Now that some time has passed, I’d like to review my thoughts on the race. This won’t be an objective post. As a member of the organizing committee, it’s impossible for me to present an opinion that won’t be biased. With that warning, let’s get started.
I went into the Run the Line event with very little sleep. My son was competing at the Texas High School UIL State Finals in Austin the day before, and we drove straight home afterward. After getting to bed around 1:30 AM, I awoke at 6 AM to get our bands and course signs out.
I made it to the starting line pretty tired.
During the early portion of the race—through Nix Creek Trail, I felt good…like I was on auto pilot. In fact, I felt sharp enough that I kept checking my physical condition, waiting for the pain to begin. Legs – check, chest and breathing – check. All good. We made it to the halfway mark and relay handoff point, and I still felt lucid. My tired feeling was long gone. I was in race mode.
It was near the halfway point that I began to realize that this race may be faster than my first half-marathon a year ago had been. Still, I didn’t expect that I’d beat my best time by ten minutes. Even ore amazing, instead of the routine I followed after the race last year—heading home to bed all day—I went out and played nine holes of golf later. I felt great. It was a good run.
1) The volunteers were incredible. I was so appreciative of all four musical acts that came out and helped. They stepped up for the community and I’m really appreciative of that.
I knew the musicians would be there, but I didn’t expect the huge number of volunteers. There were cheering people at every stop street. It was motivating to have so many volunteers cheering along the route. I can’t say enough about the huge number of people who helped out.
2) The organization of the race. Although I served on the organizing committee, I could see how the race details all were expertly handled…so many details that I hadn’t expected, even after being in countless meetings.
3) The post-race party. The fact that the party is downtown, in front of Hopkins, gives the race a true “small town” homey atmosphere. That was fantastic.
4) The announcing and the bling. Mike Jones does a great job announcing. The medals and tee-shirts are both top notch.
1) The starting line festivities. For a race that has so much positive energy, there could definitely be more excitement at the beginning. You couldn’t hear much of the prerace stuff going on. I think the crowd realized Tony Judd was singing the national anthem halfway through. This could be improved.
2) Actual homeowners. Come on, Texarkana! Although there were people all over the course, the actual number of times I saw surprised homeowners was amazing. Apparently, although the race committee tried to get the word out, it seems that people didn’t know the race was happening.
3) Finish line music. At one point I heard “Penny Lover”, a slow song by Lionel Richie playing as people were crossing the finish line. I’m not sure why mellow music was playing at the finish line, but that should change next year.
As you can see, the positives of the race far outweighed the negatives. If you haven’t experienced Run the Line, you don’t know what you’re missing out on. The fun during the race and the post-race party are something that everyone should experience, whether you’re a runner or fast walker.