The oppressive heat of summer has finally given way to cool mornings, and that means great running and racing weather. October has traditionally seen the beginning of a surge of great races, ranging from the 5K to the half marathon, and this year is no exception. Here are a few to keep in mind:
- Head to New Braunfels for the Wurst 5 Mile Run on Saturday, November 3, at 8:00 a.m. This venerable race has been a fixture on the Central Texas running calendar for several decades, and with good reason. Starting through Landa Park in New Braunfels, the course runs along the Comal River before crossing it for an out-and-back with a loop. Though no serious hills are encountered, it does roll right along. Stick around afterwards and enjoy your free ticket to the Wurstfest!
- The Run for the Water 10 Miler in downtown Austin is really the first major race on the Austin running calendar. Starting at the end of the First Street Bridge on Cesar Chavez east of Lamar Blvd., the course heads east on Cesar Chavez before tackling some significant climbs along Scenic Drive and Pecos St. Fortunately, runners get a break in the final three miles as they head back down onto Lake Austin Boulevard. Set for November 4 at 7:00 a.m., it’s also the second race in the Austin Distance Challenge, and has always brought out elite men and women.
- The New Braunfels Half Marathon is quite a contrast as it’s beautifully scenic course along country roads making it one of the fastest and flattest half marathons around. Starting and finishing at the Stars and Stripes Drive-In Theatre on 1178 Kroesche Ln. in New Braunfels on Saturday, November 10 at 8:00 a.m., the event also includes a 5K and 10K. As a bonus, cash prizes go to the top finishers in the half marathon.
- The Cedar Park 5 Miler is an Austin-area classic, and is set for Sunday, November 11 at 8:25 a.m. at Twin Lakes Family YMCA 204 E Elm Trail, in Cedar Park. Starting at the gate entrance into Camp Twin Lakes, the out-and back course picks up a park trail and turns around at 2.5 marker and return on the same path to finish.
- It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without the ThunderCloud Subs Turkey Trot Five Miler. With around 20,000 runners, it’s the largest five-mile race in Texas, and one of the largest Turkey Trots in the country. The course, starts and finishes at the Long Center in downtown Austin at a comfortable 9:30 a.m. Due to the large number of entrants, which includes walkers, the course has a 24-per minute mile time cutoff (which gives the walkers more than two hours to finish) to avoid potential street congestion.