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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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Speaking of Stallone—there’s Rocky.

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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.

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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.

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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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