CORPUS CHRISTI — If you thought by fjwuxn

VIEWS: 3 PAGES: 2

									CORPUS CHRISTI — If you thought you saw
Superman darting along the bay Saturday, he
was hot on the heels of a hippie in a tie-dyed
T-shirt and clutching the baton Batman
handed him.         Los Superhombres, six
costumed high school students from San
Antonio, were one of 1,705 registered teams
in the 33rd Annual Beach to Bay Relay
Marathon.     Saturday's    26.2-mile     race
summoned more than 10,000 seasoned and
wannabe runners to pass batons from Padre Balli to Cole parks, where
thousands of spectators eyeballed the finish. Contenders and supporters
struggled to find teammates in dense crowds but some team themes, like Los
Superhombres' costumes, helped.

A different bunch bleached their hair. "So we could show off, stick out and find
each other," said Chris Amaya, 17, captain of the Lonestar Elite team, also from
San Antonio. The towheaded teammates toted water and bananas about 11 a.m.
through clusters of thousands of people crammed onto the grassy hill by Cole
Park's amphitheater. Lines of sweaty runners snaked through the crowd, waiting
for refreshments and food. Many swayed to the blasting rhythm of local band
Flashback.

Outside the cloak of live music and barbecue smoke, a loudspeaker squawked
team names of finishers as the less-seasoned runners sprinted their best, well
past the highly sought three-hour race timestamp. At three hours and 22 minutes,
11-year-old Skylar Anderson earned applause as the first youngster to finish. It
was the second time for him to run the final leg for his Dawson Elementary
Running Club team.

"It feels good to win first place again," said Skylar, who will be too old for the
team next year. It was the 10th time Dawson won the youth division. "We've
been training hard all year." Some runners saw problems throughout the day.
Some teams lost their third-leg runners, who missed the last shuttle leaving Flour
Bluff at 8:45 a.m..

"It really messed us up," said Michael Kozlowski, who pressed past the finish for
Incarnate Word Academy Angels. "We had to draft a guy from another team to
be able to finish." The Laguna Madre turnaround on the third leg wasn't shut
down as traffic organizers planned, so many runners dodged vehicles until a
water station volunteer directed traffic. Andrew Sable, a Padre Island resident for
nine years, would like to have dodged traffic.

He said he was stuck for an hour in an early morning mess at Whitecap
Boulevard near his home. "Cars were backed up as far as you could see," he
said.
Few spectators abided by the parking plan for the after-race rally at Cole Park.
Del Mar neighborhood streets across from the park were packed with vehicles
despite barricades and "no parking" signs put up by police. Shuttle service from
two churches and the coliseum parking lots was stagnant.

By noon, police radioed dispatchers for towing permits to remove vehicles
blocking traffic along Ocean Drive. Medical staff reported few troubles because
cooler weather -- which ranged from the mid 60s to low 80s during the run --
helped avoid runner exhaustion.

One teen girl was taken to the hospital because of dehydration, said Pamela
Hulme, in charge of the six medical stations. One runner went down with a leg
problem on the causeway, but no twisted ankles or skinned knees were reported
to medics, she said. "It's been one of the best races from our perspective,"
Hulme said. "The cooler weather gave us smooth sailing."

Contact Mike Baird at 886-3774 or bairdm@caller.com. Photographer Rachel
Denny Clow contributed to this article.

								
To top