Running a race gives family sense of place

By Ashley Husbands –

On the chilly Saturday morning before Halloween this year, over 200 runners gathered at Lem Brock field to participate in the fourth annual Stephenville Lions Club Halloween Spooktacular Run. The runners mingled excitedly amongst each other while picking up race bibs and their new shirts before the races began.

The mood continued to rise as Hudon White, the organizer of the event, sported a long haired, multi-colored clown wig and described the course to the participants. Half-marathon runners lined up first and began their race. Then the 10K race – which covers 6.2 miles – gathered at the starting line.

I ran in the 10K with my brother and father. My brother and I began the race together at the front of the pack, each intending to beat the other one. There’s nothing wrong with a little sibling rivalry, right? My father began behind us.

My brother and I, both talking and singing along to his iPod, enjoyed each other’s company while climbing the hills of Stephenville. The race course showed my brother and father parts of the town where I have lived for four years but that they’d never seen before. I was proud to show them Stephenville’s peaceful, friendly environment, evident as locals stood in their yards and cheered on the participants as we ran by.

The race continued and my brother finally began to break away from our pack to chase a first-place finish. As much as I wanted to win, I was not able to catch him. Instead I was able to run with a new friend we made along the way.

In our conversations, I learned how to drink a cup from a water station without splashing my entire face, a skill that definitely comes in handy. I also learned about running groups to join in town. I had previously been running by myself and had been seeking people to run with occasionally, so I was very happy to learn about where to find other runners.

After finishing the race, I watched as other runners crossed the finish line behind us. A half-marathon runner finished with a time that shattered the previous course record – 1:13:50.4, which converts to an average of 5:38 per mile for 13.1 miles.

After the race, I spoke with the winner of the half-marathon, Miles Joslin.

“I went out there with no particular plan except to run it as a training run for the Dallas Marathon,” he said. “I am happy with the way it turned out.”

“As a Tarleton student who currently lives in Stephenville, I was excited to
begin my professional running career in a nice, stress-free atmosphere,” Joslin said. “This race was very good for local runners; the race director did a very good job at putting this race on and running it smoothly, and I loved the course.”

Joslin’s future plans in his running career include running the Dallas Marathon, which will be his first marathon to ever compete in, and to hopefully qualify for the 2014 New York Marathon.

As I ate my post-race snacks of trail mix, granola bars and very tasty burritos, I watched as the finishers and first-in-age-group medals were passed out to participants. Many people, including my father and brother, received their first medals for a race in their entire lives.

The money raised in the race was donated to the Stephenville Lions Club and will be used mainly for the Focus Vision Project and also for the Tarleton Equine Assisted Therapy (T.R.E.A.T.) program. More information about the Stephenville Lions Club and the entire list of results for the race can be found at

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