Last Saturday, I spent the day out at the LBJ Grasslands north of Decatur timing the 50M, Marathon and Half-Marathon for Chris and Anne Barnwell. We’ve spent some time helping out with each other’s races over the years and it was fun to be on the other side of the line, working instead of volunteering. They were kind enough to offer dinner on Friday and a place to sleep Friday night so that I wouldn’t have to drive the 45 min from Denton the morning of the race (leave my house at 3:15, wakeup at 3) so I was able to get a little more sleep than I would have. My plan was to sleep in my car out there but I haven’t worked out my car camping rig yet and it would have been a very cold night to be sleeping outside.

I rolled up to the start line at 4:25 am and got everything situated for the 50 mile start at 6:00 am. Kyle was there to test out a new timing line so he walked me through the more delicate procedures of editing runners during the race (DNS, DNF, time adjustments) so I was actually able to take care of a lot of the maintenance of the timing files throughout the race. We did lose power when they ran out of fuel for the natural gas powered generator, something I hadn’t seen before and is a great thing to have when you are transporting fuel in a vehicle, so he had to close out the files. It was fun to get a chance to see a bunch of familiar faces while I was running around doing timing duties and chat with some Denton local volunteers who were out at our aid station at the start/finish.

My buddy Brant was out on the hunt for his first 50 mile finish and it was great to see him in between loops and at the end when he came trucking in at 11:55 and change. We’ve spent a few years running races together and most of the time we are right on pace together. His last few blowups were also on my list of DNFs so we’ve got some work to do now that he’s stepped up to the 50 mile distance, Palo Duro we are coming for you.

Art news! I’m honored to be included in two new projects that Spiderweb Salon has coming up. The first is a publishing project with Goliad Media where I will have 2-3 pieces included in our first legit publication as a collective. The second is a partnership with the DMA beginning in September where pieces will be recorded and experienced by the audience in very private, intimate settings. I’m really excited to be involved in these projects and it has been a minute since I’ve had time in my schedule to focus on creating some new work. Look for more details soon as this will be very cool and very tangible!

We had auditions for my advanced theatre class on Friday and will have a few more on Monday that couldn’t make it due to scheduling conflicts. This is something that I pushed for for 6 years and when I finally got a mixed class, it was just filled with 34 or 35 7th and 8th grade students with little to no consideration on whether they should be in advanced theatre class or not. They were dumped in there, kids with lots of experience and kids with absolutely no experience trying to make things work in a way too big class. I dealt with it because I knew that if I freaked out about it, they would just say “this is what you asked for” and take it away for good. This year, more what I was looking for but with 4 or 5 randos who hadn’t had theatre and didn’t audition so it killed the vibe a bit. Next year, I am hoping to have the class where I want it to be and have a dedicated, hard working group to take a deeper dive into some techniques and do some higher quality work. We are moving our one-act contest to the fall this year too so our contest show will be the first out of the gate and a good way to jump start the year.

Almost forgot…Johnson Branch Trail Race is a thing! We’ve got June 8 booked out at the Johnson Branch Unit of Lake Ray Roberts and registration is open.

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