With its punishing hills and challenging competition, the Bearathon is known regionally as the toughest half in Texas. However, the race exists primarily to support students seeking a college education, as all proceeds go directly to scholarships at Baylor University. The Bearathon serves as one of Student Foundation’s largest and …
With its punishing hills and challenging competition, the Bearathon is known regionally as the toughest half in Texas. However, the race exists primarily to support students seeking a college education, as all proceeds go directly to scholarships at Baylor University.
The Bearathon serves as one of Student Foundation’s largest and most effective fundraising efforts each spring to raise money for Student Foundation scholarships. The race is open to the public and had nearly 2,000 registered runners from across the state of Texas, resulting in over $25,000 for scholarships.
The course of the Bearathon starts and finishes at McLane stadium and will highlight Baylor’s campus, downtown Waco, Cameron Park and the Brazos river. It will provide a scenic and challenging course for participants.
Student run race, so expect some hiccups. Beautiful scenery, excellent climate. I would do this one again. Keep in mind that you will not start on time, but just relax. … MORE
Student run race, so expect some hiccups. Beautiful scenery, excellent climate. I would do this one again. Keep in mind that you will not start on time, but just relax. It’s a chill race.
Great local half marathon
My review from last year does a good job of giving an overview of the Bearathon, this year's version was much the same. It's a tough course with tons of … MORE
My review from last year does a good job of giving an overview of the Bearathon, this year’s version was much the same. It’s a tough course with tons of hills, but my running club hits these hills fairly regularly so I know what to expect. It is fun to see the reaction of people running the course for the first time as one huge hill follows another and another during the run through Cameron Park. But, for all its’ toughness it is a beautiful route and the early spring setting really accentuates that beauty. The race this year was fairly warm and humid, the exact opposite of last year’s cold and drizzly version. The weather in central Texas this time of year is unpredictable, but never usually so severe as to impact the event. This is a really well done event, definitely worth traveling to if you’re not from the area. It’s a great challenge and a good way to get the legs ready for spring marathon training.
Bearathon earns its tough reputation
As a Baylor alumni and a Waco resident, I am very biased in terms of how I feel about this race. Its' position on the calendar coming just after the … MORE
As a Baylor alumni and a Waco resident, I am very biased in terms of how I feel about this race. Its’ position on the calendar coming just after the Cowtown is the reason I haven’t run it before this year. But, since I was due for a 12 mile run as part of my training for the Rock and Roll San Diego Marathon in June, I decided the Bearathon would be a fun way to get my miles run.
THE COURSE: As far as what the race director can’t control, the weather was nice and cool at 43 degrees, but a 20 MPH breeze made some parts of the course even harder. The crazy Texas weather that had me dehydrated and hot the Thursday morning before the race had hundreds of runner bundled up and shivering at 7AM on race day. Because I live and train in Waco, I run the hills on a regular basis so I knew what to expect. That being said, those hills are no joke, and it was very easy to pick out the runners who weren’t prepared for them. Fortunately, the hills are in a highly wooded area which eliminated the strong wind from being a factor, they provided plenty of challenge on their own.
SCENERY: The course travels through part of the campus of Baylor University and Baylor Stadium which provides some fantastic views, especially this time of year as spring is just starting to put everything in bloom. The Cameron Park area is where you hit all the hills, but the scenery is excellent and does provide some distraction. Unfortunately, the last mile and a half was routed through an area under construction and the road was in terrible shape. There were way too many loose rocks and pot holes through this area and it seemed really unsafe, especially coming at such a late part of the race.
RACE PRODUCTION: This event is put on by the Baylor Student Foundation and it definitely has a small town, grass roots type of feel to it. There is no expo, just a day before packet pickup at the stadium which went really smoothly, definitely no complaints. The start and finish were done in the same area by the stadium and they were both high energy with good crowds of family and spectators. The food provided after the race was some of the most I have seen at any half marathon. There was plenty of fruit and yogurt, as well as boxes and boxes of Domino’s Pizza for anyone in the mood for some post race pizza. There were also tubs of iced down boxes of chocolate milk, my favorite post race drink. The only negative during the race was the massive confusion at every water station about what was Gatorade and what was water. There was no separation at the stations, the cups were all the same, and the volunteers were only sporadically announcing what was in the cup they were holding. Again, this is a grass roots event designed to earn money for the University so I don’t expect the water stations to be perfect, but this is an area that can be greatly improved.
OVERALL: With or without my bias, this is a great early spring race for anyone looking for a challenging way to get back into gear after a winter layoff. I would encourage everyone to come to Waco and experience this event, just be prepared for big hills and unpredictable Texas weather.