Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Cowtown Challenge Weekend

This post-race margarita that's big as my head proves that everything is bigger in Texas

It seems like it’s been a while since I’ve written a race report. I guess that’s because it’s been a while since I last ran a race. Luckily my schedule is about to kick into high gear – hopefully that means that I’ll be a bit more motivated to train properly...fingers crossed!

Last Friday Ashley and I hopped on a plane headed to Fort Worth. The flight was great, thanks to an awesome Southwest flight attendant who kept the vodka coming, even though we didn’t ask for more than the first round. I swear I could feel my mood improve as soon as the plane touched down, there’s just something about being in Texas that truly makes me happy. Shortly after we grabbed our luggage Lee & Isis were there to pick us up. It was absolutely amazing to see them again! Once we got back to their place we chatted for a bit but headed to bed relatively quickly since we had to get up bright and early Saturday.

Lee, two fine ladies whose names are escaping me, Isis (and her baby bump), me, and Ashley after the 5k.

On Saturday morning we got to the expo by 7am so that Ashley & I could pick up our packets. I was surprised by how big the expo was, it was big enough to feel like a “big race” but no so big that it was overwhelming. Ashley & I grabbed our 5k and half/marathon bibs, the special Cowtown Challenge bib and our t-shirts. Pretty soon it was time to stash our bags at the HoneyMilk booth and head to the start line for the 5k. This was a mistake – we should have headed to the start much sooner. I’ve never seen a crowd like this for a 5k! We ended up getting there in plenty of time, but were kind of stuck at the back of the pack. We tried to run for what I would guess was about ¾ of a mile but finally gave up because it was so crowded. We ended up saying screw it and just had fun while covering the remaining distance. It was awesome to be with Lee, Isis & Ashley and I cannot wait to see the photos – they’re sure to be hilarious!

See HoneyMilk makes people happy – we’re proof of that!

After the above photo was snapped, we headed back to the expo and poured some HoneyMilk for everyone to enjoy. We couldn’t stay behind the booth for too long because we had to get to the meet-up sponsored by HoneyMilk. The meet-up was at Magnolia’s Motor Lounge. None of us had been there before so we were excited to try it out. The food was excellent, as was the beer, and I heard the garage fries topped with country fried bacon were especially yummy. It was so great to see all of my Texas buddies again and to meet some for the first time. I wish I would have been smart enough to snap some photos of everyone!

Meet-up at Magnolia Motor Lounge

After the meet-up Ashley hung out with some family, Isis had to go to work. Lee was super productive and I took a nap. When I finally woke up Lee & I headed to the best place in the whole world, a/k/a Central Market, to pick up supplies for a fabulous dinner and then we were off to pick Isis up from work. She and I relaxed and caught up some more while Lee slaved in the kitchen. After dinner Ashley joined us again and another DFW buddy, Mike, came over. Lee & Isis were smart and went to bed early…Mike, Ashley & I stayed up watching some silly stuff on tv.

Alarms went off bright and early Sunday morning. Mike, Ashley & I got ready for the half, Lee got ready for the 50k and Isis got ready to be an awesome wife & friend (she wasn’t running but got up and drove us to the start!). The start was gain pretty crowded, but seemed like it moved a little more smoothly than the previous day. Ashley started off with her cousin and they quickly pulled in front of me. While I was in line for the porta potty Ashley called – at first I was worried about her but then she told me that her cousin sped off and she was going to hold up and wait for me. I told her I was moving slowly but she said she didn’t care.

Ashley & her medals representin’ Big River and HoneyMilk

Having Ashley by my side for the last 11ish miles of this race made the day for me. We chatted, laughed, took pictures with real-life cowboys and their horse and popped into a Starbucks to use a real bathroom. We weren’t moving fast, but we were having fun and for me, that’s what this race was all about – I needed to just have fun again. I cannot thank Ashley enough for sacrificing her race to stay with me.

The course was ok - we ran through some questionable neighborhoods, but we also got to run past the Stockyard, which was a highlight for me, and all around downtown Fort Worth. There were some killer hills (Hello mile 9!) but other than those I'd say it was a reasonably flat course. There wasn't a ton of course support, but I'd say that the police we some of the nicest I've ever seen on a race course. Oh, and this was the first race I've done that gave out finisher's shirt - that was a nice touch! All in all I'd probably give this race a 7 out of 10. Since it's in Fort Worth, there's a high likely hood that I'll be back in 2012.

HoneyMilk and Punk Rock Racing gear, plus two medals = a great day

So there you have it, half marathon #13 is in the up is Rock 'n' Roll Dallas. See you soon, Texas!!!


  1. Great race report! Looks like a great time.

  2. Congrats on another half marathon finish! I can't wait to finally meet you at the Lincoln Half! Oh and btw, LOVE Central Market! :)

  3. Is that Fuzzy's you are at? Looks like it with the metal counter back there.

    And I can't believe I missed you at the AHM booth. I was there on Friday but couldn't make the meetup on Saturday.

    My wife is running the RnR in March so let's try to hook up for that.

    Congrats on your finish.

  4. Thanks Aly!

    Courtney - I'm looking forward to meeting you, too...not much longer!!!

    Jason - That is Fuzzy's! I had the nachos & they were so damn good! I wasn't even in town until 10:00 Friday night. We really weren't at the expo for very long. I'm hoping there is a meetup before RnR!

  5. Way to go Jenn!!!! You take such beautiful pictures, you are so pretty!

  6. Sounds like you had a fun weekend! Maybe I'll see you at the RNR half - I'm running that one too. ;)

  7. We had such a blast with you and Ashley! We look forward to seeing you for RnR Dallas!

  8. Congrats on your race!!! Looks like you had fun and that's all that matters, right??(side note:) If you're ever looking for a guest blogger I'm your gal! Check out my blog and follow me back! Cheers!
    - Liz