November 17, 2012
I decided to do this race last spring. It was a "girl's weekend" type of race. There were about 6 of us who would drive over to Arkansas and stay at our friend, Jennifer's lake house. It turned out to just be me, Stacy and Jennifer. But that's OK because it was still a great weekend!
I took a day off school so we could drive over in the daylight. Jennifer lives right on Bull Shoals Lake, kind of out in the middle of nowhere, so I wanted to be able to see where I was going!
We arrived about 2:30 in the afternoon and Jennifer and her husband Roy took us out on their pontoon boat. The weather was great - about 60 degrees and sunny.
After picking up our packets, we went back and had some yummy spaghetti for dinner and Espresso Brownies for dessert. YUMMMMM!!!
So, on to the race. Cotter, Arkansas is a very small town in the middle of the Ozark Mountains, near Mountain Home. It sits along the White River (hence the name of the race). A very beautiful place!
The weather was great! Sunny, cold, no wind about 34 degrees at the start. A little foggy at first, but that burned off and we ran in the sun most of the way!
The race begins downhill for about a mile - we decided that was an awesome way to start a race! We ran for the first 8 minutes! Shhhh! Don't tell Mark that we started the race like that!
My feet finally warmed up about 40 minutes into the race. :-) I was happy Jennifer gave me some "hot hands" to keep my hands warm too! It always takes me forever to warm up on cold days.
It's an out and back race with the full marathon making two trips out and back. We got to see all the full runners as we were making our way back to the finish line. It was nice to be able to cheer them on as they passed us! We were also thankful that we weren't going to have to make the turn to do the full!!!!
Here are Stacy and Jennifer after the turn around. You can see it is a very flat course.
The cows were cheering us along the way!
Here is a nice little house along the river that we ran by....
We finally made it to the finish line. Our time was about 2:46 minutes.W were only going to go real slow in this race, about 3 hours, but with the start going downhill and the cold temp, I guess we just ran faster than I was anticipating!
I'm not sure of the "real" time as they have not posted the results yet. There was no chip timing - just the old fashioned "pull the tag off the bib and write down the time" type of timing. I guess I'm spoiled... :-)
It was a nice race, with nice people along the way. It's a good cause - running to raise money for a small town in Kenya. They have dug some water wells there. Also have given them food, seeds, farming equipment, helped with schools, etc... The town is almost self-sufficient now.
I would recommend this race to anyone who wants to run a fast race on a flat course in a beautiful part of the country. It's only about 4 hours from Memphis. And of course, you could always crash at Jennifer and Roy's lake house!!!! -)
I'll have to let you know my official results later.
It looks like I was 6th in my age group. I'm not really sure how many there were running...
I'm happy though!