February 26th, 2011

The 2011 ConocoPhillips Rodeo Run: Quick Times and Shutter Speeds

Ah, the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo comes but once year—it stands as a second round of holidays for any Houstonian. Some companies allow Rodeo days-off, some folks simply take ‘em off regardless. It’s fair-food, the World Championship Barbecue Contest, concerts, and reasons for even the most anti-Western ‘Mericans to dawn a hat, boots, and for the clothing challenged – even a bolo tie. A bolo tie? What’s wrong with that, Richard? Nothing, I’ll be wearing mine 24/7 from now until March 20th. In case I lose it, I’ve got back-ups in me pockets. One way to kick off this plethora of festivities is with a run through Downtown Houston. It so happens they’ve had one going strong since 1987—The ConocoPhillips Rodeo Run.


41:26, for 6.2 miles that’s an impressive time to be sure. Speaking of finishing, I thought about naming this little essay “Finish Line Faces.”


When you’re gassed, facial expressions don’t lie. Just be glad you don’t have what my wife calls, “the side winder” it’s a cross between Forest Whitaker’s eye and Sylvester Stallone’s droop lip. That’s me… everytime I run.


For some anything over the standard 5k is a big deal. Maybe it’s the next small step to the half marathon. Maybe it’s one of many steps to next year’s Houston Marathon.


Speaking of Stallone—there’s Rocky.


Some folks might’ve been frustrated with their finish time or how they felt afterward—too tired, not tired enough. For some this was a run like any other—calming.


I saw some of these runners somewhere around the halfway point, running the opposite way as they had already made the out-and-back turn around, with a good lead of about 12 minutes on the bulk of the pack. Impressive. Most impressive.


And finally, I give you “the side winder.”

To everyone that ran, great job! Fast time, slow time—finishing and making the effort to get out there early on a Saturday says a hell of a lot. Until next year…

— Richard


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