It occurred to me running the 22nd Annual ConocoPhillips Rodeo Run into the teeth of a stiff wind that this event has become the extreme weather running event of Houston. I did some research from past runs and sure enough, there have been some tough conditions the last few years. The weather and the fact that the course, which includes an out and back over the Elysian Viaduct, is not run in typically flat Houston terrain adds up to a fairly challenging endeavor. A recap of the last Rodeo Runs.
2009: 55°F, winds at 10mph, gusting to 25 mph-it seemed much worse going through the buildings downtown. Mile 1 through 4 was directly into the wind. I looked forward turning around, but it seemed to just get hot, though ultimately, I think running with the wind at my back helped more than hurt.
2008: 70°F, 79% humidity winds SE 6 mph-- I did not run this. Jay Hendrickson, Rob Walter and I ran the Conroe hills that morning. We finished a 20 mile run about the time the race started. We all agreed we were happy not to be running the Rodeo Run.
2007: 70°F, 100% humidity, intermittent rain-- This was like a sauna. I remember struggling through the first mile with the humidity. It started to rain, which at first seemed like a relief, but ultimately, the conditions just became steamier!! The viaduct was like a death march!
2006: 54°, 100% humidity, some rain, winds NW9 gusting-- Even though the temperature was comparable to 2009, I remember being miserable. It was cold, wet and windy- not a good combination. The viaduct was torture. Besides having to wait around in the cold for an hour. I remember going directly to my car and not participating in the post race party.
2005: 49°F, 90% humidity, no wind-- Probably the best conditions in the last five years.
To me, 10K is a tough distance. It is easy to go out too fast and not be able to hold on. I was able to run a 'negative' split which means that I managed the pacing fairly well.
This race is getting big, maybe too big.
I only saw a handful of people from BCRR. I saw Clayton Smith and Mark Fraser at the start. Avi Moss joined as a bandit and I felt like I had my own personal cheerleader in Lara Allen and Deborah Touchy, who greated me at the start and again as I was running up the first hill on the return trip up the viaduct. I think they may have propelled me to a stronger finish.