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Forum: Cowtown Marathon
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Topic: 2011 Recap - Quick Trip to Texas
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Posted By: Webmaster Mary Posted: Mar 1, 2011 Reply
Mar 1, 2011
It was 16 degrees when we left Milwaukee Saturday morning on a direct flight to Dallas/Fort Worth on Frontier Airlines.  These tickets were purchased with the vouchers that we got when our trip to Utah was cancelled because the runway was underwater due to really big storms the day before.

We arrived in Dallas without incident, got our rental car, and headed straight to packet pickup.  
Cowtown Expo
By this time, the breakfast Diet Coke has completely worn off.  I am feeling like a turtle on Benedryl.  But to Webmaster Bill's pleasant amazement, I was not crabby, just on the verge of falling into a mild coma.

The expo has a concession vendor charging $2 for a can of Diet Coke.  I begrudgingly sent Bill to get me one, while I waited in line forever, behind 1 person, to get my bib number. When they finally got to me, I barely remembered my bib number that I had just looked up before getting in this line of 1.
Race Shirt
The goodie bag includes the race shirt, a tiny bottles of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and a couple small pouches of dried mango.  The race shirt is a men's small, and its white.  It's too big for me, and I am never excited about a white shirt.  

We wander around the expo.  By now, my breakfast has also completely worn off, so I am trying to scout out some free snack/samples.  None! Boooooo.  After 30 minutes at the expo, we were done, and headed to the Fort Worth Historic Stockyards for lunch, sight-seeing and shopping.
We picked Habeneros for lunch.  It looked good, and it was the first place we came too.  Did I mention I was starving and completely depleted of caffeine?

Thank God this place had Coke products! We ordered a couple of Diet Cokes.  They came out in those huge plastic tumblers that just about require 2 hands.  Ahhhhhhhhhhhh. I think I needed a refill before we even had a chance to say we needed another minute to look at the menu. 

After lunch, we wandered through the Stockyards, went to a museum,
Stockyard Museum
 browsed in some shops, and saw the Cattle Drive.  The sign telling us of the cattle drive had huge warnings to stay on the curb, and hold tight to small children.  I am thinking this is for safety of the pedestrians.  I was hoping for something that would rival the Running of the Bulls.  
Cattle Drive
 cowboys and cattle come out, and it is quickly apparent that these cows have also been deprived of Diet Coke.  They mosied down the street.  It was fun to see, but I am now convinced that the warnings were to protect the cows, not the people.

We headed to our hotel.  We stayed at a Microtel about 5 miles from the Stockyards.  We've never stayed at a Microtel before, but it looked decent on the internet, and we are pretty easy to please.  If its clean, and the staff is friendly, we're probably just fine.

Set the alarm for 5am.  At 3am, noisy drunk next door neighbors returned to their room for furniture bowling.  Our 'white noise' playing on Bill's laptop could not drown them out.  Very very loud.  I finally successfully set my alarm, and I am awoken 2 hours before it goes off, and didn't quite ever get back to sleep.

I got up, took a quick shower, and went to use the in-room hair dryer.  No worko.  Okay, we'll call the front desk, and see if they have a spare.  Phone no worko.  I went down to the front desk.  They don't have spare hair dryers, but they can move us to the room across the hall.  I go back to our room, and Bill is in the shower, so I go across the hall to dry my hair.  I brought the room key for the new room, but left the other room key in the room.  Locko outo.  Knocked on our door, but Bill is still in the shower.  Had to go back down to the front desk and get another key to our room.

We successfully moved to the new room before leaving for the marathon start. 

We arrived at the start in time to stand in a long port-a-potty line, and drop off my gear at the gear-check. 

Marathon Start
Weather conditions are much better than back in Wisconsin.  65 degrees, overcast, humid and windy.  I love the temperature and cloud cover.  The humidity and wind are not ideal, but so much better than what my running partner Dennis is running in back home. 

The course heads northish for about 6 miles, then southish until mile 19, then returns northish to the finish.  The strong winds are out of the south, so we will be with the wind for the first and last quarter, and with the wind for the middle half.

Mile 7
The course is mildly scenic.  The natural area of Forth Worth isn't very special, so its the man-made structures that offer the scenery.  We wind through a huge variation of areas.  Abandoned industrial areas, active industrial areas, the Historic Stockyards, downtown, commercial areas, residential and some parks.  The absolute prettiest mile was around 13 through a neighborhood with a tree canopy that completely covered the road.

The course was a bit hilly - some rolling hills, some long hills.  Nothing terribly painful.  Lots of flat sections too.

Webmaster Bill took photos around mile 7 in the Stockyards, and mile 16 in a residential area, as well as at the finish.

Finisher Shirt
After finishing, I got my medal, and headed to find some food.  The post race food was adequate: orange, banana, crackers, mini box of cereal, and package of mini donuts.  Some company was also handing out CASES of yogurt.  Full cases.  What would I do with a dozen cartons of yogurt? Very odd.

Logistically, it was difficult to find Bill, and my gear.  Bill found me first, and I had to ask a volunteer where the gear check was.  It was quite a long walk from the finish, but along the way, I found we also got a finisher shirt.  This is a women's cut shirt, and bright pink/magenta - way better than the shirt that we got yesterday.  This one I will definitely wear. 

Sixth Floor MuseumI changed into dry clothes, and we headed back to our hotel.  After a quick shower, we headed to Dallas to see Dealey Plaza and the Sixth Floor Museum.

We spent about an hour at the museum, and also walked to the 'Grassy Knoll'.  We saw the X's in the road.  Very chilling and morbid, but also very interesting.

We headed back to the Stockyards for a little more shopping, and a late lunch.  Drove past Dallas stadium on the way.  That thing is enormous.  Then back to the hotel to relax.  Our return flight was at 6am, which meant setting the alarm for 3:30am.  We wondered if the group in the other room would wake us up again, but they didn't.

All in all it was a pleasant relaxing trip.  It was really nice to escape the Wisconsin winter weather for a couple days.

This was marathon number 33 for me, and marathon state number 12.