We thought you might like to know what you will be seeing along the way. Pretty cool places on our route, full of history and fun.
Pop quiz at the finish line…
Mile 1 – Texas Sports Hall of Fame
Honestly we think every one of YOU should be in here, but Tom Landry is instead. One step inside the Texas Sports Hall of Fame will engage you in an interactive tour of the history of Texas athletics. Watch clips of important sports moments in Texas history in the theater, show school spirit by singing along with the school songs from Texas universities, and compare hand and shoe sizes to those of NBA greats, with life-size replicas. Take a look at the evolution of tennis rackets (and wonder how low a professional’s score would be if they played with one of those originals!), see a Heisman Trophy up close, and find out what made Texas boxer George Foreman one of the best in history.
MILE 1.5 – Baylor University
Founded in 1865, BAYLOR UNIVERSITY, a private Christian university, is home to more than 16,000 students. You will run through the mall of the science building and next to the School of Fine Art. Be sure and notice the sculptures to your right as you come off the pedestrian bridge. The entire Baylor Student Foundation will be out there cheering for you!
Mile 2.3 – Mayborn Museum Complex
And you thought we were only about hills? Discovery awaits!! The Mayborn Museum Complex exhibits and education programs encourage families to learn together and design their own museum experience. The complex features a natural science and cultural history museum focusing on Central Texas with walk-in dioramas including one on the Waco Mammoth Site, and exploration stations for geology, paleontology, archaeology, and natural history. Seventeen hands-on discovery rooms in the Jeanes Discovery Center explore topics including transportation, sound, and health.
Mile 3 – McLane Stadium
Who’s ready to tailgate?? Run through Central Texas’ new multifunctional sports and entertainment venue. Located on the Brazos River and directly adjacent to the I-35 Corridor, McLane Stadium serves not only as the front door to Baylor University but also as the East anchor of downtown Waco. The $266 million stadium is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Baylor University to bring football back to campus and also contribute to the growth of downtown Waco and development along the Brazos Riverfront. Be sure and stop for a selfie with RG3 Statue on your left as you come off the pedestrian bridge!
Mile 4 – Baylor Football Practice Facility
This is where the 2013 and 2014 Big XII Champions were made!
Mile 4.3 – Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum
Better behave yourself. The Texas Ranger law enforcement brought down Bonnie and Clyde and they can bring you down too! The oldest state law enforcement agency, the Rangers still play an important role in solving crimes and apprehending fugitives today. The Modern Texas Rangers focus primarily on investigations, and are known as the Elite Law Enforcement Officers of the 21st Century. This is their headquarters, and also an incredible museum and the second most frequently visited tourist attraction in Texas. Useless trivia. You’re welcome.
Half Course Only:
Mile 6.5 – Cameron Park Zoo
Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!! Enter the back door of the Cameron Park Zoo at Mile 6.5. 52 acres of lush native vegetation with splashing waterfalls, picturesque lakes and ponds showcase more than 1,731 animals, representing 300 species, in their natural habitats. Run through the Asian Forest, featuring critically endangered Orangutans, Sumatran tigers, and Komodo Dragons. The tigers get especially excited when they see muscular runners legs. Yum! http://www.cameronparkzoo.com/
Mile 7.5 – Miss Nellie’s Pretty Place
Stop and smell the roses… In the spring anyway. That’s when wildflower enthusiasts flock here to see Texas’ many native wildflowers and plants, with rock-lined paths, a charming pool, and amphitheater—just the spot to rest and soak in the outdoor beauty.
Mile 8.2 – Methodist Children’s Home
We promised you hills!! Enter the Methodist Children’s Home at Mile 8.3. No swearing allowed. Founded in 1890, MCH provides services to children and youth daily through residential care, foster care and other services. You might notice the similarity the buildings have to the SMU campus. Not a coincidence; they have common founders.
Full and Relay:
Experience shaded walkways, seating areas (this is NOT an excuse to take a break), water-play fountains and a beautiful sculpture featuring children at play. Throughout the Square are names of people and organizations which represent the foundation of the Waco community. The original Heritage Square was destroyed when the tornado of 1953 ripped through downtown Waco and was re-built in June of 2001.
Built in 1909, the Alico is the tallest building in Waco. It was one of the few downtown office buildings that survived the 1953 Waco tornado. Swaying several feet when the tornado hit it directly, the steel frame structure allowed it to survive the winds. The Alico represents the persistent spirit of the Wacoan. Stand strong (and climb some hills while you’re at it).
Mile 6 – Hippodrome
First opening on February 7, 1914, The Waco Hippodrome has been a staple in entertainment for the Waco community. Originally, the building was a hub for vaudeville acts and films and continued in that format until the 1970’s when the building closed for a time. The historic building was renovated and reopened in the 1980’s as the home of the Waco Performing Arts Company which offered live theatrical events. After a change in ownership, and two years of renovation, it made its most recent debut in November 2014. The historic building, now outfitted with modern conveniences, offers a variety of programs including first-run and classic films, live music, performing arts, comedy and much more. Now housing a restaurant and bar, the Waco Hippodrome is set to entertain Waco and the Heart of Texas through another century.
Mile 8 – Historic Austin Avenue
Step back in history (as you enjoy a gentle climb, of course). The centrally located Austin Avenue neighborhood is rich in history and architectural diversity. Through the years, the area was home to celebrated local politicians, Baylor University faculty, business leaders, authors and artists.
The Texas Historic Commission selected 28 neighborhood homes as architecturally significant local preservation properties.
Mile 14 – Ridgewood Country Club Golf Course
Let the Games Begin! Right before you start to climb, look to your left and see the beautiful Ridgewood Country Club Golf Course. Established in 1947, the course is adjacent to Lake Waco providing spectacular views and is considered one of the best golf courses in the state.
Mile 15 – Lake Shore Drive
Slow and gradual climb with incredible lake views. Welcome to the infamous Lake Shore Drive!
Mile 15 -Lake Waco
Serving as the western border for the city, the lake has 79,000 acre feet (97,000,000 m3) of water and is currently run by the Army Corps of Engineers. You’ll notice no docks on the lake for this reason. Waco is famous for awesome barge parties. Floating trailer park? You be the judge.
Mile 18 – Lake Waco Dam
What a run! A short venture out to the Lake Waco Dam for just a ‘peak’ at the lake, make a quick turnaround and head back.
Mile 20 – McLennan Community College (MCC)
Since 1965, MCC has served as Waco’s community college. Currently serving about 9,000 students, the school partners with Texas Tech and Tarleton to offer 4 year programs in many different fields. And boy, does it have some HILLS!! We love ‘em!
Roller coaster or Magic Carpet Ride? You pick. Mockingbird Lane has speed bumps and rollers that will make you glad you are not on your bike.
Mile 22 – Cameron Park
Welcome to the gem of Waco!!!! Cameron Park encompasses a range of landscapes from wonderful tree-lined roads and limestone cliffs to the smooth Brazos River. You can enjoy the wildflowers, mountain bike the rugged trails, ride a horse around the bridle path, or play a round of disc golf. Spanning 416 acres and second only to Central Park as the largest inner-city park in the country, Cameron Park is an extraordinary trail labyrinth from greens to double blacks. I repeat. NO SWEARING. You love hills. Really, you know you do.
Mile 22 – Lover’s Leap
For more than 100 years, park visitors have stood atop the Cameron Park cliffs and pondered the Legend of Lovers Leap. DON”T JUMP. You have beer to drink at the finish line. We need you.
Mile 23 – Emmon’s Cliff
Don’t you love a course with words like “cliff” and “leap” We do. Emmons is highlighted by rolling parkland filled with cedars and oaks. The funny thing is, when we searched for photos online of Emmon’s, we mainly found EMS rescues. Hmmmm…..
Cameron Park Clubhouse
The historic Clubhouse sits atop a bluff above the Brazos River. With white columns, reception rooms, outdoor decks and sitting areas (again, not an excuse to rest), the Clubhouse is ideal for weddings and events. Just not resting. Move on to the finish line.
Mile 24 – Jacob’s Ladder & Rock Shelter
Climbing this bizarre, one-of-a-kind staircase is one of the park’s most beloved challenges.
Originally built with wood in the early 1900s, Jacob’s Ladder now includes nearly 100 zigzagging steps to the top. There’s a jalepeno at the bottom, beer and chocolate at the top. If you’re lucky, you might even get a bacon hand up.
Mile 13 and 26 – Waco’s Historic Suspension Bridge
Built in 1870, our bridge was the longest single-span suspension bridge west of the Mississippi. The cost to cross was 5 cents per head of cattle. Crucial to traders and travelers for well over a century, the bridge helped transform Waco from a small frontier town to a major commercial center and stands as an icon of Waco history. To the Miracle Match Marathon it means even more. A celebration of the human spirit as you finish the most difficult marathon in Texas and more importantly, the symbolism of bridging the gap between donor and recipient through the Be the Match Program.
Days to 2021 Miracle Match Marathon