It’s been almost four months since my last in-person race. (The Beer Garden run at the beginning of March!) Prior to COVID-19, in-person races were a huge part of weekend life, with me usually attending at least one or two every month. This past week, I started training for the BMW Dallas Marathon, which is planned for mid-December. I know I’m taking the chance that the race will be postponed to March or April 2021, but I want to go ahead and get those miles in. Alongside those marathon training miles, I really needed a second goal in the high probability of a delay of my race. And then the Texas Distance Challenge practically fell into my lap. PERFECT!
I have to say Texas is a special place to me, even if I wasn’t born here. Growing up, my parents were both Texans. My mother would only make cornbread in the shape of Texas, and declared my brothers and I “Texans by descent”. (It was its own country at one time, after all.) At 18, I moved to Lubbock to become a Red Raider and earn a degree in Zoology. After undergrad, I lived in Dallas while going to graduate school, and now San Antonio has been my home for the past 5 years. I think this challenge is an awesome way to touch all the places that I’ve been in my adult life.
Starting on July 1st, I began logging my runs with the Texas Distance Challenge Portal. It is 814 miles between El Paso and Texarkana, and everyone has 10 months to complete the challenge. It ends on April 30th, 2021, but I’ve set a personal goal of attempting to finish by the end of 2020. With July being a rough month for me, I finished 68 miles into the challenge. This put me at Sierra Blanca, TX and officially heading east!
Now that it is mid-August, I’m 150 miles in and just past Van Horn!
They offer a lot of options for this challenge too! While I’m attempting the solo crossing, you can also chose to have a team crossing, with every member adding to the mileage. There are also cycling options, cross Texas solo, circle Texas solo (over 3,300 miles! WOW!), or circle Texas as part of a team. They even allow back logging, so if you join late you can still add any run or cycling activity that you’ve already done after July 1st). AND a portion of the proceeds go to Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, so I get to give a little love back to the state parks I’ve loved to run through throughout the years.
I received my first Dillo Delivery in early August that included a my Bib, a patch, a sticker that went on my water cup, and this super cute bandanna. As you complete portions of the challenge, you’ll get more stickers (1/4th complete, 1/2 complete, etc.) and at the end a finisher shirt for how far you make it in the challenge. (You know I’m going for gold!)
What are your fall goals? In you’re looking around for a good one, I REALLY suggest this challenge. They even have a Strava and Facebook group that has a great community. See you in Texarkana for some virtual beers and cheers! <3