Sunday, October 17, 2010

Remembering Vietnam: 8-Hour Run From the Ducks

by Jerry Hollingsworth on Sunday, October 10, 2010 at 7:50pm

This was a race I wanted to run last year, but could not make it. All proceeds from the race went toward the construction of the Vietnam War Memorial Museum in Mineral Wells, Texas. It was a timed event, 8 hours, and it was conducted on a "near one-mile" track through the Clark Botanical Gardens. What a beautiful place for a race! I had trained hard for this race, although I considered it a practice run for my 24-hour run that was scheduled one month later.

I went with David McCaghren, Andy Blessing, and Gary Garson, and as we were leaving Abilene, the rain began to fall, and it fell for hours. The lightning caused a one-hour delay, but once the lightning moved off, we began, despite the heavy downpour. It actually rained hard on us for over 4 hours before letting up a little. It remained cloudy and cool for the remainder of the run. Of course, the trails turned into a quagmire, a muddy mess which took a lot of leg power to either dodge the muddiest parts, or to slug right on through it, along with the deep water that was collecting all through the course.

One section was so wet that the tree branches became heavy and water-laden that they hung down over the trail for a good long section that became difficult to maneuver through. We had to run while ducking, and each time we would raise up, we would get hit in the face with another wet branch.

I had a lot of fun on this race. David and I ran for about 20 miles together, and I dropped back a little to keep my pace in line with my strategy for the 24 hour run, but felt strong the whole way. I managed to run 33.3 miles, and finished 12th overall. David ran ahead of me and finished with about 35 miles, and Andy came in second with 46 miles. Gary finished with 30 miles.

The race brought in over $2,000 for the museum. It was crazy, but it was fun, and I cant wait to do it again next year!


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The Fires said...

Jerry, I'm so impressed with your running! My goal is now a 10K. God bless you.
Sharron Kay Oden Fires
DCHS '72