Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Time to Play and Time to Run

Well, lookie here!  There's a half marathon just down the road in nearby Beaumont TX on Saturday March 7.  The Gusher Marathon/Half Marathon.  And the medals are really cool!!  Recalculating.....

One complication is the fact that our next Country Place Players production is the same weekend.  I've been working the rehearsals every day (except while gone on that Caribbean cruise).  So how can I fit this in?  Play performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, and Sunday matinee. The half marathon is Saturday morning.  How can I make this happen?

View of the stage from the sound booth.  Dress Rehearsal.
There were 44 sound effects for this performance.  I manage
them using a soundboard program on my laptop.  Sourced them, edited
and spliced where needed, then loaded them into the program.

Working sound and lights for our latest play production

I thought about driving to Beaumont Friday night after the play performance and had even made a hotel reservation.  But the fact that there were no hotels right there at the race start/finish line and that I'd still need to drive 10 or so miles to get to the start from the hotel, changed my mind.  I cancelled the room and set my alarm for 4:00 AM Saturday morning.

It's a little over 90 miles to the race start line near Lamar University, so I hit the road at 5:15 AM and drove much of the way to Beaumont in the dark.  Parking was easy, the walk was short enough to the start line and I had just a short wait for the 7:30 AM start of the race.

Beaumont is not exactly an architectural mecca, but the race organizers did manage to cobble together an interesting enough route, one that ran us past every pretty church and landmark building in the downtown area, past the civic center, the art museum, and city hall.  We even ran through Crockett Square, with its red brick paved roadway and fun dance halls and nightclubs and restaurants.

In the last couple of miles, the route took us past Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown Museum before making a u-turn and heading back toward the finish line across the highway at the new Lamar University Provost-Umphrey Stadium, a very fitting finish to the aptly named Gusher Marathon.

Gusher Half Marathon race route.  Data from my GPS watch

It was a small race so I knew I had a good chance of placing in my age group.  So I stuck around until they could sort out the final finisher times.  I had to do a bit of chasing around to find the lady in charge of the awards medals and then to convince her that I did indeed place in my age group.  But, with finisher medal and 3rd place medal in hand, I walked back to the car and hit the road for home.

My finisher and 3rd place medals.  Really great design!

Fed, showered and dressed, I had just an hour or so before I needed to head over to the social hall and get things set up in the sound booth for the Saturday evening performance.  Whew!!  Not much room for error.  Of course....I had to wear my newly earned medals to the performance!  Our neighborhood photographer, there to take photos of the play and of the audience, saw my medals, chatted a bit with me about them, and then snapped a photo of me. As a surprise, he submitted my story to our local newspaper.  I didn't even know this until my next door neighbor called the following Friday to ask me if I wanted her to save me a copy of the story!  To read the newspaper article, click HERE.

Wearing my finisher and 3rd place medal to
work the sound booth for the Sunday afternoon performance. 

The play was called The Carol Burnett Show and was a huge hit!  It was, in my opinion, our best effort ever, and I've been involved with the group for more than 10 years, acting or working the sound/lights.

Now just a week to get ready for my next race adventure....the Rock 'n' Roll DC half marathon in Washington DC!

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