RUNable Race Review: Cowtown Marathon Weekend
This video, courtesy of a Fort Worth news station, is a great overview of The Cowtown Event and its history.
A Running Glance:
Things I loved
- Awesome swag
- SUPER organized
- Fun on-course experience
- Large event but with a hometown feel
Less than loved
- Finish-line food line-up – why am I always so hungry?
Running Tally: Cowtown 5k & Half Marathon
The Cowtown Marathon is the largest multi-event race in North Texas. With distances for everyone, this event guarantees participants miles of memories in the great city of Fort Worth!
I registered several months before the race and paid $146.53 for the “Cowtown Challenge” which included registration for the 5k on Saturday, the Half Marathon on Sunday and any additional fees incurred to process my registration online. (For an additional $20 not included in that total, I also snagged this pretty coral Cowtown tank which I received in the mail just a few weeks later.) Considering I received THREE medals, THREE shirts, a Challenge tumbler, amazing support,
Like I mentioned before, I snagged a sweet tank prior to the race, but I also purchased this long-sleeved ¼ zippered pull-over at the Expo for $40. I LOVE the design, material and fit. (This particular one did run a little small, I upsized to the large when I’m usually a medium.) It is my new favorite pull-over! My registration included personalized bibs for both races, a “finishers gift” which was a fancy green tumbler, a cotton t-shirt (blue) for signing up for the 5k, a tech shirt (orange) for signing up for the Half and a tech shirt (teal) for finishing the Half. I opted for one unisex version and one women’s version in the two tech varieties. The women’s fit (teal) features a V-neck cut and very roomy style. Most women’s shirts are fitted through the middle, which I honestly can’t stand. Let me be free!!! However, not this baby. She fits like a dream and even dips a little lower in the front and back, offering nice coverage and a very flattering look. Score.
The Expo was great fun. There were probably 20+ vendors offering freebies and peddling their wares. They had plenty of Cowtown branded gear for sale, and all the race-day essentials available for those who forgot GU (I’m looking at you, Jules!) and plenty of awesome extras like these adorable Wonder Woman bib magnets I picked up for $20. I’m still getting the hang of using them though. FYI: don’t bend over while you’re wearing them to tie your shoes or they stick to themselves then pop loose when you stand up again. BUT, they’re adorable, right!? Fashion over function, just this once. I wear ugly running shoes. Give me this. 😉
The finish line was SUPER organized. This event should go around and teach other
The 5k medal features the colorful cow seen on the pull-over. (Did I mention I love this guy?) The medal itself is a little small, but still super cool with its custom ribbon. The Half Marathon medal was #3 in a 3-part medal series, each highlighting a different landmark in the Fort Worth area. 2019’s event is the last in the series and features the Will Rogers Stadium. Each medal’s edge contains a magnet, so when the three are positioned together they form the image of the famous Texas Longhorn. (LOVE!) My favorite of the three I earned is by far the “Cowtown Challenge” medal; the ribbon is bold and vibrant and the medal itself is a cowbell. I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE WHAT THE RACE DIRECTORS COME UP WITH FOR THE NEXT SERIES DESIGN, KICKING OFF IN 2020!!
WOW! The volunteers were simply amazing. I’ve never seen so many volunteers genuinely happy to be volunteering. That speaks volumes to me about the heart of this race and the Fort Worth Community. These awesome folks truly gave a race of this size (30,000+ on Sunday) a unique hometown feel and made for such a pleasant race experience. My sincere thank you to each and every individual who worked to make this event a reality. Well done.
So much to see! The 5k route wound through the lovely Trinity Park and a Botanic Garden too. The Half Marathon took us all over Fort Worth! We ran through Trinity Park again, the Historic Fort Worth Stockyards, which was the highlight for me, as well as the gorgeous Greenwood Cemetery. It was a very interesting and scenic run. I counted at least ten live bands, several DJ’s spinning classic tunes and one performing Elvis impersonator at mile 3! My only regret was that I didn’t stop to take a pic with this fella. But I did pull this one off the inner-webs for your viewing pleasure. I’m coming for ya next year, mile 3 Elvis!.
Course Difficulty: LEVEL 3
Both the 5k and Half courses were a great mix! Most of the Half Marathon course was moderate but let me tell you about the end of mile 8 and the beginning of mile 9. This is the portion of our program where you find out what you’re really made of! It’s all fun and games until you’re running across the Main Street Bridge, aka the longest worst hill in the history of hills. This hill goes on and on and on and up and up and up. This was by far the toughest, most challenging segment of the course…I can’t wait to run it again. <3
The 5k had one water stop, perfect for this distance. The Half Marathon had a minimum of eight water stops, and I counted at least four “fireball aid stations” and several “beer stops”! Great course support.
You might think that trying to get 30,000 runners to the start line might constitute trouble, but not for Fort Worth, Texas. Another impressive feat: this city is more than prepared for their premier racing event! There was ample free parking available in multiple parking garages, all outlined in the handy dandy race guide, which made the parking experience much less daunting. (This part of the pre-race process always makes me nervous. Where to go and how to get there is always tough for my directionally challenged self!)
We arrived about 75 minutes prior to the beginning of the race and were able to park near the start line in a covered parking garage for free. Oh yeah, baby!
Big shout out to my #nemesis and friend, Julie, for inviting me to tag along with her to this race and chauffeuring me. Even bigger shout out to Julie’s mother, the lovely Mrs. Charlotte, for giving me shelter. AND FOOD! Everyone doesn’t know that chocolate pie is essential to race recovery. But Mrs. Charlotte does. 🙂
I just can’t say enough good things about this race, especially one of this size. This race management team cares about the participants and it shows. From the Mayor’s start line pep-talk and send-off, (She ran the Half too!) to downtown streets flooded with cheering spectators holding signs and offering high-fives, to swag that I needed an extra suitcase to bring home, to “high-level fun” memories being made; this race is top-notch. If you run ONE race next year, #RunCowtown!
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