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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Longest Causeway 5K Report. PURE. AWESOME.

Ahhhh YES! This was SO. MUCH. FUN!!

Here's some info about the causeway:

Located in southern Cameron County, Texas, the two-mile long Queen Isabella Causeway is the only road connecting South Padre Island, Texas to the mainland. The Causeway was opened in 1974 and replaced the previous bridge which had also been named Queen Isabella Causeway. The Causeway is the 2nd longest bridge in Texas, stretching 2.37 miles (3.81 km) across the Laguna Madre.

Today was the 28th annual Causeway 10K run/5K Fitness Walk. My teammates and I (minus Sig, who had to work), in our quest to do one 5K per month this year, were SUPER excited about this one. We've all driven over the causeway a gazillion times, but since pedestrian traffic is not allowed, we've never walked it.

My sister picked us up at 7am (aka oh-dark-hundred) and off we went. The weather was pretty chilly, so I had my trusty gloves and ear warmers just in case.

South Padre is about 90 minutes from where we live, so we left early so we could be sure and get there on time so we could get our t-shirts. We arrived in good time - and it's a good thing, because the place was PACKED! Luckily, we had pre-registered so we were able to waltz right in and get our wristband and t-shirts. We went back out and drove over the causeway onto Padre Island at the finish point (or so we thought) so we could catch the shuttle back to the starting line.

People in front of us waiting for the shuttle

People behind us waiting for the shuttle

Fresh feet! Not for long!


The atmosphere was awesome - very relaxed, everyone in a great mood, awesome weather. We hung out for a while, discussing our "strategy". With so many people (we learned later there were over 4,000 people there - a new attendance record for this event), we were not even going to attempt to get to the front. We weren't given race bibs and no official time was being kept (it's billed as a fitness walk), so we were happy to just take our time and enjoy the experience.

LOTS of people!

Starting line waaaay in the distance

Fellow Packers fans - WOOOO!

Walking by the historic Point Isabel lighthouse

The race was very well-organized. They let all the runners go first, then held the mass of walkers for a while to give them a good start. It worked, because we encountered ZERO runners along the route - good for us and great for the runners. I enjoyed people watching, loving how diverse the walkers group was. It's always fun to see all kinds of people - young and old - out there doing something healthy!

I snapped a bunch of pics from the causeway itself to try and give an idea of how many people were there and how awesome the weather was. It was a little windy as we got closer to the top, but the temp was nice and it was an absolutely gorgeous day.

Looking toward the causeway

The people behind us

More people

What a gorgeous day!

We stopped at the top of the causeway to get some shots - no big deal, since people were stopping all long the way to get their pics, too!

Teammates Josie and Kristi

My sis Kristi

Me trying to keep my hood from slapping me in the face

Going downhill
We got to the end of the causeway and were a tad disappointed because there was no official finish line for us to cross. Everything just kind of ended. There was a finish line for the 10K race, but by the time we walked there to get the car (an additional 1.5 miles or so) we were so tired and hungry all we wanted to do was find a place to sit down and eat.

I'm always on the lookout for silly signs, and I had seen this one on the way in, so we stopped so I could get a shot of it:

Hmmm...not sure I want to shop here!

This was a great day, and we will definitely be doing this event again. Maybe next year we'll be running it!

Thanks to my teammates Kristi and Josie for doing this with me and making it so much fun!

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