Far be it from me to interject politics into this, but the remaining statues of the four Confederates on the South Mall of UT don’t belong there. Statues are symbols and all these statues do is symbolize our racist past which is offensive to so many Texans.
So is the Lance Armstrong Bikeway.
I get that Armstrong helped raise hundreds of millions for the Livestrong Foundation and put a face to the cancer epidemic. I also get he did a lot to raise the athletic profile of Austin and is still our most visible athlete.
But Armstrong has just as many Tour de France victories as I do. To point out the obvious, he’s admitted to years of drug cheating and continues to justify it as he fights lawsuit after lawsuit.
Fine. The guy can do whatever he wants, but we—as a city—shouldn’t honor him by attaching his name to the 4.6-mile downtown bikeway which is closed until next year.
When the bikeway opened in 2009, naming it after Armstrong was justifiable in the same way, I suppose, commissioning a statue to Jefferson Davis was in 1916. Back then, Texas (and the entire South) was in the middle of a particularly nasty period of racism and the rise of the KKK and Davis was one of the heroes of staunch racists.
Those days are long past. So are Armstrong’s.
I don’t mean to pile on Armstrong—other than meeting him a few times, I don’t know the man—but it is simply indefensible on the part of the city Austin part to maintain his tainted name (and reputation) on the bikeway.
When the bikeway reopens sometime early next year, Armstrong’s name should be dropped.
O Fred Fletcher, who was a commander with APD for many years and is now the chief of police in Chattanooga, Tennessee, found a great way to raise money and awareness last weekend for his department’s K-9 unit. Fletch, who led many Austin training and marathon pace groups, led a team of Chattanooga police officers in a 5-K—in full dress uniforms. Typical Fred. He ran 22:34, finished fourth in his age group and raised $7,000 for his K-9s.
O Parker Stinson, the former Cedar Park HS star who graduated in the spring from the University of Oregon, told Road Race Weekly that he is joining Team USA Minnesota and will be coached by Dennis Barker. But Stinson isn’t moving to Minneapolis. Instead, he’ll only spend part of the year in Minneapolis training with the team (bet it’s not winter) and the rest of the time he’ll be in Eugene or go with the team to warm-weather training camps. Stinson will have a full road-racing schedule this fall: The USA 20-K Champs in New Haven on September 7th, the Medtronic 10-Miler in Minneapolis on October 4th, the Philly Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon on October 31st and possibly, the USA 12-K Champs in Alexandria, Virginia on November 15th.
O Chris Kimbrough and her family have moved to their new home in Portland where her husband Doug has been transferred (he works for Intel). The only race in her near future is the Beer Mile World Classic in San Francisco. Chris is still listed as having the third fastest women’s beer mile (6:28.6), behind the record of Elizabeth Herndon (6:17.8, set at FloTrack’s World Championships in Austin in December) and Austin’s Andrea Fisher who ran 6:28.2, also in December. Andrea is also planning (health pending) to go to SF for the beer mile. The men’s world record was set last week by Lewis Kent who finished the mile (and beer) in 4:55.78.
O Heads up Cedar Park. Evidently, a mountain lion was sighted Tuesday morning on the Brushy Creek Trail in SW Williamson County Regional Park. According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, if you spot one, remain upright and don’t tie your shoes. Don’t run away from it. Instead, stand tall, raise your arms and make noises. Very loud noises.
O Quinn Carrozza, the daughter of Paul and Shiela, had a tough meet at the Phillips 66 National Swim Championships in San Antonio last weekend. Quinn, who will swim for UT this fall, had a busy schedule with four races but failed to advance to the “A” finals in her free or backstroke events.
O Paul and Meredith Terranova were up in Telluride, Colorado for one of the epics—the Telluride Mountain Run. Paul finished 11th overall (first masters, first flatlander) in the 38-mile hill climb in 8:51, while Meredith won the accompanying 10-miler. Both races went straight up and straight down.
O Marathon Kids, the Austin-based running and health nonprofit for children, announced this week that it will partner with Nike. Marathon Kids has been around for 20 years and last year about 245,000 students participated in it. But with Nike’s funding, Marathon Kids will expand to 15 additional cities this year. In Austin, Marathon Kids opening ceremony this year will be at UT on October 17th. Read the Statesman’s full coverage here.
O Devin Monson is leaving our fair city. The former Rogue runner has been named an assistant track and cross-country coach at Hamline University, his alma mater. Monson was a three-time All American at the liberal arts college in St. Paul, Minnesota.
O The Austin 10/20 (10 miles, 20 bands) will remain at The Domain for at least one more year. Race director Peter Douglass isn’t certain whether 10/20 will stay there because of the increased development and construction in the area, but the ’16 race will be April 3rd.
O Former UT assistant track coach Billy Maxwell has been named to the collegiate track hall of fame. Maxwell was an assistant at Texas from 1991-95 and while here coached 14 All Americans in the sprints, hurdles and jumps. He’s the 8th UT track coach to be named to the Hall (induction is December 15th in San Antonio). Others in the Hall from UT are Terry Crawford, Bev Kearney, Clyde Littlefield, Jack Patterson, Cleburne Price Jr, Stan Huntsman and DeLoss Dodds.
O What I’m listening to this morning: “Moving Pictures,” the ground-breaking album by Rush. Hard to believe it’s been more than 30 years since it came out.
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