Category Archives: 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:


Race Review: The Big D Texas Marathon

Race Review:

The Big D Texas Marathon

Dallas, April 12, 2015

Anyone in Texas knows that it’s risky to enter a marathon in the middle of April. The temperatures can range anywhere from 30 to 105. There can be ice, or there can be thunderstorms.

The weather for Sunday’s Big D Marathon could have been worse, but was far from ideal. Temperatures were in the 70’s with high humidity. By the 5K mark, I was already soaked with sweat. Had the sun come out at any point, I probably wouldn’t be here today to type this.

The course was great. Runners started in Fair Park and ran a mostly flat route to White Rock Lake. The majority of the course after that was around the lake itself, with the turnaround being on the far side. There were a few small hills, but nothing to fret over. The scenery was beautiful for most of the course, there were police officers at every intersection, and the water stations along the way were plentiful. They never ran out of water or Gatorade along the course itself.

For those who care about the souvenirs, runners received a cotton blend T-shirt and a nice finisher’s medal.

I do have two complaints, one small and one major. First, the small one:

The maps and instructions for arrival said that runners would enter Fair Park through gates 5 and 6. When I arrived, gates 5 and 6 were closed and barricaded by the Dallas PD. I had to stop on 2nd Street to ask one of the officers where we were supposed to enter. She had to radio someone else to find out that we could only get in through gates 9 and 10. That’s a small detail since I was early, but would have caused some anxiety had I arrived a little later.

And for the big complaint:

The Big D website says, “The Texas Marathon will host a post-race party … with plenty of post-race food, liquids & activities.” When I crossed the finish line, instead of being handed a bottle of water, I was given a Dixie cup sized drink of water, so I headed straight for the “party” to find a real drink. The Grand Palace Building was about 70% empty. I walked to the far side, where they were serving some burritos, but still couldn’t find the drinks. When I asked, they pointed me back to the door that I had entered where there were more medicine cups and an empty water jug to fill them with.

Without something to drink, I wouldn’t have cared if they were serving lobster and steak; I didn’t want any food. As for the party, it consisted of some people providing sports massages and a vendor handing out free coffee samples.

As soon as I could manage to walk the ¾ of a mile back to my car, I left for the nearest gas station where I could buy a bottle of water.

While there are advantages to small races—same day packet pick up, less stress, smaller crowds—I’m not sure they are worth it. The entry fees are nearly as high, but the return is never as good. For about the same price, it’s better to stick with Cowtown. You may have to run up a few hills and navigate through a few more runners, but at least you’ll have plenty to eat and drink when you’re finished.

2014 McAllen Marathon

RaceStartAre you looking for a relatively inexpensive marathon or half-marathon to train for this fall? Then the 2014 McAllen Marathon may be for you. You can register for the full marathon for $70.00 or for the half marathon for $50.00.

Besides low prices, this race takes place in the Rio Grande Valley, which means that runners won’t have to worry about cancellation due to ice storms. And it also looks like a lot of fun with great organization.

For more information or to register, check out the website here:


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.

Team Tidroski Represents Eastland County in OKC and Las Colinas

Debbie Evans, Jennifer Tidroski, and Chris Tidroski

Debbie Evans, Jennifer Tidroski, and Chris Tidroski

Debbie Evans, Dr. Jennifer Evans Tidroski, and Dr. Chris Tidroski joined over 3,000 other runners in Las Colinas, Texas on June 9 at the Wounded Warrior Half Marathon and 10K. Besides helping to raise money for a great cause—the Wounded Warrior Project—Debbie and Chris also set personal records in the 10K, while Jennifer ran a great time in the half marathon.

Team Tidroski at the OKC Marathon

Team Tidroski at the OKC Marathon: Ryan Berend, Wendy Evans, Chris Tidroski, Jennifer Tidroski, and Debbie Evans










On April 28, the three were joined by Ryan Berend and Wendy Evans to form Team Tidroski at the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. More than 3,000 runners competed in the full marathon, while there were over 10,000 runners in the half marathon. Team Tidroski completed the full 26.2 miles as a relay: Ryan Berend (5K leg), Wendy Evans (5K leg), Chris Tidroski (10K leg), Jennifer Evans Tidroski (12K leg), and Debbie Evans (10K leg).

The next race for Team Tidroski will most likely be the Fort Worth Running Club Labor Day Run.

These athletes, like many others, don’t just run for their own health. They also run to help others. Jennifer Tidroski, for instance, raises funds to cure blood cancer through her training group, Team in Training. You can find out more about Team in Training or make a donation benefitting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society here.

Team Tidroski represents Eastland County well; we wish them all the best in their training and racing.

2014 Boston Marathon

The 118th Boston Marathon will be held on Monday, April 21, 2014. Registration will be in early September for those who qualify. Registration fees have not been announced.

See Boston qualifying times here.

Runners who can’t qualify based on time, but want to run, can qualify by raising money for an official BAA charity. Each charity has a specified minimum amount one must raise. You can see the full list of charities on the BAA website here.

The more than 5000 runners from the 2013 race who were unable to cross the finish line have been invited to return to the 2014 marathon. To be eligible, the runners must have started and reached the half-way mark before the race ended at 2:50 P.M. ET. Many of these runners are expected to return.

Eastland has two runners who have already qualified for the 2014 Boston Marathon—Lesa Herod and Amanda Bird. Both ladies ran several minutes faster than the required time. We wish them luck in the registration process and look forward to cheering for them next April.