I think my last blog post focussed too much on the difficulty of Hells Hills and too little on what a good experience this trip was.
Here is the Katy House B&B, an amazing find in little Smithville. The former house, office and OR of the town surgeon. Bruce and Sallie have transformed it into a wonderful place for out-of-towners to stay and meet. Here is their website, if any of you are interested in staying there in the future.
Here is downtown Smithville, an old railway town (KT line: Kansas-Texas), turned into Antiquer's paradise.
SR, being European, loves big American lawns with palm trees, like this one in Austin.
At the race check in the night before, we walked around the trails a bit. We learned that wild flower lovers travel here from all over Texas to see the state flower, the bluebonnet, the magenta phlox and many others I don't know the names of in bloom. Who would have guessed Texas would be so lush?
The most beautiful thing of note in this picture is, of course, me.
Here's the beginning of the race day. Not only am I nervous about the race, but I'm also nervous about meeting Olga for the first time. I like this picture a lot because we are both tilting our heads to the right while smiling and happen to be exactly the same height. Who knew?
Happy running after the sun came out (I'm considering paying for this one).
My soon-to-be-champion husband.
By the end of the second 16.66 mile loop, Olga is looking happy and relaxed.
And I am surprised to see how happy I also look.
I think the girl sitting in the background is Meredith, who I have also gotten to know through this blog. She was volunteering! Thanks, Meredith. Sorry if that's not you.
A final moment of rest and good-bye to SR before the last loop. He is, as usual, fulfilling his duty as my manservant.
And the end! 9 hours and 42 minutes running and not a spot of dirt or blood on me. Amazing!
The ladies' "podium":
From left to right, Olga in 2nd, Juliet in 1st and SLG in 3rd.
One other heavenly part of our trip, was the wild love between these two brothers, Big Guy and The Lorax. Sometimes there are, after all, some other wonderful things in life besides running.