The ups and downs of Zooma Texas Half Marathon

Runners make their way over a hilly course at Saturday's Zooma Texas Half Marathon. Photo by Pam LeBlanc
Runners make their way over a hilly course at Saturday’s Zooma Texas Half Marathon. Photo by Pam LeBlanc

Did you run the Zooma Texas Half Marathon on Saturday?

It’s such a Texas event. A herd of longhorn eyeballed me as I hopped on a shuttle bus to get to the start line, I paused during the race to snap pictures of wildflowers, and even spotted an armadillo on the side of the road as I ran. (Too bad he was, shall we say, sleeping soundly.)

Here are my official highlights of the notoriously hilly race …

Pam LeBlanc, posing with Boo Boo, one of the resident alpacas.
Pam LeBlanc, posing with Boo Boo, one of the resident alpacas.

1. The two resident alpacas, Yogi and Boo Boo, who donned Zooma race shirts and posed for photos with the runners before the race started.

2. The dapple gray draft horse that whinnied and pranced along the fence line along the first mile of the course.

2. Oceans of bluebonnets!

3. Pace setters Steve Pina and Jen Barry, who sheperded the 2-hour group to the finish line right on time, even if I did lag slightly behind.

4. Meeting Sarah Bowen Shae, of the website anothermotherrunner.com and co-author of the new book “Tales from Another Mother Runner.”

5. Friends with babies, especially race director Brae Blackley, with a new one strapped to her chest as she read out race results, and Desiree Ficker, whose-almost-2-year-old met up with Mom after she paced the 1:40 group to the finish.

Race director Brae Blackley, with her new baby.
Race director Brae Blackley, with her new baby.

6. Getting serenaded by mooing cows.

7. Conquering those quad-killing hills!

8. Finally (finally!) getting through those zigzags through the golf course during the mind-numbing last 3 miles of the run.

9. Getting cheered by Julie Arocha just when I needed it most.

10. Post-race relaxing by the Colorado River.

Author: Pam LeBlanc

Pam LeBlanc writes about fitness and travel for the Austin American-Statesman. She has worked for the Statesman since 1998 and written her weekly fitness column, Fit City, since 2004.

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