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Run with Moe: More holiday running ahead

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

Cool weather is great for runners in San Marcos as the winter running gear comes out of the closet and drawers.

It looks like this cool weather will be around for a few  more days, and that will be better for those runners training for long distance races coming up next month. It will in all likelihood be cool for the Christmas Lights Fun Run on Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m. down at the Hays County Courthouse, and this is a reminder to dress accordingly.

There are always the polar bear runners that still wear short trunks and tank tops for a run, but for the slower runners that will be taking in the decorations on the homes warm clothing will be a better choice. It is also a good idea to bring along a second change of clothes. After the run, some of the runners will have damp clothes, and, in cold weather, this can chill the body very quickly.

The second change of clothes will also look better at the gathering at the San Marcos Activity Center after the run for food, drink and conversation. For more information, check out the San Marcos Runners web site at: sanmarcosrunners.org.

The Sights and Sounds 5K Fun Run and Walk had a small, but enthusiastic, turnout at the start down at the Sights and Sounds Festival last weekend. I have not been able to get a copy of the results yet, but hopefully I can report on that soon.

The main group was San Marcos runners, and a few of them came away with their very first first place awards. The course started at the entrance to the Sights and Sounds and followed the River Walk Trail out past the baseball fields and down by the river and back again. It is hard to certify a course when it is on a gravel trail, but with a measuring wheel, the distance can be very close.

Since the building that held the tube rentals has burned down the start for races using the River Walk has been changed to behind the Chamber of Commerce for some of the runs. We were making adjustments right up until the race started, and the runners that ran with GPS systems said the course was 3.25 miles.

That is a little far for a 5K. With a few changes, the course can be used and be close to the actual 5K distance. It may be a while before the City Park Building is repaired, so this new starting location may have to be used more in the future.

I talked with Gregg and Nelda Pannell, this week and they had just returned from running the Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon in Las Vegas. Nelda was entering her sixth Rock N’ Roll event and was one of only 117 runners to do that. There were approximately 20,000 runners in the race and her having entered this series at various locations throughout the United States was a once in a lifetime achievement.

Nelda speed walked the 13.1 miles in 2:49:12, and Gregg ran an easy pace and finished in 2:28:12. With that number of runners, it takes several minutes just to get to the starting line.

If you have not purchased a gift for your runner in the family, some cold weather clothing might be very useful. Running tights for the legs, wool gloves for the hands (I like the cotton work gloves, as they also make good hankies when the cold weather makes your nose run), a windbreaker top to keep the wind chill down and a high-tech under wear garment to keep the sweat away from the skin and help stay warm are some ideas.

The wool watch style caps are an in thing with runners trying to keep the heat in their systems, and the ones that can be pulled down over the ears are always welcome. I hope to see a good turnout at the Christmas Lights Run on Tuesday to keep this tradition going. Rain or shine, cold or warm, wind or snow, the hardy runners keep the run alive year after year.