Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Race Report: Thanksgiving Fun Run at the T-Heads

After another lengthy period away from the blogosphere, I have returned! I visited my home state of Texas to see my family for Thanksgiving. On Thursday the 17th, I flew to Corpus Christi for the first leg of my journey.

Friends who have known me for awhile can attest to the fact that I like to take any opportunity to race in exotic (and by exotic, I mean different from home) locales. Although I haven't quite graduated to planning an actual runcation, I do like to search for races off the beaten path when I travel. This brings me to the Carroll Tiger Thanksgiving Fun Run at the T-Heads in Corpus Christi. What a name! What a town! What a race!

Too dramatic? Perhaps. To be fair, I was highly amused when I went to register and pick up my packet at the local Fleet Feet store. My dad and I waited in line for a few minutes while volunteers registered a couple of kids. Little kids. I don't think I thought anything of it at the time, but it would play into things later on. What I was especially amused about were the swag bags we got. Now don't get me wrong, I was impressed with the swag bag in general since it was such a small race, but one of the items in the bag was a beer koozie! That's right, a beer koozie for race swag. It was an entertaining first. Plus, the t-shirt was cute:

Race start time was 8:00am and it wasn't far from my dad's house, so we left at 7:30. I was obviously ALL decked out in my Team reGen gear. Once we arrived, I immediately began to scope out the competition. I've always maintained that if I ever win any age group awards, it'll be at a local race like this one. There are just too damn many runners in and around NYC. So naturally, I was trying to see who I needed to keep pace with to make this dream come true.

This is where my previous observation about the kids at Fleet Feet comes in. Most of the runners at this 5k were kids! They looked like they ranged in age from maybe 7 to 13. Corpus Christi and Texas in general has some issues when it comes to making an active lifestyle a priority. Judging from the number of kids eager to run this 5k, though, you wouldn't have guessed. The involvement of so many kids in the local running community was really impressive.

Along with small children, however, there were also high school kids on cross country teams. Those guys are usually very competitive. I wasn't terribly worried about them, though, because I knew they would be in a different age group. By the time we lined up at the start of the race, I had only spotted a couple of potential contenders and I was determined to start strong.

Unfortunately, starting strong is not the race strategy that works best for me. I always do best when I start slow, gain confidence, and start passing people. When I try to start strong, I typically start too strong and end up burning out and slowing way down halfway through the race.

Surprise! That's what happened here. The race course went down a boardwalk of sorts and veered off twice into what are called "t-heads" before a turnaround which took us back to the start. I've taken the liberty of creating a not-to-scale diagram of the race course below:

It was a tougher course than I expected, but I think mostly because I started off too fast. Those kids really raced out and I probably tried a little too hard to keep up. My dad started behind me but by the middle of the race had passed me. He ended up finishing in 23 and change and I crossed the finish at 25:34. I've been hoping to run a sub-25 5k so this was a little disappointing, but, hey, it was a good run. I really felt like I might have won an age group award, but they didn't end up announcing awards after all. So much for that. Guess I'll have to wait a little longer for my first age group award!

Another awkward photo gem!


  1. Sub 25 minute 5K as Barney Stinson would say CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!

  2. Thanks for sharing, that was a great race. Congratulations to all the participants for a great job well done and looking forward always for more updates.