Friday, November 21, 2014

McNeese Cowboy Gallop 10K Recap

Last Saturday, my friend Heather and I decided to participate in a local 10K…one of the only 10K’s in our area, actually! The 10K was sponsored by the track team from our local University (also my alma mater). A huge deciding factor in running this race was the fact that runners finished on the 50 yard line of the football stadium! Say what!

McNeese Cowboy Gallop 10K (2)

We returned from Disney on the Thursday night before this event to a really cold Louisiana. After checking the weather, I discovered that race-day temps wouldn’t be much better. Lovely! Our University colors are blue and gold, so I attempted to dress accordingly (as close as possible at least)!

McNeese Cowboy Gallop 10K (3)

Race morning temps were in the “feels like” 32 degrees range, so Heather and I stayed in our cars as long as possible. I did end up foam rolling right before (yes, in the parking lot!), which I think helped me in the long run – no pun intended! :)

McNeese Cowboy Gallop 10K (4)

As runners began gathering around, I quickly realized something – not many people showed up for the race that morning. I don’t know if the crazy temps drove people away or what, but I was kind of happy to run with a smaller crowd (a nice change from my recent Disney races).

This route led us out of the stadium area and onto one of the busier roads in town. One lane of traffic was closed off for us and the local officers did a great job with lane/road closures and keeping runners safe!

During this race, I truly ran my heart out. My prior PR was in the 54 minute range, so I wanted to try and surpass that. In the back of my mind, I kept thinking about placing, too…this race was super small, how difficult would it be?

I scoped out every female that passed me – did she look like she belonged in the 30-39 category? If so, I ran a bit harder. I’m not gonna lie, there were several females throughout this course that kept me motivated and pushing hard to finish with a good time. We all stayed close to each other and finished within seconds of each other – I kinda felt like Kara Goucher only WAY slower. Haha! That’s something I love about racing – the competitive side of things. It’s also nice that runners can be as competitive or not as competitive as they like, it’s up to each individual runner. There are some days where I’m just not feeling it and that’s ok – I like to run for fun, too!

McNeese Cowboy Gallop 10K (11)

As we headed into Cowboy Stadium, we ran down this super steep hill. I actually slowed down a little bit so I wouldn’t fall face first and that’s when the girl in the orange socks passed me. I realized my mistake as soon as I hit the ground (with both feet, not on my face) and I picked up the pace as much as possible but I didn’t have anything left in me. I truly gave this race everything I had.

McNeese Cowboy Gallop 10K (5)

I crossed the finish line with a time of 51:35 (watch time) and 51:43 (official). Definitely a PR and I was ecstatic!

McNeese Cowboy Gallop 10K (7)

After crossing the finish line, I grabbed a bottle of water, then walked over to the sidelines to cheer my friend Heather on as she finished the race. She PR’d, too!!

McNeese Cowboy Gallop 10K (6)

We just had to take a picture of us on the turf. It was really neat being out on the field!

McNeese Cowboy Gallop 10K (8)

After hanging out and watching the end of the race, we made our way to the Alumni pavilion for the awards ceremony. I already knew that I hadn’t placed and I was ok with that – in the end, my age group was one of the most competitive out of all of them (had I been in any other age group, I would have placed)! I was 6th in my AG and was super happy with my results. A PR is a PR no matter what!

McNeese Cowboy Gallop 10K (9)

Refreshments were served while waiting on the official results. I grabbed a bowl of the breakfast casserole because it was warm!

McNeese Cowboy Gallop 10K (10)

We attempted not to freeze to death – I can’t tell you how glad I was that I kept my gloves/ear warmers during the race!

I am incredibly proud of my friend Heather!

McNeese Cowboy Gallop 10K (12)

She placed 2nd in her age group AND PR’d! What a day!!

We each took home a new track team t-shirt and a hacking cough….but I feel much better now, though. We aren’t used to running in cold temperatures like that here in SWLA!

My one dislike about this race was the fact that there was only one water station on the course – it was at mile 2.5. Thankfully, it wasn’t a warm day…I would have been in seriously trouble if so!

Other than the water stops, I loved this race and can’t wait to run it again next year!

Does your area have a lot of 10K’s? What’s your favorite local race to run?


  1. Aww congrats on your huge PR Karen. Wish you had placed in your AG like your friend Heather (congrats to her) but a great race more than makes up for an award. I was wishing my 8k from last weekend had been a 10k, I rarely run them, and it was a great day for a PR which I got in the 8k. But as you know, 10k races are good for submitting a time to runDisney! :)

  2. Congrats on a PR! That's an awesome time! There are a few 10k's around here but they are few and far between. 5K's are more plentiful!

  3. I feel like the 10k is making a come back, but there aren't that many in my area. Austin of course has the Capitol 10k, which is huge.

  4. Great finish time! You'll win awards when you get older LOL. We don't have many 10ks but I'm running one on Thanksgiving.

  5. Congrats on that PR Karen!!!! I LOVE running in this cold weather...but don't like it the rest of the day lol!

  6. Way to go, Karen! Super speedy time! Congrats on the PR!

  7. YAY!!! Congrats on the PR. That is AWESOME!

    My area is not the best for races. The winter is pretty much a no go for races for us due to the extreme cold and unpredictability of the weather - every once in a while there is a 5k November - March but rarely.

  8. yay PR! We have a few local races but they are mainly downtown and SO hilly. I don't know how many of them I will do haha


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