The Badass Texas Half Marathon is a PERFECT name for this race, as its course and weather are truly challenging, and in order to complete it or do well in it, you MUST be a badass. This year the race was held on Sunday, August 6th, and the temperature at start time was 79F, with yes, you guessed it, 100% humidity. I was soaked with sweat with just a couple of minutes easy warm-up and dynamic stretching before the race even started. The course, which starts right across from the small but nice convention center where packet pick-up is held, is TOUGH TOUGH TOUGH (see attached elevation photo). The first couple of miles are fairly easy with a little bit of roll on the asphalt road, but then the monster, straight hills start, weaving you all through the gorgeous Cameron Park and overlooking the Brazos River for the next 6 miles. The course then exits through the campus of McClennan Community College and goes mostly flat the rest of the way for the remaining 5 miles. One very positive aspect of the course (besides its beauty) is that it is mostly covered with trees and so you run the bulk of miles 2-8 under good shade. All that shade though ends at mile 8 and you must battle the tough sun for most of the last 5 miles except a small stretch towards the end. The last stretch to the finish line is certainly quite unique, as it entails crossing the old Waco Suspension Bridge over the Brazos River into the finish chute; it is truly unforgettable. Both the swag t-shirt and finisher's medal are OUTSTANDING, maybe the best combined set I've ever got. The post race food and drinks were good as well, although not necessarily the highlight of the event. The finish/resting area is quite comfortable and pinturesque in the middle of Indian Springs Park and the "Branding the Brazos" sculptures of a longhorn cattle stampede and cowboys rounding them up.
If you're a serious runner and can make it down to Waco, this race is a "must-do" in my opinion, because its course is as beautiful and rewarding as it is challenging. The following is the address to a video review I did and posted to my Instagram account:
In addition, the following is a neat video another unner posted on YouTube from the 2015 event: