Our first travel of the new year combined with the last Half Marathon of 2019 was the New Year Double in Allen TX. It is sometimes called the Double Double because it offers a 5K and either a Half Marathon or a Full on December 31st and January 1st. That is a total of 4 races, four medals, two shirts and a plate that the medals attach to! Awesome bling!!
The 5K on NYE was a 7:00 a.m. start. Since we arrived Monday night late, we had to do packet pick up on Race Day… which meant getting up at Zero Dark 30 and arriving at Celebration Park before the roosters were even up!! Amazingly, there were a number of other people doing the very same thing. They had all the bins set up with packets and bibs. And, the volunteers all had smiles on!!! At 6:15am!! Bullie the Cowbell… in the car… still asleep!
The Announcer, Lyn Couch, had a smile in his voice welcoming all the early risers. Lyn had one of those old true Radio voices. Being a former DJ from the ’70s myself, we really enjoyed talking about some old times!
Once the 5K was done, everyone had a 40 to 60 minute rest period before the longer races started at 8:40. Most people who ran the 3.1 miler headed to the car to warm up a bit. While not as cold as last year, even an early morning race in the 40s was nippy enough! Bullie did come out of the car and we rang the start and finish!
The Half Marathon is a double loop course that runs through Celebration Park then enters a street tunnel and onto a cement trail for an out and back. Aid Stations were well manned with fun people who took passing out water and Gatorade to a whole new level!
Then there was a rumor that a Rogue Aid Station was serving donuts and Fireball! I have acquired visual proof that such a station existed as well as eye witness accounts from runners coming by with smiles on their faces!
There was also a rumor, that I will neither confirm nor deny, that Bullie and I had our own Flask tucked away!
The second day was a repeat of the first day with a good number of runners returning. This gave the two days a Mainly Marathon or a Bear Lake Trifecta feel in that you begin to recognize your fellow runners, offering smiles and encouragement along the loops!
I also met some very interesting people that I will soon profile in another post:
Dave And Ellis, both cancer survivors and fighters who formed a company called Gryt Health. Check it out at at http://www.grythealth.com. Also, Trace… who saw runners in her neighborhood last year, looked it up and here she is! I am the Cowbell Guy but I met the Barefoot Guy! All their stories next post!
Okay, I can’t end this without mentioning what we did post race. Jennifer and I love finding a local place or brewery with local craft beer. We hit the Mother-lode!! Brass Tap Craft Beer Bar popped up on my Google search and we instantly knew it was the place to visit. 80 beers on tap… 200 + in bottles! A lot of local/Texas beers on tap as well. What do you do with that many choices? You do flights. Bullie especially enjoyed himself, striking up a flirty conversation with the Bartender! We liked it so much Tuesday after the race that we returned Wednesday before leaving for Mississippi and home, sweet home!