Fortunately other races have taken their place and San Marcos is still a leader in promoting fitness through running local road races.
by Moe Johnson