Welcome to the launch of TexasRunningPost.com. We dedicate ourselves to the Central Texas running community. Although we’re based in Austin, we endeavor to cover the running scene for the entirety of Texas, from Waco to San Antonio to College Station/Bryan. We’ll cover the Texas biggies in Houston, San Antonio, Austin and Dallas, as well as national events of interest, such as the New York City, Chicago and Boston marathons.
As we evolve and build the site, we’ll also cover triathlons, weekly training articles (an equal mix of beginning advice as well as marathon-oriented for the more seasoned runner), occasional athlete profiles, and all the news that’s of interest to you, the Central Texas runner.
However, we can’t do any of this without your help. We have a team of correspondents who will cover races and events in our primary region, but this site is about you, so we need your input.
What do we want? We want updates of new events (big and small), runners in your territory who do amazing or unusual things (or attempt to do so), and just about anything else that piques your interest. If you care about it, we care about it.
A little background on our site. (This is also available under ‘About Us.’) Three Austin runners and friends (Ashish Patel, Michael Madison and Bob Wischnia) got together one morning in the spring and discussed the void left in the running community with the demise of RunTex. Regardless of what you may think about the RunTex saga over the last couple of years, it was an amazing store, and its owner—Paul Carrozza—was the lynchpin for running and racing in Austin through the last 25 years.
The Runtex website was the go-to spot for all race results and race coverage. Furthermore, it housed this blog. RunTex.com hasn’t gone entirely silent, but its influence and scope has dimmed considerably with the closing of the stores. The site even reposts some of my old articles, which is fine.
Since the Austin Marathon in February, we have received tons of email and comments from runners on the trail asking us to produce something like this very site. Thank you. Without your encouragement, none of this would be possible.
It’s taken us a few months to put this together, but we’re confident that we’ll quickly become the site for Central Texas running. Need to find a 5-K next week? We’ll have an extensive race calendar. Need quick race results? We’ll have ’em (we’re still working on this). How to do long runs? Got it. Where to do ’em? Ditto. How to start a running or walking program? Bingo. A training group to join? You’ll find it here. Even where to eat breakfast after your long weekend run, we have it covered.
You get the idea. But again, we can only do this with your help.
Here’s what you can do:
- Bookmark our URL.
- Visit us on a daily basis. (We need the traffic.)
- Search for races on our calendar, check in for a race preview and visit us for results and race story. (We can’t cover every race, but we’ll get to all the major races and many of the smaller ones.)
- Tell your friends. Please! Email our URL.
- Go to our Facebook page and like us.
- Support our advertisers. These kind folks are taking a chance with us. Please thank them and use their goods and services. They are our lifeblood.
- Feedback. We want to hear from you. Let us know what you like and don’t like. What we can do better. What you want to see that we don’t have. Just remember this is a work in progress. As we build traffic and hopefully our advertising base, we can cover more events and spread our coverage.
Just to reiterate, this site is about you. This is a collaboration between three Austin runners and the running community we appreciate and love. This is the right thing to do and the right time to do it.
We are a reflection of you, and we’re all in this together.
Quite a bit has happened since we last talked in February. Before we get to the latest news and stories, here’s a brief recap of the important events that conspired in the last several months.
• RunTex closed. The flagship store of RunTex at Riverside and South 1st Street was demolished to make way for a new loft building. RunTex owner Paul Carrozza is still in town, has an event business, and is working on a variety of projects. Just five years ago, Austin had five RunTex stores and no other running stores in the immediate area. Today, RunTex does not exist, and there are at least 12 other running stores in the Austin area (more on that in a minute), including Luke’s Locker, Rogue Running, Hill Country, Texas Running Company and others.
• The Livestrong Austin Marathon is also no more. Conley Sports and Livestrong parted ways in April, less than 18 months after signing a 10-year partnership. Livestrong is sponsoring the car2go marathon relay on September 22nd, and the “Austin”marathon will be called what it should have been called for years: The Austin Marathon. Its new sponsor is none other than Freescale. What hasn’t changed is the date (February 16th), the loop course, its owners and managers (Conley Sports), and its philanthropic and environmental emphasis.
• The fall out from the Bev Kearney mess has continued at UT. Men’s coach Bubba Thornton, who clashed with Kearney, was forced out with a year to go on his contract (effective August 31). Texas indicated it was going to conduct a national search for his replacement, but instead quickly settled on Mario Sategna as the head coach for the combined men’s and women’s programs. Sategna, who has coached field athletes at UT for 10 years, has never been a head coach on any level. Once appointed to the job, Sategna essentially cleaned house (although Rose Brimmer, the interim women’s head coach, resigned) and replaced the entire coaching staff. Two respected distance/cross-country coaches–Steve Sisson and John Hayes— were caught in the turnover and forced to reapply for their jobs. Neither was retained by Sategna. The two distance jobs were combined into one and Brad Herbster, most recently at Clemson, took over.
• San Antonio offers yet another new course for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon on November 17th. But it’s not a radical change. The start will be different, but the runners will still line up for the start downtown near the Convention Center and finish at the Alamodome. The race expo returns to the Alamodome after a year absence, and the musical headliner is somebody named Joe Nichols.
• The Sunstroke Summer Stampede up at Brushy Creek in Williamson County is kaput, or it will be soon. The final race is scheduled for August 7th at 7 p.m. The Stampede was a fixture on the lean summer racing calendar for 10 years, but next Wednesday night marks the end of it. Bummer.
• Three of the stalwarts in our running and tri community pulled up stakes and moved this spring. Scott MacPherson, the top dog in town for the past three years, moved to Michigan to be with his fiancee. Pro Triguy Patrick Evoe moved to Boulder with his beautiful bride, Megan. Chass Armstrong, who ran collegiately at Trinity before moving to Austin and running for Team Mizuno, left Texas in the spring to join the GTC-Elite–an training and racing program in Greenville, South Carolina sponsored by Asics. Armstrong is still adjusting to the lifestyle of the Deep South (no TexMex), and in his first big test, he finished 70th at the USA Half Marathon Champs in Duluth in 1:06:58.
Now that we got all that out of the way….
• There’s a new marathon in these parts this fall called the Hill Country Marathon (half marathon and 10-K too) and held on October 20th in Marble Falls. The race is billed as “the most beautiful marathon in Texas,” and I’m not going to dispute that. Race directors are Josue Stephens and Brad Quinn. For info, go to runthehillcountry.com.
• Another new running store just opened. This one is a new Fleet Feet up in Round Rock (3750 Gattis School Road) in between I-35 and the 130 toll road. The owner, Mark King, comes here from The Woodlands where he worked for Luke’s.
• Down in San Antonio, Mitch and Michelle Allen expanded their iRun operation to a second store. The beautiful new store is right off Stone Oak Parkway (20079) with direct access to some nice trails. Ana Maria Wilcox, the highly respected shoe and clothing buyer, joined the Allens and as their merchandise manager.
• Not to be outdone, Soler’s Sports—the kingpin of San Antonio running— opened a fourth location, also off Stone Oak Parkway (18720). Several months ago, the old Run Gear Run closed its door, and Soler took over its location. BTW: Roger Soler spent part of the summer in his native Peru (where he was an ’84 Olympian), climbing Machu Picchu.
• But the elephant in the room is Luke’s Locker. Luke’s, which has 10 stores statewide, including two in Austin (the Victory Store on the UT campus is owned and operated by Luke’s), is strongly rumored to move into an undisclosed location in San Antonio this fall. As is customary (and smart), nobody at Luke’s is confirming or denying anything. And even if those in the know secretly acknowledge something is in the works, absolutely nobody is saying where it will be. Or even if it will be. But all the retailers in San Antonio are cringing because they know that Luke’s brings state-of-the-art running retail to any market and is a formidable competitor. Stay tuned.
• BTW: Luke’s has taken over complete responsibility for producing and directing the 14th annual IBM Uptown Classic on October 6th. The course will remain at The Domain for this year, but Luke’s is definitely looking to bring the race closer to downtown next year. If it does, the date will have to be moved because the first Sunday in October clashes with ACL and no other events can be held during those two weekends.
• Shameless plug. OK, I work for Mizuno. Love the shoes, love the brand, love my job. If you want to call me Mr. Mizuno, I take it as a compliment. This is my blog, and if I want to promote my brand, deal with it. Anyway, Mizuno and Luke’s Locker of Austin (115 Sandra Muraida) will host a social run next Wednesday night (August 7th) at 6 p.m., complete with postrun food, beer, and music at Luke’s. And here’s where we, the Mizunos guys, come in: You can take a new pair of the Mizuno Wave Sayonaras—a lightweight trainer—out for a test spin on the Butler Trail. Or the Mizuno Wave Rider 16s. Just come by early enough, get fitted, and we’ll give you a pair to try out. (Sorry, you have to return them.)
• If you’re busy on Wednesday, the Mizuno Texas crew (Cain, Mark and Wish) will be at Rogue Running (500 San Marcos Street) on Thursday evening (August 8th) at 6 p.m. Again, we’ll have the brand new Mizuno Wave Sayonara available for a test run. This event sounds like big fun. The run is pretty short (1.5 miles) and stops at Pihranna Sushi before finishing at Hops and Grain Craft Brewery in Austin. Again, you have to return the shoes, and try not to slurp any of the terrific beers on them.
• Maternity notes: Chris Kimbrough has been missed from Austin racing during her maternity leave, but she is back in training after giving birth on May 16th to her sixth child and fifth daughter (Layne). Then, a couple of days ago, Chris packed most of the family into the van for a 2000-mile drive to Montana where she’s going to get in some serious mileage. Desiree Ficker, for years the top tri-gal in the state, is expecting her first child—a daughter—any day now. Her due date is next week. And, Andrea Fisher, another professional triathlete who co-owns Hill Country Running with her husband, Jamie Cleveland, is 22 weeks pregnant with her second child. But Andrea has not been a happy camper of late, as she is also suffering with a stress fracture and can’t run.
• Newest stud in town is Rory Tunningley. Actually, Rory never left, as the former two-time state cross-country champ from Lockhart also had a terrific senior year at UT with PRs in the 1500 (4:14), 3000 (8:19) and 5000 (14:15). After graduating with a kinesiology degree and getting engaged to Megan Vasquez, Tunningley turned his attention to the roads. Tunningley will make his Austin road debut at the Zilker Relays and then run the IBM Uptown Classic. From there, he’s looking to run his first half marathon—possibly San Antonio and definitely 3M. He should be a force.
• The Zilker Relays is celebrating its 10th anniversary on August 30th. This great running of the tribes offers the absolute best post-run food (thank you Tacodeli) and music in Austin, not to mention a unique 4-person relay. The Relays have been so successful that race director-entrepreneur Paul Perrone is taking the concept on the road. This fall the Zilker Relays is spreading its wings into Chicago, Milwaukee and Minneapolis. And yup, the name of the series will remain the Zilker Relays.
• Was back East recently and ran into a TV producer named Anthony Buzzetti who told me about a new doc that he’s working on about a runner named Mary Slaney. Had I ever heard of her, he asked me? Is water wet? Anyway, “Runner”, a film about Slaney, which centers around the ’84 Olympics, will be aired on ESPN on August 13th, as part of its Nine for IX series. In a delicious twist of irony, the film is directed by award-winning filmmaker Shola Lynch, who ran at UT (1989-92) where she was an All American in the 800 and ran against Slaney. Always a prodigy, Lynch, who was the national high school champ in the 800, also appeared on Sesame Street in the early ’70s for four years. Should be a fascinating film about a pivotal figure (good and bad) in the history of women’s running.
• My buddy Bill Schroeder of Georgetown recently returned from the National Senior Games in Cleveland where he kicked butt. The 51-year-old won the 5000 (18:17) and 10,000 (38:15). The old man of Austin road running—Joe Barger, 88 years young–took the 10,000 title in his age group (85-89) in 1:16. Doug Paultz of Blanco was third in 60-64 division in the 10,000 (40:21).
• What I’m listening to this morning: “To Tulsa and Back,” by the great J.J. Cale who died last Friday night in a hospital in California.
Have any news for me? If you do or just want to offer some feedback, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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