Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sunmart's Back...but Not as you Know It

It's no secret that I was a big fan of the Sunmart 50k/50 mile race. It was probably my favorite race - I ran my first ultra there back in 2007 and set my 50 mile PR there last December. The unforgetable experience of running through the "mystic forests" of the East Texas piney woods is the major reason I fell into trail running.

For the past two years, we made it a big family trip - the park was always decorated for Christmas and it signaled the start of our Christmas season. Yes, I have great memories of it and was very sad when they announced last year's race would be the last.

But there is hope. According to the Houston Chronicle the race will be back this year, but with several changes. For one, Sunmart will no longer be the sponsor which probably means no more of the legendary goodies bag. The race will be called simply "Texas Trail runs", and there will be no 50 mile distance. Instead there will be a 50k and a beginner's 12.5 mile run (one loop of the course).

Still, I love running in Huntsville State park - it is an enchantingly beautiful place, and Lake Raven is so peaceful. The course is a fast one – your feet are carpeted by a bed of pine needles, and there are plenty of out-and-backs where you can greet and encourage your fellow runners. The only thing to watch out for are the hidden roots (which are the “root” cause of many spectacular falls - hahaha).

Yes, I may well be tempted by the 50k - watch this space!!!

Oh, and happy birthday Welshrunner blog - this is my 300th post. There have been quite a few adventures contained within those 300, so here's to the next 300 and all the adventures that will be contained therein.


Derek said...

Thanks for the update, I think I would rather run this than the White Rock marathon. I'll see you there!

clea said...

I had read about this too. Instead of calling the 12.5 mile loop a beginner's loop, can we call it "Loop for those who will be 7 months pregnant at the time". Unless I'm in a wheelchair by then, I am seriously thinking about hiking it. I loved Sunmart too!

DavidH said...

Cool news! Sunmart was my first 50 miler a couple years ago. Glad to hear something is filling the void.

I really enjoy the pine needles as well as it reminds me of my youth up in Minnesota.