The Circus 30k – At the McKinney Roughs in Bastrop, TX

The Circus 30k, what can I say, it didn’t disappoint, and it was worth the drive. This is another live race near Austin that I participated in, a small race with various distances: 12 hr, 30k, and 10k. This was my practice race in preparation for Bandera 50k. The 30k had 3 loops: 7-mile loop, 5-mile, then back again to the 7-mile, coming back to the start/finish line each time. My goal was to finish in 4 hrs. I was feeling good at the start; but had a little emergency bathroom trip which slowed me down. I finished in 4:16, or something like that.

I was having second thoughts doing this race because it was about an hour drive, and my friends were doing another race closer to home. I would only drive an hour if it is going to races at Stinson Beach/ Mt. Tam (in the Bay Area, CA). But I thought I should explore more trails, and I need a long run. I made sure I had gas in my car this time (not going to make the same mistake twice 😊).

It was a cold morning. Some people had wrapped themselves with a blanket while we wait for our race to start. Start line was mellow, few runners for the 30k, and the 12 hr race was in progress (they started at 6 am, and we started at 8 am). All is well during the first loop, was on track, I even thought I could probably finish in under 4 hrs. In the 5-mile loop, approaching mile 10-ish (I think), I started to feel my stomach turn. I’ve always had Tailwind so that wasn’t the problem. I had Spring energy speednut, but I haven’t had them in longer than 10-mile runs. Then was thinking, “what did I have for dinner – spaghetti carbonara,” I added cream since hubby wanted it to be creamier. That might be it.

As I finished the 5-mile loop I ran straight to the bathrooms. Luckily for us, there is a real and clean (and warm) bathroom. After 10 minutes in there, I felt much better, and continued on to the last 7-mile loop. Took off my long sleeve shirt as it was starting to warm up. The 7-mile loop, however, had some windy areas, but I kept my gloves with me in my pack. I was slowing down. I recorded a video, hoping time will go by faster. It didn’t. Other runners started passing me. What the heck, I just wanted to finish. Some of the terrain was a bit technical, with dry mud and horse’s footprints, so I needed to be careful with footing. Some of the (short) decent was kind of dicey, especially with tired legs.

When I saw familiar landmarks, I knew I was ¾ mile from the finish, so I picked up the pace. Crossing the finish line was non-eventful. Since I am at the back of the pack (the front of the back 😊), the awards ceremony was already about to start. The finish line volunteer took my timing chip, no finisher medals (I don’t need anymore). I changed clothes then enjoyed some of the finish line packaged food (no hotdogs roasting which I was told was tradition at this race). I sat down near some people, they live in Austin, chatted with them, then found out that we had so much in common. They were also doing Bandera 50k and used this race as training; the ladies went to the same high school I did in Manila (we were all ‘kulasas’); we have a common friend from the Bay Area. What a small world. Now I learned they are also doing Rocky 50-miler, I might just sign up for that as well.

#radrabbit; #runinrabbit; #borntorunfree; #gettingbackintoultras