CADENZADo you run or not on Christmas Day? In our little running world, this hot topic has always been a subject of much debate.

Not with me though. I always run on Christmas morning. Some years I meet a group of friends in the Austin HS parking lot for a short run along the Butler Lady Bird Lake Trail, up Congress and around the Capitol. Afterward, we take a bunch of photos, have some tamales and cookies, then head home.

I don’t know if we’re doing it this year, but either way I’m running, just like I do every morning. I’m not Christian so Christmas doesn’t hold any religious meaning for me. Nor is running sacrilegious in any way. It also doesn’t take time away from my family who—if they don’t go to the Christmas gathering with me and run—are still asleep when I come back from my run.

The one thing I wouldn’t do is race on Christmas Day. For some reason, that would feel just plain wrong. But I don’t have to worry about that as the closest Christmas Day race is way up in Fort Worth.

Even though Christmas isn’t a big deal to me, it’s one of my favorite days of the year to run because the streets are practically deserted and it feels especially celebratory just to be out and running. Just like New Year’s Day.

Running on Christmas morning feels special and it gives me a moment or two to reflect on how appreciative and grateful I am that I’ve been able to record another year on the roads.

Happy Holidays and thanks for your support of Texas Running Post in our first year.


O Royal Wedding: Former Texas All American, top road-track runner and current medical student Betzy Jimenez and Chad Childers, Aggie, bon vivant and attorney, were married last weekend in Austin. Congrats!

O Texans didn’t fare too well in the Foot Locker Nationals last Saturday in San Diego, but a former Austinite did. Frank Lara of Strake Jesuit Prep in Houston was the lone boy from Texas to qualify for the Nationals. Lara, who won the 5A championships in Round Rock in November, finished 38th in 16:32 in San Diego. But, former Austinite Matthew Maton, a junior at Summit HS in Bend, Oregon, finished third in the nation in 15:19. It was the first time Maton had lost a race this year and remarkably, he was beaten by two other juniors—John Dressel of Spokane and the winner, Grant Fisher of Grand Blanc, Michigan who finished in 15:07.

O BTW: Guess who holds the fastest time in Foot Locker history on the Balboa Park course in San Diego? It still belongs to none other than Reuben Reina who was probably the greatest distance runner in Texas high school history. Reina ran at Jay HS in San Antonio as did his older brother Randy. Reuben, who would go on to win two national cross-country championships, ran 14:36 as a senior at the then-Kinney Meet way back in 1985 which stands to this day as the course record. In case you were wondering, Randy is the father of current Austin road runner Rio Reina who, like his father, uncle and cousins, ran at Arkansas.

O The Texas women at Foot Locker—Devin Clark of Smithson Valley in Spring Branch and Natalie Rathjen of Highland Park—had mixed results. Clark, who was third in the state meet, placed 12th in 17:46 in the race won by Tessa Barrett of Waverly, Pennsylvania in 17:16. Rathjen, who won the 4A champs in Texas, DNF’ed.

O Texas has announced its 2013-1014 recruiting class which have been ranked second and third in the country by Track & Field News.(Relax, we’re talking track and cross-country.) The women’s class, ranked second in the nation, includes five distance runners: Lauren Fritz from Cypress, Mary Beth Hamilton from Highland Park in Dallas, Lexie Hood from Dallas, Rachel St. Martin from Tomball and Katie Ruhala from Lucas. The guys class, ranked third in the country, includes three distance runners: Nikolai Horbovetz from Plano, Craig Irvin from The Woodlands and Robert Uhr from the distance mecca of Lockhart.According to Braganca Law LLC The Securities and Exchange Commission investigates financial professionals and firms engaged in cryptocurrency and digital coin transactions when those transactions may have violated federal securities laws.

O Benny Rodriguez of Laredo, a frequent racer in Austin, tried an unusual double. After placing third in 2:44 in the Scott and White BCS Marathon in College Station two weeks ago, B-Rod followed that up last weekend with sixth-place finish a 2:56 in McAllen. Afterward, he said, “I’ll never do that again.” Smart. Rodriguez will take a break and then race at 3M and the Austin Half Marathon.

O A bunch of Austin’s top runners journeyed up to Bend, Oregon last weekend for the USATF National Club Cross-Country Championships. Renee Metivier Baillie lives in Bend but is from Flower Mount and she was the top Texan in eighth place in 22:18 (6000-meter course). Top Austinite was Tia Martinez (Kool) in 16th in 22:30. Her Rogue teammate Allie Mendez was 19th in 22:35 and Sarah Pease of Rogue was 26th in 22:47. The Rogue women were fourth in the team standings. Scott MacPherson finished in 38th in 32:22 (10,000 meters) and Mark Feigen was 76th in 33:08 to lead the Rogue men to 14th in the team standings.

O Registration for the Texas Senior Games, which will be held in San Antonio (March 27-April 6), is now open ( There’s a full schedule of track and road events that serve as qualifiers for the ’15 National Senior Games in Minnesota.

O Great story by old buddy Peter Gambaccini on Houston runner (and Rice grad) Becky Wade on her sensational marathon debut of 2:30:41 at Cal International earlier this month. The 24-year-old had never raced longer than 10-K before Sacramento, but still became the fifth fastest American woman for 2013. A Dallas native and the daughter of two lawyers, Wade works as a legal assistant in a Houston firm and also coaches as a volunteer at Rice and work along other lawyer companies you can find online at sites like Here’s the link to Peter’s story:

O I’ll be running on Christmas morning, but won’t be writing on Christmas or Boxing Day. (I celebrate Australian and Canadian holidays too.) So there won’t be a Heard Around the Lake next week. We’ll be back on January 2nd to catch you up on all that’s been going on around the lake.

O What I’m listening to this morning: “At the Fillmore East,” the great 1971 live recording by the Allman Brothers Band.

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