Monday, January 21, 2013

Big Bend Ultra!

All bundled up at the starting line!
Insulated tights, Stonewear Rockin Jacket,
hat, headband...but it warmed up quickly
in the desert climate of Big Bend
National Park!
If' you're relatively new to a fitness practice, and you're looking for a challenge for next year, may we suggest the Big Bend Ultra Run in Big Bend National Park?

And ULTRA, you say?  Not a crazy-long trail run???  The nice folks organizing this race (Friends of Big Bend National Park) know a long trail run might not be for everyone, so they offer a manageable 10K as well as a 25K and 50K lengths.

Truth be told: I've run the 10K twice now and so far, it is my favorite race.  The scenery of Big Bend National Park is jaw-droppingly beautiful and the race is extremely well run.  The race organizers take VERY good care of you!

By mid-race it warmed up significantly!
We had a ball at the water station on the
Rio Grande!  The other side of the river
is Mexico!
This year, following my New Year's Resolutions, I invited a friend of mine to run with me.  The last time I ran this race, it was for speed.  I ended up placing first among the female Masters....I had something to prove.  This year, I wanted to run with my friend, Mary, and help her through her first 10K.  She didn't need my help.  She got through it just fine, and we had a ball visiting throughout the run, noting the beauty of our surroundings and the quiet of the park.  We even stopped at the water station mid-way through the race to have our pictures taken at the Rio Grande, and visit with the volunteers and other runners.  We had a pokey approach to the entire race...our goal was to have fun.  And fun we had!  The opposite bank in the photo?  Yes, that's Mexico!

There's nothing like setting a goal and working hard to WIN something, but there's also joy in sharing it all with a friend.  This year, it wasn't about placing or time, or goal-setting.  It was all about helping a friend discover fun, accomplishment and the appreciating the beauty of the wilderness.

BIG thanks to our friends at Stonewear Designs!  I wore their stylish Rockin Jacket at the beginning of the race.  It was perfectly cozy at the very cold start, and as it warmed up (more than 20 degrees in an hour!) it was easy to tie the arms around my waist and complete the race, hassle free! I love the paisley cuffs!

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