Mission Statement & History
Terlingua Track Club, a non-profit association of athletes, fosters local, state, national and international competitions in track and field, road racing, trail racing, triathlons, biathlons and other sports competitions in which running is the core activity. Its members are dedicated to training, competing, coaching and educating runners to perform well in sports competitions. Terlingua also fosters running competition by hosting the LP Run, a Houston Area Road Racing Association Championship event which has drawn competitors from several countries, states, other parts of Texas as well as from the greater Houston area.
Terlingua welcomes men and women, runners young and old, to join the Club, experience the warmth and friendship of its members and continue its tradition of promoting excellence in physical health through running and racing competitions.
Terlingua Track Club: A Short History
Founding in 1967
In the late 1960s a small group of distance runners a few of whom had competed at the collegiate level and others who ran just for fun organized a running club in Houston. The original mix of those who were high level competitors with those who were less so set a pattern for the future – anyone with a desire to compete or to foster running competition was welcome to join the Club, regardless of ability.
Association with Terlingua, Texas
In view of the fact that some club members trained in the desert and mountains of the Big Bend National Park area, the Club took its name, Terlingua Track Club, from the gateway to Big Bend – Terlingua, Texas.
Humor and Love of Competitive Running
Terlingua’s focus from its inception has been to foster its members’ love for competitive running while maintaining a sense of humor in the process. If success can be measured by how well and how long a club follows its basic mission then Terlingua has achieved it and continues to achieve it.
Excellence in Competition
Year after year Terlingua’s runners have demonstrated competitive spirit in the individual and team honors received in local AAU, Athletics Congress and HARRA competitions and in many state, national and international competitions.
The Houston Marathon
The marathon has always held a special place in the hearts of Terlinguans. Just as the towns of Marathon, Texas and Terlingua, Texas share a common heritage in their location, so too do Terlinguans have a long association with the marathon. A Terlingua member was the founder and initial director of the Houston Marathon in 1972, and ever since, Terlinguans have volunteered to put the race on and competed in it. Terlingua claims among its members several directors of the Houston Marathon, past champions, and one member who has completed more Houston Marathons than any other runner.
The LP Run
In addition to the Marathon, Terlinguans compete in races of all other distances, especially in the fall and spring HARRA Championship races. Terlingua Track Club hosts one of the spring HARRA Championship races, the LP Run. Formerly the One Hour Run, the LP Run is the oldest race in Houston and co-holder of the title “Oldest Race in Texas”. The timed run has been held every year since at least 1968, usually in March or in April. Each competitor runs as far as possible in 33½ minutes on a stadium track. The Race has always been accompanied by a side competition: one year a haiku contest, another year, a chili cook-off, several years of a cookie chill-off and toss, and more recently, with Limerick competitions.
Terlinguans have always had a special interest in relay competitions, particularly in the fall HARRA Cross Country Relays and in the spring HARRA Road Relays where Terlinguans have had a long history of excellence in competition. Terlingua team members know that they depend on each other for team success and enjoy the team spirit and fellowship that accompanies these competitions. Another favorite relay competition for Terlinguans is the Beach to Bay Relay Competition in Corpus Christi Texas where 6 runners team to cover the marathon distance.
Terlingua runners train with other runners of the same ability including members of other running clubs. Training often depends on whether a runner is doing a workout prescribed by a coach, in which the workout may be alone or with others training under the same coach.
Coaching and Race Directing
Many Terlinguans have been, and still are, coaches of runners in the greater Houston area and directors of local races, including, among others, the Heights Run and the Polish Pickle Run.
Star Pizza in the Heights is the place where Terlinguans most often gather for pizza and beer to discuss races recently run, races about to run, planning for the LP Run many other topics of news in the lives of our members. Individual Terlinguans have hosted parties and other social gatherings in their homes usually associated with a running competition.
Long Lasting Friendships
Terlingua’s members usually remain with the Club for many years. There is a strong sense of friendship and fellowship as a result of all of the time spent together in training, competing and volunteering at local races especially at the LP Run.