Barefoot Rick's 2007 Ft. Worth Cowtown Marathon Report - February 24, 2007

Finish Time - 3:43:26 (8:32 Pace)
2nd Fastest Barefoot Marathon!
8th Place AG (51-55 Males)
45th Marathon (26.2 Miles or Ultra Distance)
27th Consecutive Barefoot Marathon Since April 2004

Cowtown Personal Course Record (previous efforts were 3:52 and 4:12)
*Ran the entire distance


I was looking forward to running a marathon on "benign" pavement after the Psycho WyCo "Death Run" of two weeks ago. Twenty six miles of pavement would be a nice reprieve after the trail run of my life. So, still nursing a couple of stubbed toes from the trail event, I ventured off to Ft. Worth on Friday 2/23 without too much expectation. I thought, if I can finish in under 4 hours and have fun along the way, it will be a good day.

The weatherman was calling for thunderstorms and very windy conditions on Saturday. The T-storms didn't pan out, but the wind would be a factor as others who were there can attest. I got to the start line about 7:15 for the 7:30 a.m. start. Rich and his wife Krista introduced themselves to me, who had come down from Olathe Kansas to run. Krista had recently ran the Disney Marathon (and maybe the Goofy Challenge?) and her husband Rich had done the 20 mile version of the Psycho WyCo a couple of weeks ago. It was great meeting them and Rich and I paired up for the first few miles.

(Left) Krista, Rich, BF Rick (Right) Da feet

The gun went off at 7:30 and we were off to a slow walk for a couple of minutes before we got to the start line. Rich volunteered some of his photography skills as we peeled off the first couple of miles. I said adieu to Rich after mile 3 as he sped off. (I would see him again toward the end).

I was feeling great even though the temps were in the mid 60s and the wind was blowing straight into my face out of the west. You've got to remember, I haven't ran in 60 degree weather since last fall in Kansas City. It was a bit warm, but I felt good.

At about mile 5, I encounter "Plodzilla", Mr. Mancow himself (not the real Mancow ;) from the Runners World Marathon Forum. We did a little hand slapping, I snapped a pic, told him to moooooove it or lose it and then took off up ahead.

At about mile 9, I literally almost ran into Robert Lopez from the Boomers & Beyond Coolrunning Forum and Marathon Maniacs member extraordinaire. Chatted with Robert for a bit. It was great seeing him again since the last time we ran together was at Kona last year. Robert has a very aggressive marathon schedule this year as he runs to fight breast cancer. Check out his blog! (Sorry, Robert the pic I snapped of you didn't turn out! I haven't perfected running barefoot backward while taking pics!) I said good-bye to Robert and continued on my way.

The miles down by the Trinity River were interesting. We would run behind buildings on the bike path and the wind would whip around and catch us and nearly throw us to the ground. A couple of times, I swear I was running but I wasn't going anywhere. Kinda like when you have those dreams where someone is chasing you and you can't get anywhere. The legs are spinning but nuthins' happenin'. Truly, if someone had a surf board or a belly board they could have surfed the Trinity River. Geez!!

To make a long story longer, I made it to about mile 19 and 20 where we run in front of Texas Christian University. This is my favorite part of the course. Traffic backs up here and it's fun to engage the vehicle passengers. Then, back-tracking along the Trinity River the wind was now pushing me toward Trinity Park (my least favorite part of the course). It is always a relief to get through the park and know that the buildings are in front of you and there's only a couple of miles to go. I saw Rich again at about the 24 mile mark. He was running out of steam but would still finish with a very respectable time. I think I lost him on one of the hills going into downtown.

The last half mile of the Cowtown is cool. Of course it's a downtown setting, but I like running on the brick streets. They feel really neat! The polished red brick gives a great backdrop to a very picturesque cityscape.

So, I crossed the finish line in 3:43 and was really somewhat surprised at how well I ran. I certainly wasn't racing but it was definitely a big effort on my part and I felt satisfied with the result.

Ft. Worth Cowtown gets a bad rap from some folks because of the hills and the course, and sometimes the weather. In my opinion, it is an interesting and challenging course. That's why I will probably keep doing it!


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Barefootrick Roeber Lees Summit MO








*I am a marathon runner and do not prescribe to a run/walk method for MY marathons. Likewise, I do not judge anyone else for "finishing" a marathon in whatever way they can propel themselves across the finish line, whether it be walking, crawling, etc. All marathon finishes are notable in their own regard.

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