Exercise · fitness · Races · Running

Urban Cow Half Marathon

October 7, 2018

I decided to run this race last minute. Originally I was not going to run it because I was running a half marathon on October 21st (race recap coming soon). But I decided to go ahead and run this local race because the course looked cool and it would be a good way for me to do another fast long run. It is easier to run a fast long run in a race than it is to run it on your own.

A funny back story about the name of this race….

Despite being the capital city of California and having a population of nearly 1 million people, Sacramento had long been considered no more than the “Cow Town” situated between San Francisco and Lake Tahoe. This was certainly still the case in 2005. So, putting aside any objections to this distinction, the name, theme, and everything else associated with the event became all about cows. The first “Sacramento Cowtown Marathon” took place on October 2, 2005 with over 2,200 participants. Race history.

When I moved here last November (2017) I was on a group run with the Chips and they asked me what races I had run and I mentioned the Cowtown Marathon in Fort Worth. Well, apparently there is a bit of a rivalry (or just hard feelings) between the two races because the Cowtown Marathon (in Fort Worth) told the then Sacramento Cowtown Marathon that they owned the rights to the name “cowtown” and so Urban Cow was born.

I thought it was funny that some people think of Sacramento as a cow town. Sacramento is not at all a cow town like Fort Worth with stockyards, steakhouses, the Chisholm Trail, etc. When I asked the Chips why people thought that Sacramento was a cow town they said that wealthy people in the Bay area thought of Sacramento as a country cowtown. Go figure. There is a lot of rice, tomatoes, walnuts, and almonds around Sacramento, but no cows.

Anyway, back to the race.

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flat runner

It was a good thing that I left a few minutes earlier then I was planning for this race (which was only 15 minutes from my house) because the traffic to park was crazy. I paid $2 when I picked up my race packet the day before so that I could park on one of the nearby university’s lots. There was plenty of parking space where I eventually parked, but 1) finding a parking lot (thanks a lot Google Maps) was a pain in the ass and 2) getting through the congested line of cars took time. A lot of runners were complaining that someone should have been directing traffic. I ended up parking in the university parking garage with about 15 minutes until the race start. I was planning on running over to the race start (about a mile away), but then I saw a shuttle bus outside of the parking garage to the race start. I hopped on the bus with a bunch of other frantic runners (there was a group dressed in cow suites) and made it to the race area in about 5 minutes. I could still see a line of cars trying to park when I was on the bus. Then I quickly got in line for the port-o-potties. The line was moving fast because it was T-minutes 5 minutes to race start. I emptied my bladder while the race announcer was getting ready to start the race and then dashed to the start line. Whew! Just in time.

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quick picture before the race

I liked the race course and the weather was perfect. It was a beautiful fall day and I ended up with a new half marathon PR 1:46:13. Average pace 8:07 minute miles. 11th out of 76 in my age group. 154th of 1,793 females. 430th of 2,942 overall. 

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post race

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One thought on “Urban Cow Half Marathon

  1. Congratulations to you! Another PR and 11 out of 76 in your age group! Interesting about the “cow town” name controversy. Sorry Sacramento, but Fort Worth still has live cows being herded down the street, statutes of cows and herds can be found in both Dallas and Fort Worth, and western paraphernalia is rampant. A “city folk” could associate Sacramento as a country town due to their frame of reference, though.

    Liked by 1 person

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