//Heard Around the Lake: News, Notes and Idle Gossip (Dec. 5, 2013)

Heard Around the Lake: News, Notes and Idle Gossip (Dec. 5, 2013)

CADENZAI’ve never heard of Jim Rohn until I recently saw this quote from the late entrepreneur and motivational speaker. Evidently, Rohn had a lot of great things to say, but what really resonated with me was this pearl: “You {we} are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Surround yourself with people who are doing interesting things, who are thinking interesting thoughts, who challenge you to be better and who comes from a diverse set of backgrounds and experiences.”

Beautiful. This quote hit me square between the eyes.

When I read it, I was bored out of my mind and stuck on a weather-delayed flight into Austin. After finally landing at ABIA and making it home, I checked the weather and the forecast for Saturday morning was so atrocious (cold, wet and windy), I mentally bailed on my regular long run the next morning, assuming most everyone else in my long-run group would stay in bed too.

But, I am the average of the five people I spend the most time with and the folks I surround myself with challenge the hell out of me. That’s my long-run group and they (we) do come from diverse backgrounds and experiences that all seem to meld together every Saturday morning. Even so, I had checked out of the next morning’s long run because of the lousy weather and being wiped out from a week on the road.

What I didn’t count on was my internal alarm clock. It sounded at my normal Saturday morning time (5 a.m.) as it always does. As long as I was up and drinking coffee, figured might as well run even though I doubted my group would be at full strength.


The icy weather sucked, but everyone—the incredibly motivated peeps I surround myself with—was ready to roll for 16 miles at the usual bewitching hour. From downtown, we headed up Exposition and Shoal Creek in tight little packs right into the teeth of the fierce north wind which was spitting ice pellets at us.

Nobody seemed to mind. It was business as usual which meant there were rolling conversations about kids, business, politics and—of course—the Longhorns. I hung out with my usual long-run buds for about 10 miles and then hooked up with another pack, comprised entirely of interesting women, thinking interesting thoughts (see Jim Rohn).

The all-women pack was flying down Duval toward downtown and me—the interloper—was struck by how the conversational threads were largely the same but with entirely different perspectives. Other than the Longhorns, the women were deciding among themselves which races to run, what their kids were doing (or not doing), their work and Wendy Davis. (Some for, some against.)

Just like the guys, none of the women cared about the weather or the obvious discomfort of the early miles. But with the wind at our back, we started to heat up as we pounded up the San Jac hills, turned and then headed down Congress.

With a couple of miles to go, one woman suggested to her running partner that they take a little shortcut as she was now soaked and getting chilly. Her partner was having none of the shortcut talk.

“How long have we run together?” she asked. (I gather it’s been years.) “Have you ever seen me shorten a long run, even a little?”

I did; she didn’t.

But, she and the others typify the motivated, high energy people I am surrounded by. Runners come and go in our group, but the core is so deeply committed that nothing throws us off our stride. The true beauty though isn’t just our commitment to running, but everyone is also so deeply committed to such a diversity of interests and passions that we all have become better, more diverse and more accepting.

It’s rubbed off on all of us and we aren’t just better runners for it, but even better people.

Thank you.


O Sorry, I was out of town for the Thanksgiving holidays and missed the Thundercloud Turkey Trot and couldn’t cover it. Former UT star Rory Tunningley dominated the 5-Miler with a 24:09, followed by Chris Galvin (25:08) and Noah Tunningley (25:17) who was listed as third. But Noah, Rory’s brother, gave his number to Lorin Wilson who was—unofficially—third. Rachel Baptista won the women’s race in 29:19 with Chris Kimbrough second in 29:41 and Genna Hartung third (29:45).

O I was in San Jose on Thanksgiving morning as was a large contingent from Rogue AC for the Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot 5-K. This huge race (a 5-K and 10-K) had nearly 20,000 runners in the combined fields. In the women’s 5-K, Tia Martinez continued her hot streak with a PR of 15:48 which earned her fifth place (second American). Tia’s teammates Mia Behm was 12th in 16:10 and Mary Goldkamp 19th in 16:29. The top Rogue guy was Chris Gowell in 12th in 14:17 with Devin Monson 13th in 14:20.

O The next major race for many of Austin’s top runners will be next Saturday (December 14th) at the USATF National Club Cross Country Championships. Most of the top Rogue runners are going to Bend, Oregon for the race as is David Fuentes and Rio Reina of Team Mizuno. Both Mizuno runners are also running the USATF Half Marathon Champs in Houston on January 19.

O Belated congrats to Andrea Fisher and Jamie Cleveland of Hill Country Running (and Texas Iron) on the birth of their second daughter Alexandra just before Thanksgiving.

O In other (future) bambino news, Bernard Manirakiza and his wife Verra are expecting their first child in May. Bernard, who has been one of the coaches with Gilbert’s Gazelles since 2006, is also organizing a new training group which is affiliated with 1379 Family Sports where he works. His group, which is for adults and kids, is called Speedy Demons. For more info, go to www.speedydemons.com or call him at 1379.

O Also congrats to my boss at Mizuno, Fritz Taylor, for his induction into the retailer Hall of Fame on Wednesday at The Running Event at the Convention Center. Taylor, a frequent presence in Austin, has been an outstanding product manager, developer—and innovator—in the shoe industry for 25 years. First with Nike, then briefly at Brooks before gracing Mizuno with his leadership as the head of our running division for the past five years. Under his direction, Mizuno has more than doubled its running sales. (Never hurts to give your boss some deserved love.)

O Ran into plenty of old friends and colleagues at The Running Event (sorry, closed to the public), but was especially glad to see Greg and Tracy McMillan. The McMillan’s left our fair city seven years ago for Flagstaff where they have managed their McMillan Running business so successfully. Greg has also had his own prominent national team—McMillan Elite—but even though he’s had national champions, he’s closing shop to devote more time to his personal coaching business which has flourished (www.mcmillanrunning.com). Tracy, a former professor at UT, has also founded her own company called localeikki which is a fascinating new app for runners who travel (www.localeikki.com).

O Aside from a a handful of movies and books about him as well as several lawsuits and depositions, Lance Armstrong has been laying low. Now comes word that two-time Ironman champ Chris McCormack has challenged the former Mr. Yellow Jersey to a mano-a-mano race. Just the two of them in an unsanctioned event as Armstrong is banned from competition. “Lance has done some horrible things and some amazing things athletically,” said McCormack. “He’s still a competitor {technically, he’s not} and I’ve always been inspired by racing competitors. I read an interview recently where Armstrong believes he could win the Ironman World Championships. I’m like, ‘Hey man, you can’t go and make those sorts of statements without backing them up.’ So if you really think you can win the Ironman, come and race me.” Armstrong tweeted back on Tuesday, “Hey@MaccaNow–If you’re serious, then gimme a call. Let’s discuss.” Stay tuned.

O The amazing Paul Terranova celebrated his 40th birthday on Monday, not by running 400 miles, but Mr. Ultraman completed 40 repeats up Rain Creek Parkway. Just two weeks ago, Mr. Gazelle—Gilbert Tuhabonye—did 39 repeats up Wilke in Barton Hills on his 39th birthday.

O A training group of five women were running on the Butler Trail on Tuesday morning when they stopped for a break at the bathrooms and water fountains in front of the Mexican American Cultural Center. One of the woman was attacked by a homeless man who apparently lives in the bushes near the Milagro. This guy picked the wrong woman to attack. She kneed him in the cojones and then the other women in her group flagged down APD who collared the guy.

O Coincidentally enough, tonight at Rogue (500 San Marcos) at 6 pm there will be a special presentation by two-time Olympian Todd Williams on self-defense while on the run. Williams, a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jistu (he has the cauliflower ears to prove it), is the founder of a company called Run Safer which teaches easy-to-learn defense techniques (mainly for women) who are accosted on the run. Williams, who in the early ’90s, was the top American distance man, lives in Jacksonville, Florida.

O BTW: The new Rogue location on 5th Street won’t open now until sometime in mid-January. When it does open (a date still hasn’t been decided), the east store on San Marcos will close. Rogue will share part of its new facility with Pure Austin which will stage yoga classes there. Should be nice with more parking, better showers, changing areas and just more room for training groups as well as retail space.

O USATF will announce this week the winning bid for the 2016 US Olympic Marathon Trials. The three cities that bid are Los Angeles, Cincinnati and Houston. Houston hosted the ’12 Trials for men and women (same race, same day) and did a remarkable job. Houston is once again hosting the ’14 USATF Half Marathon Champs on January 19th.

O Our man Paul Baltutis in San Antonio reports that the incredible Larry Macon has broken his own record of 157 marathons in a single year in 2012. The SA lawyer somehow or another ran 238 marathons in a 12-month period. This is the fourth time Macon has broken the record. “I set out to break the record, but I didn’t mean to break it by this much…I just got involved in a lot of marathons.” Evidently.

O What I’m listening to this morning: “Jazz Blues Fusion” by John Mayall. This little known live album from 1972 is one of my all-time faves as it combines the great Mayall with a tight jazz band led by Blue Mitchell (trumpet), Clifford Solomon (sax) and Freddie Robinson (guitar).

Have any news for me? If you have something, send it to wish@texasrunningpost.com.

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