Monday, March 8, 2010

2010 Texas Independence Relay

This weekend I ran the 2010 Texas Independence Relay (TIR) with a fantastic group of long-time friends - the 'DOGS'.  It was an absolute BLAST!

The TIR is a 203.2 mile long collection of forty "legs", each ranging from three to nine miles in length, and are run by teams consisting of as few as one or as many as twelve individuals (our situation, and the most common).  It starts in Gonzales, Texas and finishes at the San Jacinto Monument in a southeast Houston suburb.

In the TIR's vast distance it encompases much of the diversity of Texas - from its rural hilly farm land, to the wide rivers which span it, to beautiful parkland, to upscale suburban west Houston, to Houston's southeast commercial and industrial sights, to the impressive 570-foot San Jacinto monument that is the tallest monument column in the world.

Thanks to the combination of cooler weather than we'd seen last year, and more rest (a consequence of better planning and logistics), we collectively managed to significantly improve by 40-minutes our overall time to 27:32:56!

I had the honor of running the baton to the monument in the final leg, and the caution shared by my team was appropriate - just when you first see the monument (see photo) know that it's going to take a long, long time to reach it!  This advice was truly sound, and with my cumulative fatigue of running 23.6 miles at faster than marathon pace in four segments over two days on only three hours sleep I was truly eager to celebrate crossing the finish line - which we did!

This photo captures our happiness at the San Jacinto Monument following crossing the finish line.  For additional photos see the Webshots TIR-DOGs (best of collection) or the remaining set (part 1).  The entire team is looking forward to doing it again in 2011, and I highly recommend the relay race to anyone interested in having a fantastic time and adventure with a group of running friends!