Texas Independence Relay Race - March 7 & 8, 2009
Two of our very best friends, Jay and Joy Hilscher, are the organizers of a 203-mile relay race called the Texas Independence Relay (that's them in the photo). Their second-annual big event is coming up in early March, and the deadline to register is January 31st. I worked as a volunteer for last year's race, which was a lot of fun. If asked, I will probably serve again.
One of the things I noted was how social this particular race seemed to be, which was appealing to me (of course). You could see friendships forming through the course of the event, and there were teams that had only recently met who were bonding rapidly.
I didn't even require the use of any major drugs to stay awake and alert during my overnight vigil last year, since it was a lively crowd. I respected (and envied) their dedication to the sport. With that in mind, I was surprised to learn that there were even a few bold solo runners (i.e. they ran the entire course alone!).
The course starts in Gonzales, Texas, and runs all the way through Houston to the San Jacinto Memorial (in keeping with the Texas indpendence theme). There are 40 course legs of various length, and the team size is 8-12 people. Along the way, the race passes through many small Texas towns, including Shiner, Moulton, Flatonia, Schulenburg, Weimar, Borden, Columbus, Altair, Eagle Lake, Wallis, Orchard, Simonton, and Fulshear.
The race has received very positive press and everyone that I encountered last time around seemed interested in running again this year. I would anticipate a strong showing based on my conversations with Jay and the word-of-mouth nature of the running community.
If you're interested in learning more, visit www.texasindependencerelay.com for WAY more information than I provided here.