Beaumont Tx, Gusher Marathon.

Discussion in 'Course Reviews' started by Course Review, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. Course Review

    Course Review Barefooters

    Apr 3, 2012
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    Reviewed By: Chaserwilliams


    Date Reviewed: 05/15/2011
    Review Type: Race
    Barefoot Friendliness: 4 Below Average

    Lamar College
    4400 South M L King Junior Parkway Montagne Center
    Beaumont, TX
    See map: Google Maps
    OK... So Ive been slacking terriblly and I apologize deeply to the rest of the Barefoot society. Ive been meaning to write up this race report for awhile now, along with another one, so here it is.

    This was the 2nd annual Gusher marathon, half marathon, and 5k. It was held March 12th this year, which was much much cooler than the last years which was ran during the middle of the heat of summer and there were a few participant issues due to it. This year went off much smoother as the lead cop car actually drove the correct course, so the proper course was ran. This is good as I believe its a certified course and might even be a Boston Qualifier course.

    The race starts off at the Montagne Center across from Lamar College and basically does a large lap around Lamars campus for roughly 2.5 miles. The roads during this portion were fine for BFR as they were mostly cement, and a few small portions had that pebble embeded cement stuff, but nothing that anyone who can run 13.1 miles BF couldnt handle. After the loop around the campus you get onto MLK JR rd and stay on it for roughly 3 miles or so. This was one of the harder parts as the road has those little water wicking grooves that are spaced out about 3/4's of an inch apart and just steadily gnaw away at your plantar skin. After exiting off MLK you take a little tour of "Historic" downtown Beaumont. Its called historic because its old and run down. Their trying to renovate it, and because of this, roughly 75% of the roads downtown were all under construction and covered with a scattering of little pebbles (think of loose asphalt rock mixed in with some larger limestone landscaping rocks), so most of downtown was a biatch. Although this was my first time to run across red brick roads, which was pretty cool feeling. After zig zagging around through downtown Beaumont you made your way back out to MLK. At this point your feeling a little fatigued (at least I was...) and your feet are already a little tenderized from the road construction, so the rain grooves are reallllly kicking in now. Once I got back onto the loop around the Lamar campus, I was able to start picking up the pace significantly and started picking off other runners. At one point theres a little extra part they added to the course so that you now run out by a mock up Spindletop oil well thats spraying water hundreds of feet into the air, and the mist is coming down across the course. I did think this was a pretty cool attraction since thats the reason Beaumont (and all of the oil based industries) are in Southeast Texas after all. The finish line is also the starting line, so you end up back at the Montagne center where they had the typical oranges and banannas and waters and such.

    The biggest pluses of this race; the medal is in the shape of a oil derrick so its very unique and original, the starting line / finish line area had lots of activities for little kids to do while the families waited for mommy or daddy to finish running, and the volunteer support was outstanding!!!! Serisouly, there were more people out on the course handing out water and directing runners at this race than there were at the much much MUCH larger Livestrong Austin Marathon, and that race had over 20,000 entrants, the gusher only had about 2,000.

    Overall it was a very flat course that was very well marked and laid out. For a minimalist runner this course is ideal, for a BFR its do-able. It was my second BF half, and I dropped 5 minutes off my time.

    If anyones interested in attending next year I attached the link to their site. Its my hometown, so if your planning on it let me know!!!

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