by Ruth England
Decker Half Marathon and full marathon are coming up soon after the Thanksgiving holidays. Precisely, on Sunday December 6th. This is the 31st year of the Decker half marathon produced by the Austin Runner's club. It has been many years since I have ran the race. I have a very found place in my heart for this race. Decker is one of those races you can proudly announce to your running friends that you have completed. This is not easy course and most years it has not been very easy weather either.
I distinctly remember the first year I ran Decker. I remember waking up and hearing the thunder and heavy rain while appreciating my warm bed, and my down comforter. Thinking to myself, am I really going to run this thing. I know the only reason I got out of bed was NOT the distance challenge jacket it was because of this cute runner guy was hoped would be at the race. At the same time I was really confident that we would not actually be running Decker because it was raining a lot. Instead, I would be hang out in my warm, dry clothes and talk with my friends and hopefully I would run into the cute runner.
As luck would have it we had to run. It was raining sideways for most of the race. The only water stop and not that needed or wanted one was Noah Benard in the RunTex truck who offered to throw a cup of water at anyone who wanted it. Even though did not want water it did give me the opportunity to dump of some really heavy, soaking wet clothes with Noah.
This was my first year of racing and running, I was not sure what to wear. I fell back on my vast knowledge of warm ski clothing. Since I have skied all my I figured warm ski gear was the best choice. Bust after a couple miles of pouring rain it all weighted a ton and it was doing nothing to keep me warm, I was actually too hot to keep the neck warmer, ear warmers, heavy gloves. Actually, I had purchased some wind pants at some Academy type place and I had those stuck to my legs.
I am making it sound like Decker was all about the clothes but it is all about the hills and hills and hills. Each year they post signs at most of the hills that say, "last hilly". HAHAHA! It really sucked at the time but I looked forward to those in the years after my first Decker.
If you are on the fence about whether to run/race Decker I suggest you do it. Then you can stroll around afterward announce loudly that you completed a damn hard race & most likely some difficult Austin weather as well.