On Wednesday, July 4, I ran the 2018 Texas Bud Heatwave, and as the title says, it was an out-and-back course that was pleasantly flat, yet somewhat dull.
I woke up pretty tired from fireworks and excitement (and with sore legs from CrossFitting the previous afternoon). I planned to run a 9-minute mile to experience the race so I could say I did it, then never run it again. I had signed up for the 5-mile race, which my friend Melissa was also doing, so we had made plans to carpool. On the way up, we speculated about whether the thunder, lightning, and rain would hold off long enough to run the race. Fortunately, it did.
We got to Wismer Distributing in Mont Belvieu in plenty of time to do all the pre-race things before the Texas Bud Heatwave: bathroom, warm up, even go for a little warm-up “jog” – I almost felt like my jog pace was too slow for Melissa, but it worked out well. At the start line, we bid adieu, as she lined up way at the front, and I positioned myself about a third of the way back.
Running the Texas Bud Heatwave Course
As I mentioned, the Texas Bud Heatwave course is new this year after years of being in Baytown. The Mont Belvieu course was pretty flat, but if it had been a sunny day, the sun would have pounded on runners relentlessly. There is literally no shade on the entire course. Also, part of the course cuts through a parking lot, which I don’t like. Finally, I’m not crazy about the 5K starting at the same time and being on the same route as the 5-mile race; I had to dodge a bunch of 5K walkers in the last mile and a half.
Now, what I did like: first of all, there are plenty of aid stations. Some of the aid stations offered cold, wet towels, and all of them offered Gatorade and water. I do like flat courses, and this out-and-back would have been a lot faster if I had pushed it. Runner support is great, and there was protein at the finish line as well. (Granted, it was sausage, but it was good.) I also liked the watermelon – a nice touch on a hot day.
Now that I’ve done the Texas Bud Heatwave, I can cross this one off the list. I enjoyed myself, but I can’t see the course ever being pleasant on a hot, sunny day. But it is a fun race, and the medal and singlet (the swag!) is a nice souvenir of my time running it.
After the race, we stuck around so that Melissa could get her award (first in her age group!). The skies completely opened up and dumped a ton of water on the area, so much that volunteers started pushing up the tent covers with brooms to drain the excess water. I got super-nervous about all the rain and worried about visibility. When it became clear that it wasn’t letting up anytime soon, we dashed through the parking lot, thoroughly drenching ourselves. Puddles were involved. And when I got to Melissa’s neighborhood, her street had flooded. Yes, crazy rain.