Category Archives: half marathon

Marathon 2 Marathon, Saturday, October 24, 2015


If you’re looking for a fall race that’s different from the normal big city races, consider the Marathon 2 Marathon on Saturday, October 24th. There will be a 5K, 10k, half-marathon, and full, so there’s something for everyone (including a keg of beer at the finish).

Yes, it’s way out there in real West Texas, but if you’ve never been to that area, that alone is reason to go. By West Texas standards, you’ll be close to Alpine, Terlingua (viva Terlingua!) and Big Bend National Park, where you can see black bears and look across the Rio Grande.

The race sounds great, besides the fact that it’s in one of my favorite parts of Texas. Who knows? Maybe I’ll see you there.

To find out everything you need to know, or to register, go to:


Eastland Ladies Dominate Stephenville Spooktacular Half Marathon

Heidi Clements, Lesa Herod, and Leah Herod

Heidi Clements, Lesa Herod, and Leah Herod

Eastland’s favorite mother and daughter running team took top honors at the Stephenville Lion’s Club Half-Marathon today.

Leah Herod was the overall female champion with an impressive time of 1:43:59. Even more impressive is that today’s race was Leah’s first race of any distance longer than a 5k. Her performance, however, doesn’t surprise anyone. In high school, Leah was a state qualifier in the 800. We’ll probably see her win more races in the future.

Lesa Herod, Leah’s mother, was just a few minutes behind with a 1:46:41, which put her in second place overall and first in the master’s division. This was also no surprise; Lesa is a two-time Boston Marathon qualifier and competed in Boston last April.

Heidi Clements of Eastland finished her half in 1:53, which was the fourth fastest time overall for the females. And Tessa Culverhouse of Eastland won first place in the 25-29 age division with 2:35.

As always, we are proud of our Eastland ladies. Too bad that none of us Eastland guys can keep up with them!


Upcoming Races

Here are a couple of upcoming races that we might see you at:

1. The Old Rip 5K, Saturday, October 4th, Eastland, 8:00 A.M.

cropped-7af968078e628eb37086d15d7326c2f6.jpgThis is my favorite local 5K. The race begins and ends at Siebert Elementary school. There are a couple of challenging hills, so be prepared. Those who place get a cool little horned toad. Register before race day to get a “retro” race shirt from the 90’s. Entry fees are only $20.00 this year. And if you’re in the 35-39 age group, I’m after you.

2. The Steamboat Challenge, October 25th, Abilene, 8:00 A.M.

Yes, the Steamboat is back! This was one of my favorite races a few years ago when it began and ended in Buffalo Gap. The course has changed, and the location has changed, but  the Steamboat mountain is still in. If you like hills, here’s your race. You’ll have your choice of a 10K, 15K, or 14.1 miler. Where else can you find a half marathon (plus) for $45.00?


Durango Double Trail & Road Half Marathon

dd-header-210x70Want an excuse to go to Colorado in October? Here’s a great one: the Durango Double Trail & Road Half Marathon on October 11 and 12, 2014.

The Durango Double is a non-profit running event which benefits the Women’s Resource Center, an organization advocating for the personal empowerment and economic self-sufficiency of women and girls in La Plata County, CO.

Eastland area runners can get 20% off their entry fee (special out-of-town runner discount) by using the code “DBL20” during registration.

For more information, visit their website:


Register for the Cowtown with Eastland Runner’s Club

If any Eastland runners are planning to run the Cowtown half-marathon on February 23, and would like to get a discount by registering as part of the Eastland Runner’s Club team, you can do so here:

This Friday is the deadline to register with the team! Talk to Lesa Herod for more information.

Road Race Review: The Fort Worth Marathon


Yesterday morning (Sunday, November 10) I made my second annual trip to the Fort Worth Marathon, not to be confused with the larger and better known Cowtown Marathon in February.

The Fort Worth Marathon benefits Run like a Cheetah, an organization that fights childhood obesity in the Fort Worth area.

The race had close to the same number of entries this year as it had last year—619 people finished the half marathon, 97 finished the 20 mile race, and 282 finished the full marathon.

Cory Cortesi won the 35-39 age group in the 20 mile race.

Cory Cortesi won the 35-39 age group in the 20 mile race.

The best part about this race is the course. Last year I ran the full marathon, this year the half. Both courses (along with the 20 mile course) are out and back on the Trinity Trails, with the start and finish at La Grave Field, just north of downtown. The turnaround for the half marathon is in the TCU area, and full marathoners turn around in Benbrook. The course is about 95% paved. The only unpaved areas are where the trail is under construction or where it runs out in Benbrook. And it is flat, but not necessarily fast. Half marathoners never run on streets, and there is only a small stretch of residential roads that the full marathoners run on, so runners never have to worry about traffic.

This race is fun, especially if you like Fort Worth. It is relaxed because of the smaller number of entries, and it’s a good place to catch up with friends. It also has low entry fees; mine were $55.00. The best change for this year is that they offered race morning packet pick up, which is great if you’re driving in that morning.

Here are the down sides. First, there are few places for spectators. That’s not a problem if you can run 13.1 to 26.2 miles without being cheered for or encouraged, which we all have to do during training anyway. But still. And the organizers don’t seem to plan for enough people. Last year the water stops ran out of cups before the marathoners finished. I was tempted to drink out of the Trinity River by mile 23. Not too tempted, but tempted. And this year, before the race started, they announced that they didn’t have enough finisher’s medals. “Would anyone mind donating their medal so that newbies can have one?”

The race advertised free fajitas and beer at the end of the race, and they had both. Runners got one fajita, and one Dixie cup full of beer. But there were plenty of bananas, yogurt, and drinks, so one can’t complain about the food.

The next complaint may seem petty, and I think it is common to smaller races. The announcers and directors spend a lot of time complementing each other and their friends. Lots of time. And that is fine during warm up when runners are ignoring them anyway. But at the cold, wet starting line, it gets irritating when you are waiting for the gun to go off.

The biggest problem this year is that Cox Racing Service’s chip timing failed to work. Either that or all 1000 or so runners crossed the starting line exactly when the gun went off. I purposely started near the back of the pack of half marathoners so that I wouldn’t be forced to go out too fast. For nearly one full minute I walked with the throng around me before we got to the start, which is when I started my watch. That didn’t make a difference for me, other than the fact that my actual time looks better than my gun time. But that did make a huge difference for the top three age group winners in each division, considering that everything was based on gun time and not actual time.

So, here’s the verdict. Because I love Fort Worth, the race is fairly close, and I have the chance to meet up with old friends, I’ll probably go back. I had fun. I also got a tech shirt and a nice belt buckle finisher’s medal. It’s a good smaller marathon, although the competition is still tough. I like being able to park within 200 yards of the starting line, and being able to find my friends, both of which are impossible at the Cowtown. But it lacks some of the professionalism and extras of the larger races, so it may not be the race for more serious competitors.

Upcoming Races to Consider

If you want to run a longer race this fall or winter, here are a few for you to consider. Runners from Eastland are already planning to go to each of these, so there’s a good chance to car pool.

1. The Stephenville Lions Halloween Spooktacular Half Marathon, Saturday, October 26, 2013

There will also be a 5K and 10K for runners not ready for a half marathon. This is the closest 13.1 of the year for Eastland runners, and there’s already a large group from Eastland planning to go. If you are looking for a half marathon that is more laid back with a small crowd (and a better possibility of winning an age group medal), this is your race. Tech shirts, finishers medals, and lots of fun will be provided by Race Day Event Services.

2. Fort Worth Marathon, Sunday, November 10, 2013


The Fort Worth Marathon, not to be confused with the Cowtown in February, features a half marathon, 20 miler, and full marathon. Each race is on an out and back course along the Trinity Trails, so runners don’t have to fight traffic. The course is mostly flat, though I remember a few good hills on the marathon course last year. This race is larger than the Stephenville race, but much smaller and more laid back than the Cowtown. Proceeds benefit Run Like a Cheetah,  which is a program that fights childhood obesity.

3. BCS Marathon, College Station, December 8, 2013

If you’re looking for a larger, more exciting and competitive race, this could be the one for you. This will only be the 3rd year for the BCS Marathon, but it is already the highest rated marathon in Texas. A great course, great organization, great food, and great prizes make it a top choice for serious runners. The race is capped, and there’s a good possibility that it will fill up, so register early.