Monday, March 31, 2014

Alamo 13.1 Race Re-Cap from Nick

We loaded up in the car with the dogs and drove to San Antonio.  We spent the evening drinking beer and eating pizza while catching up with my family.

Spent the morning hanging out and had lunch at my brother's house, then headed for downtown San Antonio for packet pickup.  

Parking being completely insane, Em and I jumped out of the truck and wandered over to the hotel where we were able to pretty quickly find 3 of our names and bib numbers for pickup, but couldn't find my brother's.  So I got in line and picked up the three packets we could while Em called to find out what might have gone wrong.

After a bit of research we found that my brother's last name was not spelled correctly.  The race organizers were very kind and got this corrected for us.

At the end of the day, all packets were picked up and we headed for the house to eat dinner.

Woke up very early and left the house, hoping to get a good parking spot by arriving prior to other people.  On route to the race we stopped at Starbucks, but only to use clean restrooms.

Upon arrival at the Alamo, I dropped off my bag and we walked around a bit for quick pre-race bathroom breaks.  The start cannon went off 7.45, I was disappointed that we were not able to see it from the lineup, but all the same it was pretty cool to have a start cannon.

The beginning of the race wound through downtown a little and then we were off to local neighborhoods where we encountered our first hill.  Training in Houston, we aren't used to too many hills.  Honestly, it wasn't' too bad, it was an easy incline to deal with and had a good downhill just afterward.  Then there was some winding around newer apartment complexes and a golf course.

At the end of the golf course there was a major hill, 200 vertical feet and it was banked.  At the top of the hill was an aid station which brought us to mile 6, where the four of us took our first walking break.  Looking back on it, we made a bad decision since it was on a downhill that we took the break, we would have been better suited to get to the bottom, finish the 10K and break from there.  Either way, this is when we got on the Trinity University campus.

I really enjoyed this part of the race because we wound around quite a bit and basically took a running tour of the campus.  There were lots of ups and downs, but we did get to take a lap on the track which was significantly nicer on my joints than the road.  At the end of the campus tour we basically got to run straight back to the Alamo.

Somewhere near mile 11 we took another break.  This is where my legs decided that they were going to be a bit fatigued, so the walk was a little longer than expected, but did give me a great chance to hit a restroom which I had needed since the beginning of the race.

Another break at mile 12 was taken as we were now on the Riverwalk, this is the one where my legs decided that walking made them hurt.  This mile may have been my favorite.  We finished up our part on the Riverwalk and rejoined the road above and cruised through downtown again on our way to the Alamo.  As we turned the final corner, we both turned on the gas and finished within a second of each other.

The finish was right in front of the Alamo and was an amazing receiving line of thousands of people waiting for race finishers, thought they were all very quiet and obviously looking for people that they knew.  Em and I decided that we would stand at the finish and cheer for everyone as they crossed and this helped to get people excited for finishers, including my brother who was smiling pretty big when he crossed and my sister in law who came across excited as well.

We finished up the morning with a few beers before heading back to the car.

Overall, this race was a ton of fun.  It was nice to run with family and it was a great course.  I think we are all planning on running it again next year.

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