Overall, it was a pretty good race, but not likely one I'd consider doing again. Fairview is a suburb that is really, really, really far away from Dallas. The drive up there in the morning didn't have much traffic, but it felt like we were in the car for hours. My husband went with me to keep me company and to cheer. That was a big bonus, but he was also surprised at how far away it was and I am not entirely sure he would have joined the fun if he'd known before we set out at 6 a.m.
My biggest complaint was that a few stretches were run on the shoulder of a very busy road that was not closed to traffic. This made it tough to stay with a pace group, since at most, they could run two abreast, and then one person was kind of running on the gravel.
I didn't like the course very much overall. It was hilly (for Texas), and fairly boring -- like running through the residential streets of some random suburb. Not very exciting.
The best part of the course by far happened twice (the course was not exactly out and back, but a large portion of it was). There was one stretch where we ran past some fields with cows, horses, and longhorns. That was really cool and not something you get in your average Dallas area race.
There was some shade along the streets, but it was somewhat confusing since there were not cones (except on the busiest of the roads), and a vast majority of people were running on the right side of the road, but it was not closed to traffic, so cars would come up behind you. I didn't like that part at all.
The best parts of the race don't really have anything to do with the running.
First, ample (and free) parking at the start (it started at what I guess is like a suburban outdoor mall, and city building?). Either way, short walk to the start, indoor bathrooms available, seemed well organized.
Second, the race started at 7:30. That's relatively early, but since our weather in mid-April can already get ugly hot (even though it didn't this year), I think the early start was very smart.
The other thing I really liked was one of the treats at the end of the race. Mini bundt cakes. Yum! I wish I'd taken a picture. They also had bananas and water, and maybe muscle milk? Can't remember.
Another favorite part about the race, though I have not actually looked at them yet, is that they offer free downloads of the pictures. I think I saw two photographers, but I know that the first one didn't get any pictures of me -- a minivan was coming the opposite direction at the exact time my pictures would have been taken. But I'm betting I got a few from the other photographer. And since I wasn't racing this one, there's a chance any of those pictures could be decent. But even if it didn't work out for me, that's a very nice feature to offer runners.
And the last thing I loved about this race, the medal:
Unfortunately you can't really tell from the picture, but the little thing at the top of the oil rig (?) spins. Love it!
The shirts are technical, average quality.
Here is the back:
And two shots of the front (tried to do a closer one so you could see it, and one further back because the shirt is actually fairly long, which I think is nice). I don't like how the 5k is more prominent in the logo (especially since a vast majority of people were doing the half), but it's fine.
My "race" itself was good. The weather was good, overcast, in the upper 50s or low 60s. It got sunny later, and that was pretty gross when you were also getting exhaust from the trucks on the road, but no real complaints.
My running buddy and I were pacing one of his co-workers and her friend. All 4 of us stayed together until about mile 8, then I pulled slightly ahead with the friend, and we finished about 90 seconds ahead of my buddy and his co-worker. The two we were pacing were both thrilled with the results. They both apparently slowed down a bit in mile 11, and my friend and I both had to "talk tough" right around mile 12. I basically told the woman I was pacing that all this great running she'd done so far was about to go down the $hitter if she didn't get it in gear and hold it together for the last mile. I told her to stay with me, and we were going to move. I asked her to give me 8 more minutes of hard work. She gave me 2 more minutes of hard work and about 7 minutes of medium work, but it was enough. We finished 62 seconds ahead of her A goal (which I only found out about around mile 4; in advance of the race, I'd only been told of her B goal, which we beat by 6 minutes and 2 seconds). Then all 4 of us went out for beer and pizza afterward. I was very happy for them and really enjoyed the morning.