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@wcleiss

Fort Worth, TX Raving since 2023 IRONMAN Active 9 months, 3 weeks ago

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Half Marathon

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Future Races

Personal Bests (1)

Race Distance Location Date Result
Marathon Fort Worth, TX Feb 26, 2023 3:13:00

Future Races (0)

Race Distance Location Date Paid

Past Races (2)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
Marathon Missoula, MT Jun 25, 2023 3:14:00
Marathon Fort Worth, TX Feb 26, 2023 3:13:00

My Raves

This was a great race! I was originally supposed to run Duluth's Grandma's Marathon for a BQ attempt, but last minute unforeseen circumstances had me cancel that and not wanting … MORE

This was a great race! I was originally supposed to run Duluth’s Grandma’s Marathon for a BQ attempt, but last minute unforeseen circumstances had me cancel that and not wanting to waste my training, sign up for Missoula about 10 days out.

The race was outstanding from an organization perspective, everything was so well put together. The crowd support was strong and the course was interesting enough and not bland like many big city marathons are(looking at you, BMW Dallas)

While I did not succeed in qualifying for Boston, I am still glad I made the 25 hour drive from Fort Worth to run this race. No regrets!

The main caveat I have is that I disagree with the race marketing that the course is BQ friendly. It may not have a lot of overall elevation gain, but the course does have a net uphill gain throughout, and not a lot of downhill stretches at all. You’re pretty much running uphill the entire way outside of the descent from the main hill at around Mile 14. And the overall uphill grade after the big hill is steeper than the grade before the big hill. Also, while the altitude may not be a mile high like Denver, its still over 3,000 feet, which for people like me who reside and train in altitudes under 1,000 feet, still has an effect. I ran by a guy from Austin around Mile 7 who said he was really struggling with the altitude.

I am not sure I would have succeeded in my BQ attempt had I run Grandma’s instead like originally planned – I only had about 8 weeks to train after racing Ironman Texas. But, Grandma’s is what I would call an actual BQ friendly course – as it is net downhill and not at 3,000 feet altitude.

With all that being said, I won’t hold my under performance against this race – it was still a first class event! Nothing but smiles from me as I crossed the finish line. Highly recommended, just make sure you know what you are getting into if you decide to go for a BQ!

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

I grew up in the Fort Worth area and you kind of take this race for granted. Yes, this race has affiliations with all the local elementary schools, so you … MORE

I grew up in the Fort Worth area and you kind of take this race for granted. Yes, this race has affiliations with all the local elementary schools, so you are aware of it as a kid, but you always just kind of thought of it as the local race. Surely the races in big cities like New York, LA and Chicago must be better…

No, this race actually deserves the accolades it gets. If you don’t believe me, run this race and then go run the BMW Dallas Marathon either the December before or December after you run the Cowtown. Nothing against the BMW Dallas Marathon but the contrast the Cowtown provides to that race is night and day difference. BMW Dallas is a fun race, but compared to the Cowtown, its a soulless, lifeless, bland, corporate race where if you blindfolded me and had me run it, I’d have no idea what city I was in. Generic city streets, generic residential streets, generic lake to run around.

The Cowtown actually screams FORT WORTH. The race takes you on a tour of the city to sample what the city has to offer. It starts at the cultural district, then takes you into Trinity Park, then to the historic district, the Stockyards, Downtown, TCU, Overland Park, Colonial, Trinity Trails, and then back to the cultural district.

The race is well organized and the people who run it care. I volunteered on the Friday/Saturday before the race this past year and it is a well oiled machine. The corral placement is smart, unlike BMW Dallas where there are only 4 corrals and even in the first corral you are having to weave through walkers in the first mile. Not here, you can’t purchase your way into the first corral like you can at Dallas.

The crowd support is overwhelmingly strong for the first 10 or so miles, but then the half marathons split from the marathon and the crowd support dies – outside of aid stations and perhaps a small spattering of crowds here and there – for the backstretch of the marathon. Not necessarily a bad thing – but then the crowd support begins to return once you get into the Colonial Area and the residents throw their own block parties. Then when you rejoin the half marathoners around Mile 25 you have Lancaster Avenue lined with supporters on both sides all the way to the finish.

This course is not flat, so it is not an easy course by any means. The first mile is downhill which can be deceiving and lead to a faster first mile split than you intended so make sure you pace yourself properly. There are some small hills leading up to the Mile 9 monster but I’ve never had a problem with the Mile 9 hill, its never as bad as you think it will be. Then you have rollers on the backstretch through the residential areas before it is mostly downhill rollers from Miles 18-25 until the last mile which is running that same first mile but in reverse, so you have an uphill finish – just keep this in mind as you are not out of the woods once you hit Overland Park and the residential rollers stop. I have run negative splits on this course before, but my last race here I was a bit too aggressive at the start because we were expecting a strong south wind that never materalized so I wanted to bank time before heading south from Miles 8 to 17. The wind never came so that banking of time was needless and I hit the wall around Mile 21 in the Colonial Area and ran on fumes to finish, but still set a PR. So I strongly suggest you strictly follow a pacing strategy!

Weather can be a total mixed bag in terms of precipitation and wind, but for the most part I’ve run this in temperatures between 30 and 50 with calm winds. I see a lot of people way too overdressed for this race, which I get it, you want to be warm while in the corrals waiting for the race to start but after 2-3 miles of running you will be warmed up and will want to shed the layers unless it is brutally cold which is rare.

Overall this is that race I will never miss and run until I cannot physically do so anymore. If I missed the other local big race, the BMW Dallas Marathon, it wouldn’t be a big deal, but I could never miss this one. I occasionally have nightmares that it is Cowtown Race Day and I show up late and miss it – when you have nightmares like that, that’s when you know its a race you can not miss!

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

10 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

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