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Texas > Brazos Bend Gator Run Half Marathon & Relay
Needville, TX  •  Sunday, October 28, 2012  •  Course Map


Nestled along a bend in the Brazos River that winds through this part of southern Texas near the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, Brazos Bend State Park plays host in late October 2012 to the second annual running of the Brazos Bend Gator Run Half Marathon & Relay, which is set to take runners on the trails that wind through this 5,000-acre park that lies less than hour's drive south from Houston.

The race will host an individual half marathon and a half marathon relay for two-person teams, both of which will follow the same out-and-back course that starts and finishes at the park's Elm Lake Pavilion, which lies along the northern shore of the lake by the same name near the center of the park. From there, the course winds first out from Elm Lake to the Horseshoe Lakes, which lie side by side one another.

Runners keep heading north past Horseshoe Lake and onto the Big Creek Loop Trail, a nearly two-mile-long trail loop that winds along Big Creek in the park's northwestern corner. Once runners make it up and around the loop trail, they head back in the direction of Horseshoe Lake and Elm Lake, where they'll turn off the Elm Lake Loop Trail and head west onto the Spillway Trail, which leads out to the 1.2-mile-long 40 Acre Lake Trail.

The trail winds all the way around 40 Acre Lake -- along this and the other portions of the trail used in the race, runners should expect to encounter plenty of wildlife in the hardwood forests, from the large live oak trees filled with Spanish moss to deer, alligators and nearly 300 different varieties of birds -- and then brings runners back to Elm Lake, where they'll make their way back around to the pavilion where they started the race.

At this point, the half-way point of the race, those running the individual half marathon will start another loop around the trails they've just run; those running in the half marathon relay will finish the first leg and hand the rest of the race off to their relay partners for the second leg, which unfolds along the exact same trail they've just run.

The scheduled starting time for the individual half marathon is 7:00 AM, while those running the relay will start at 7:15 AM. While organizers plan to have aid stations out on the course every two to three miles, it is recommended to bring along water with you during the race -- just make sure you bring out whatever you take in with you into the park.

Race Weather & Climate

Located near the Gulf coast of southeastern Texas, just over 40 miles southwest of downtown Houston and roughly 280 miles south of Dallas, Needville typically sees October temperatures that average between 83°F and 59°F, while rainfall totals average just over 4.4 inches for the month, making October the city's third-wettest month of the year. On the day of the race (Oct. 28), the average high is 80°F and the average low is 56°F.

Course Map

View the race route map for the Brazos Bend Gator Run Half Marathon


$65 for the individual half marathon, if registered by September 28, 2012
$75 after Sept. 28

$80 per team for the 2-person relay half marathon, if registered by Sept. 28
$90 after Sept. 28


To reserve your spot in the early fall 2012 running of Needville's Brazos Bend Gator Run Half Marathon or Relay race, register online at Active.com.

Official Race Website


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SEE ALSO: 12-, 16- and 20-Week Half Marathon Training Plans
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