The inaugural running of the Run at Borderfest Half Marathon, Relay and 5K Run/Walk is set to take off as winter is giving way to spring here in the Rio Grande Valley of southernmost Texas, where the United States meets the border with Mexico and where this city's annual Borderfest festival marks its 35th anniversary in 2011.
The half marathon course route follows an out-and-back loop that starts and finishes at Hidalgo's State Farm Arena, where the city's Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees of the Central Hockey League play, as well as the Southern Indoor Football League's Rio Grande Valley Magic and the Vipers, of the NBA's development league. From there, runners and walkers follow what is roughly a clockwise loop route through the city, and which takes runners through a number of tree-lined residential streets as well as local historic landmarks.
From there, the race route -- which organizers say is fast and flat, thanks to its location near the banks of the Rio Grande -- takes runners north along Highway 336 and then right onto Dicker Road, which takes runners east toward the next intersection, where they turn right and head south along Jackson Road. This two-mile stretch then heads down to Military Highway, where runners turn right again and head toward Carlson Lake.
Runners pass the half-way point of the race just as they're turning off Military Highway and heading onto the road that curves right and skirts the shoreline of Carlson Lake, a local reservoir that serves as a popular fishing spot. Runners remain on the roadway along the lake as it crosses over the creek and passes just south of Lake Texano on the way toward the historic Old Hidalgo Pumphouse.
The structure once housed a working water pumphouse for the city -- all of its engineering design and functions are explained inside the pumphouse museum -- but the facility now also is home to the Hidalgo World Birding Center, where the expansive acres behind and around the pumphouse have been landscaped to provide a sanctuary for many species of birds and butterflies, and where visitors can take a walk along the center's several miles of trails into its nearby forests and wetlands areas.
Once runners make their way around the Old Hidalgo Pumphouse, the course then begins the final few miles as it brings the field back into the city, crossing around Hidalgo City Park. After a stretch along Pirate Drive and 15th Street, there's a quick run around the city's public library, and then the route brings runners back onto Highway 336 for the home stretch back in to the State Farm Arena for the race finish line.
Weather & Climate
Located along the U.S.-Mexico border, just across the Rio Grande from the Mexican border town of Reynoso and about 55 miles northeast of Brownsville in southernmost Texas, the city of Hidalgo typically experiences mild to moderately warm and occasionally hot temperatures in March, when the city also sees its driest weather of the year on average. In March, the city's average monthly temperatures range between 81°F and 60°F -- on the day of the race (March 6), the average high is 79°F and the average low is 58°F -- while rainfall totals average just over 0.7 inches for the month.
$40 for the half marathon, if registered by November 30, 2010
$45 between December 1, 2010 - January 31, 2011
$50 between February 1 - March 1
$60 on the day of the race, if space available
To reserve your spot in the spring 2011 running of the Run at Borderfest Half Marathon, Relay or 5K race, register online at the event website.
Half Marathon Course Map
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