Much like the Eugene Marathon in Oregon I’ve had a desire to run BCS for quite some time. I’ve had these two races on my radar for about four years now. On the second weekend in December I can say I got to experience Bryan-College Station Marathon. I did not get to run the race myself but I was present to experience the race from the other side.
On Saturday Blanca and I were waiting on our good friends Rick and Rosanna. We hit the road by 9:30 am. We made it! Our first stop was the expo at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center. This is the first time I’ve attended an expo at a hospital. The hospital lobby had local vendors lined up all the way to the packet pick up area. The runners would grab their bag, pick up their shirt, followed by the bib number. The expo may have been a bit small but that should be expected from small town races. After packet pick up it was time to check into the hotel. Not long after we decided to head back out to grab some lunch at the local mall. We took advantage to see where parking and the race start would be.
We had several other friends coming up from San Antonio to run BCS as well. We decided to grab dinner together and enjoy each other company. Here are the three half and three full marathoners.
On Sunday morning we were up at 5:45 am. The runners got dressed and pre race shivers began. Our hotel was located off University Drive and the mall was about two miles away. University Drive had two things.
1) many hotels to choose from
2) plenty of restaurant options
Five minutes later we were at the mall parking lot steps away from the start line. There was plenty of parking available we didn’t feel rushed at all. We walked over to the start line and the national anthem began.
Side note: the race had technical issues with the music. The runners began to sing the national anthem without the music and it was wonderful.
Minutes after the anthem the race was starting. There were technically no physical corrals just signs indicating which sections a particular area was. The countdown began and just like that the race began, everyone began. I ran about 2/10 of a mile down to catch some of the runners. Once that was over Rosanna and I walked over to the finish line. As you can see on the map we just had to walk up Dartmouth street and it took us right to mile 26 and 13 with only .20 and .10 left to go. The runners made their way downwards towards the finish as we waited anxiously for our runners. The weather was hanging around the mid 30s which is perfect for runners but cold for spectators.
At the 1:43 mark on the clock my wife is coming in.
Her official time was 1:42:44 breaking her PR by 2 minutes. Here is Rick finishing with his best time of this year. Here’s a look at the elevation.
The post race even seemed small but boy did it pack a big punch. The runners would receive their medals and walk over to grab their……
thats right their race jacket! The post race festivities had tacos, sausage, pizza rolls, water,Gatorade, chocolate milk and more. As the runners continued to pour in we continued cheering from the bleachers placed on the side for the spectators. Yes, bleachers. We stayed as long as we could be fore we had to leave due to hotel check out. We got to see our San Antonio guys represent really well and Blanca even got to celebrate her PR. It was time to go home. Good bye College Station.On the ride back I got to reflect a little on the race itself. Do I still desire to run this race after what I experienced as a spectator. The short answer… Heck Yes!! When you look at the event as a whole I can understand why this race is rated the number 1 race in Texas. Plenty of hotels perfectly situated next to dozens of restaurants. The hotels are literally minutes from parking and the starting line. Though this is unpredictable but chances are you’ll get great weather. The race seemed to have been well organized and executed. You receive a finishers medal of course but also a finishers jacket. The post race goodies were just that. There’s no need to panic because this race has figured it out.
Charities: yes. Visit www.mercyproject.net and learn more about how to end child slavery in Ghana. One of the most touching moments had to be mile 26 where there were pictures of children who have already been rescued out of slavery thanks to the help of you the runner and Mercy Project.
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