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Share your race experiences

If you've been to an interesting race or have a favorite one, then share it by submitting a report about it. Describe your experience and include some pictures if you want. I've requested runners to submit reports and have had a few do so. To make things easier, though, I've added a report form so you can write the report and attach any pictures you might have. So, what could be easier except for having me write it for you? So, share your experience. If it takes more than one form to complete the report, just number each submission as Page 1, Page 2, etc. Thanks, Charles Clines.


Garden of Eden | SMG Running For Fitness | Wounded Warrior | Toronto Zoo Run


After a 30-year hiatus from running, Gary Pulver is back on the roads
and after enjoying himself at the Toronto Zoo Run 5K, he's ready to train for a marathon

By Gary Pulver

I started running (again after an over 30 year hiatus) this Spring because a fellow employee was having a 5K as a fundraiser as he is adopting two children from South America. I really thought that at 64, I could no longer run but to my surprise I have taken to it quite well and am enjoying it immensely. I finished my first 5K in under 42 minutes.

When I planned a trip to Canada to see my favorite band, the Moody Blues, I checked to see if any races were going to be going on and sure enough, a big race, the Oasis Toronto Zoo Run 5K and 10K was happening the morning after the Toronto concert, so I signed up. The 5K had 1,200 participants. I trained hard all summer but had a leg problem about a month before the race. My doctor cleared me to start running just a week before the race so I did get a couple runs in before race day. As I entered the zoo, the 10K finishers were all leaving proudly wearing their medals. I went down to the starting area for the 5K and was just overwhelmed by all the runners and their families there. Being from Texas, I was easily the person who had traveled the farthest for this race.

They put us in four corrals. I had no problem choosing the correct one, which was for over 36-minute folk. The race started out with a very long, steep hill but I felt good at the top of it and settled into about a 13-minute pace. My goal had been to beat 40 minutes but with my leg setback, I knew that was not going to happen this time. We ran past a lot of animal enclosures. I saw lions, monkeys and giraffes early on. I was being passed by a lot of runners but I actually did pass a few that had been in the corral ahead of me. My second mile always seems to slow down no matter how far the distance. I looked and I was barely under a 15-minute pace. But then a nice lady came up beside me and we talked a bit and I just kept pace with her, and the beginning of my third mile I was back on a 13-minute pace. She finally peeled off to look at some animals and I was able to keep that pace up.

There were tons of volunteers cheering us on through the race. A couple bands were also playing and their beat was a good pace for me, too. I had a great sprint at the end and looked up to see that the time was over 48 minutes, but as you pros know, that was the gun time. My chip time ended up being 43:11 so I did keep it under 14 minutes/mile. I found out when the results were posted that I was the second oldest male in the race. I came in 992 out of the 1,200 racers. If I had been one year older, I would have come in second place for my age group but I ended up in 8th place for the 60-64 age group. They sent me a nice e-mail telling me this information, but they were nice enough not to say that there were only 8 males in my age group. LOL.

I had a lot of fun at the after-race party, but had to drive down to London for another concert so could not stay to the end. I have proudly shown my medal to anyone that cares to see it. I am hooked on running. I am retiring soon and my wife has told me that she does not want me staying home and playing on the computer all day. Well, you know what I tell her? I am going to become a marathon runner when I retire. I have signed up for the Rock and Roll half marathon in Dallas in the Spring. I have three other races picked out, one in Granbury in a few weeks, the Fort Worth Turkey Trot, and the Cowtown (probably 10K). I ran 10K Saturday in 1:27 and felt great at the end. I am beginning Bill Richardson's running class today. I proudly tell everyone I am a runner.

***

Beach To Bay Relay has helped bond friendships as the DFW Wonder Women
won its sixth consecutive title by overcoming hot, humid conditions

By Fiona Green

wonder women

Wonder Women, from left: Sheila Natho, Frances McKissick, Yolanda Hopping, Ruthie Tate, Fiona Green, Cora Turner and Leana Sloan.

Through participating in weekly races, I have met many people who share my passion for the sport. While most friendships remain casual and are limited to post-race banter and occasional e-mail exchanges, some connections run far deeper.

Such is the case with the ladies known as the D/FW Wonder Women. Participating with them in the annual Beach To Bay Marathon Relay in Corpus Christi for the past five years I have been inspired by their team spirit and commitment. On Saturday (May 21), the team won its sixth consecutive Masters division title and was the third overall female team, covering the course in 3:03:30. This is no mean feat for runners, most of whom are now in the 45-49 year old age group and one of whom is soon to become a grandmother.

While one of the attractions of Beach to Bay is undoubtedly the post-race party, the competitive element is undeniable and every member of the team is committed to giving 100 percent, no matter what. It is not always easy. This year was particularly tough due to high temperatures and over 90 percent humidity at race start. The stifling, clammy air that greeted runners was something we had not been able to prepare for and at many points during the race we were forced to consider whether what we were doing was healthy or in fact risky as bad weather conditions and a desire to run fast can be a dangerous combination.

Running the third leg, I felt as though my skin was on fire. Gasping for breath, I had serious doubts I could reach the exchange point on two feet but knowing that my teammates were waiting for me spurred me to continue. After I finally passed the baton and wobbled off the course, a volunteer stepped forward to ask if I would like to visit the medical tent. As my skin was still burning, I accepted the offer and was quickly cooled down with ice-packs and wet towels - a wonderful feeling.

Waiting at the final exchange point, I spotted our approaching runner, Yolanda Hopping, in her hot pink outfit, looking far from happy. After delivering the baton, she also visited the medical tent. With a temperature of 103.6, she had seriously overheated and was even given IV fluids to help her rehydrate. For Yolanda this was another Beach to Bay adventure to remember -- even if it was a little scarier than those of previous years. In 2009, she had made the strange decision to eat seafood the evening before the race. Halfway through her leg, she had felt unwell as the seafood had decided it would like to make a fresh appearance. Shortly after we had passed her in the pick-up vehicle, she had apparently thrown up the seafood, then simply wiped her chin and kept on running. Wow!

Last year, storms in the D/FW area meant that several flights to Corpus Christi the day before the race were cancelled, including Yolanda's. Unwilling to let the team down, she jumped in her car and drove the 436 miles to Corpus, arriving shortly before midnight. A few hours later she anchored the team to victory number 5.

The Wonder Women share a special bond based on respect, friendship and a common love of hot pink shorts. It's always a pleasure and an honor to be part of the team and although this year's event was tough, I'm already looking forward to Beach to Bay 2012.

Other teams from the Metroplex who performed well included the D/FW Charging Cheetahs, who finished second in the Female Masters division in 3:05:38, the Fort Worth Road Dawgs, who finished third in the Mixed Masters division in 3:16:29 and the Dallas Party Dogs who finished fifth in the same division in 3:28:39.

***

Garden Of Eden,  June 11, 2011, Fort Worth

By Carmen Flores

Last year, I told my daughter I was running a race in my neighborhood, so she signed up  for the Garden of Eden Race. This (race is conducted) by a tiny church off Carson, south of 121.

I was really going to a run in Hurst but because I live off Carson, north of 121, my daughter thought I was doing the Garden of Eden run. So, that Saturday morning, I signed up for two races and I ran the Garden of Eden.

The people at this tiny church were so happy that soooooooo many runners were there. Almost everyone placed and I know almost everyone got a door prize. There were about 30 of us runners there!  Believe we can double this attendance this year. Please come June 11, 2011 at 8  a.m. The cost is only $10 This race is a mile loop done three times to make up the 5K. Its only $10. Did I say it’s only $10. See and print the registration form.

***

SMG Running For Fitness, Faith, Fun, May 21, 2011

By JB

This was an excellent 5K. It was well organized and supported. (There was) ample parking, and refreshments were available. Everyone involved was friendly.

The course topography was varied, challenging and well marked. Good police protection and support. The only logistics that need to be evaluated are the narrow starting area and the small children lining up in front at the starting line (a real hazard to experienced runners) and the delayed results and awards ceremony

***

Wounded Warrior Half Marathon and 10K, June 12, 2011, Las Colinas

By Baby Mamma

As the article (on this site's home page) mentioned, this race was wonderful!!! Being pregnant, I was concerned with the heat and if there would be enough aid stations. They really did an amazing job with the water stations and the added bonus were the sprinkler systems. They did not lack volunteers and all of them were extremely helpful, thank you! I heard they had learned from last year, so the starting time was pushed earlier this year and they increased the water stops as well. To me that spoke volumes. I plan on doing this race again next year and I HIGHLY recommend it. The course was easy and offered plenty of shaded areas.