The Bridgeland 10 mile race is part of the Texas 10 Series. It is a unique, road course consisting of two five-mile loops (more on the loops in a minute). I ran this race for my friend Gerald, his family and our small group from church.

Through a unique set of circumstances, I was first introduced to Gerald through a church small group we both attended.  Working for the City of Santa Fe in the roads department, his humble and servant leader approach to repairing and clearing the roads always came to mind when I was in The City Different or watching an approaching cold front that would be dumping snow on city streets.

Gerald always talked about his love of family, his son, sister, mom and dad. When Gerald was hospitalized with COVID-19, it provided an opportunity to learn more about his family through regular text messages and an occasional phone call.  His hospitalization also provided an opportunity for the small group to support Gerald and his family through encouragement, prayer and service. Habits of happiness are formed by service and sacrifice. 

Gerald’s service and sacrifice, along with his love of God’s word and proficiency of rock and roll music were the things that were remembered when he passed.

Which gets me back to the Bridgeland 10 mile race.

A “blue norther” of a cold front dropped race-time temperatures into the mid to upper 20’s.  I was prepared for 40 degree weather!  Fashioning some bandanas into a beanie/cap and using an old pair of my dad’s leather gloves, I made the best of it and placed second in my age group (for the record there were four people in my age group)! 

It was a two-loop course. In running terms, and even life, I am a point-to-point kind of person.  Life’s journey is has a start and a finish, they are two different places. Sometimes, the logistics of a point-to-point course are difficult for race directors to justify (i.e. the cost of transporting runners). As a result, about 90% of all races there are “out and back” routes and “loops”. 

Here is what I like about loop races, it provides you a second chance at the course and to improve how it is navigated. After the first loop, I know the turns, hills and location of the rest stations.  After the first lap, it is a second chance to run the course. Oh, how many times do I wish that parts of my life had a second loop!

For Gerald, his Christian faith provided him a second loop of life in so many ways.  For that, his friends and family are grateful.