Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Nueces Trail Runs, 50mi,Marathon,&10K, 03/06/10
Going in to the Nueces Trail Marathon this past weekend, I hoped to just have a good time. I had pulled my left Gluteus minumus! My butt hurt! This was a result of either a hard kettle bell workout last weekend or going all out in the Salado Creek Trail run. Anyway, I visited my chiropractor Friday and received a deep tissue massage, electric stimulation and had my butt kinesio taped. I felt very good Saturday morning as I picked up John and Liza at 4 A.M. for the 2 hour drive up IH10, over two-lane Hwy 41 and down Hackberry dirt road to Camp Eagle in the Texas Hill Country near Rocksprings TX. Camp Eagle is at the headwaters of the Nueces River. Arriving at daybreak we picked up our race packet. Actually it was a self serve packet pickup, fill your own bag. At the start we visited with race director Joe Prusaitus and at precisely 7 A.M. we were off. I started the race without my camera in tow and very soon regretted it. This place is beautiful. We ran along the river bank’s rocky surfaces, the soft dirt bank, across the river on a suspension bridge, and in the river. It’s not easy running on a suspension bridge! We climbed the tree lined hill sides, twisting and turning through Elm, Cedar, Oak, and juniper trees. At one point I thought that Joe may have gotten lost marking this course and decided to “mark” his way out. In true Joe Prusaitus fashion, trails were created to make this an “interesting” and not so easy race. Later Liza was to say “This is the most difficult race I’ve run.” Running when I could and walking when I wanted to was my theme for the day. The terrain varied. Rocky at times, grassy here and there and even some spots with soft loose dirt. The course loops back to the start line after about 8 miles and I quickly ran to my truck to get my camera. There was a cool breeze and a fine mist in the air for most of the day but the rain never materialized. I was able to take many good photos to create a slide show for our group blog at hotrockhoppers.blogspot.com. I came upon a woman running the 10K with a young child about 8 years old, her son maybe. I asked her to take my picture and I photographed them too. Descending a very long hill I caught a glimpse of John as he disappeared into a wooded trail at the bottom of the hill. I learned later this is where he’d seen a porcupine. Soon I caught up with him. We were at mile 18. From this point on we stuck together, pausing for photos and admiring the beauty of the Nueces River and the rocky hills. Climbing up to the finish line we straddled the cliff side rocky ledges along the river. Care had to be taken on nearly every step to not fall off into the water! Although we ran right along the finish line as we came up from the river bank, we still had to run one more 2 mile loop through the woods and back to the finish. John and I both crossed the finish line at 5:53:12. Liza came in first female in the Marathon and received a cool looking chicken made from sheet metal as her award. Arne also ran, and after having a burger with him and John, Joyce drove us to visit with Liza at the Armadillo aid station where she was putting in time for her required Western States volunteer work. We thanked Joyce and Joe for putting on such a great laid back race. We had our photo taken with Liza, met Eliot and Asa as they arrived, then John and I headed home. On our drive back to San Antonio, we stopped at an old time roadside gas station, Garvin’s, and had a homemade barbeque sandwich with all the trimmings out on the patio. I DID have a good time. The Nueces Trail run is sure to be a classic, and one I will surely return to next year.