On February 19th I ran the Springfoot Half Marathon in El Paso, Texas.
Last year a good friend of mine, Pamela, moved back to her hometown of El Paso, Texas from Pennsylvania. The second she left I immediately started looking for plane tickets to visit her, see her hometown, and of course (because you know me) run a race!
With a quick google search we found the Springfoot races that are located right in El Paso, and I signed up for the Half Marathon. As it got closer Pam decided to sign up to do her first half marathon and we agreed to run together. Her husband decided to run the full marathon (his first!!) and a couple of their family members and friends also registered to run the half and full.
We easily picked up our packets at the El Paso Convention Center the day before the race. There was plenty of parking on the street nearby and in nearby parking garages.
The expo was on the smaller side but had anything you could need at the last minute. I ended up getting K-Taped because I forgot to pack my K-Tape and realized it as we walked by the booth offering it! oops! I got lucky. Do as I say.. not as I do. 😉
The next morning, the race started at 7am. We woke up around 5/5:30 and ate before getting dropped off at the start line, at the El Paso Chihuahuas stadium. The marathon runners had someone drop them off at their start line but I know there was also a shuttle bus option.
Pam told me that the weather in El Paso at this time of year is great because it’s warmer than the northeast but not hot yet. She was right. I wore capris, a short-sleeved shirt, and arm sleeves. I ended up pulling off the arm sleeves about half way through. Pam wore a short-sleeved shirt with a long-sleeved over it that she pulled off and tied around her waist.
Since the start was at the stadium there were *real* bathrooms to use and plenty of room to hang out before the race started. The race also ends in the stadium – you run around the baseball diamond for the last .1 – so we used the bag check (knowing we’d be waiting for the marathon finishers once we were done) and it worked out perfectly.
The race started promptly at 7am. It was in the mid 40s which I think felt chilly for a lot of the locals, but for me it was pretty perfect. 🙂 No time goals for this race. My only goal was to get Pamela to that dang finish line of her first half marathon. I ran her pace, walked when she needed and tried to keep her spirits up. 🙂 I also may have used my phone and social media a LOT during this race… so tons of photos coming.
Mile 1! CHECK!
The first 3.5 miles are through downtown and from there you head out on an out and back portion of the course. Overall, the course is pretty flat with a few slight inclines.
The groups doing the water stops at this race were so awesome! So much enthusiasm and awesome themes – Harry Potter, Star Wars, Cowboys are what I remember, but I’m positive there were more.
Half way through the race you cross a bridge before making a little loop through a neighborhood and turning back.
As we came out of the neighborhood and went slightly downhill around mile 7.5 I could not get over the scenery.
Those mountains tho. And that sky.
Also, shout out to this race for the free race photos! Gotta love it.
Pam did great, though towards mile 9 she was starting to feel the toughness of your first 13.1. That feeling where you’ve gone so far and you have so much more to go. I know that feeling well so I tried to keep her spirits up.
We each took a gu around here and that gave us both a little bit of a sugar rush that I think we both needed.
We also grabbed some beer around mile 10.
I’ve never had beer during a race (I know, I know) because I was always concerned about how it would make me feel. It was so fun to do it this time around! but WOW, it hit us both a lot harder than we expected. haha.
The last mile weaves through downtown again and then you go into the Chihuahua’s Stadium and run around the baseball diamond before crossing the finish. When you enter the stadium it feels like there’s SO much longer to go because you have to run allllllll the way around, but I told Pam we couldn’t walk at this point – her family and friends were there and they had the runners on the big screen. So we ran and ran and ran. And finished.
(I so wish they had gotten her in this photo too!)
We gave each other the sweatiest hug ever and it was just the most amazing feeling to help someone hit a goal like that! I was so happy to run the streets of El Paso with such a dear friend.
After we finished we grabbed beers, water, and burritos (omgggg the best post-race food ever) before heading up into the stands to sit with Pam’s family as we waited for the marathoners to finish. Everyone did so awesome – including Pam’s husband on his first 26.2! It was a really, really great day.
After the run we all grabbed a wonderful breakfast…and more beer. 🙂