This hasn’t exactly been the Winter of Our Discontent, but we can be excused for feeling that way. Feels like we’ve been in what passes for a Deep Freeze since the first week of December when the first (and worst) winter storm slam dunked us. Decker was freezing and the Rogue 30-K was also bitterly cold as has been just about every morning since then.
Last Saturday dawned dramatically different and it felt weird to run in shorts and shirts with the morning temps in the 70s. With so many doing our last long runs before the Austin, Napa, Cowtown or Army marathons, most of us labored in the unseasonable warmth and humidity.
By Sunday, it was back to the icebox where we’ve mostly stayed. When I took off this morning, it registered 24 degrees, but strangely it now feels like the new norm. For me that has meant being bundled up in tights, jacket, hat and my beloved Pearl Izumi Lobster Claws.
It should warm up considerably for the latter part of next week and the long-range forecast indicates it will be just about perfect on Austin Marathon Sunday with temps in the mid-40s at the start. Let’s hope so.
Still, this winter has given us a taste of how the other half of the country lives and runs. It doesn’t taste great, but it sure as hell is easier running this winter than it will be come August.
O It’s moving day for Rogue Running which is opening for business today at its new location—the 410 Speedshop—at 410 Pressler Street, just off West 5th Street (on the south side). The east side location on San Marco has closed its doors, but Rogue’s popular north location in Cedar Park will stay put.
O Another long-rumored move will also happen. The revered Jack & Adam’s Bicycles is moving from its Barton Springs location of seven years, but it isn’t going very far. Our favorite bike shop is only moving 2-300 meters away to the Cole Building (300 S. Lamar), right between P. Terry’s and Schlotzky’s. When the move is made sometime in June, it will mean much more room which means a greater selection of bikes and gear as well as a Daily Juice recovery lounge, showers and an indoor community room for spin classes and other other group activities. Also, much more parking.
O Nicole Bowler, the 24-year-old Rogue AC runner who was so seriously injured in a hit-and-run accident in early January, has decided to retire from running. In a blogpost, Bowler wrote, “In the accident, I detached 90 percent of my patellar tendon, shattered my hip socket, had multiple breaks to my femur and suffered nerve damage throughout my foot and lower leg.” This Monday, Bowler will undergo her third operation to restructure her hip and reduce the chances of early onset of arthritis. Because the accident destroyed the cartilage in her right hip, running is out of the question. But Bowler wrote, “I will progress to create positive ripples of change wherever I find myself 12 weeks down the road when I am quite literally back on my feet.” We all hope so.
O As we reported, Los Angeles was awarded the 2016 US Olympic Marathon Trials over Houston even though the USATF board had thrown its support entirely for Houston. But, Ed Torres, who chairs the men’s long distance running committee, claims that LA will offer $100,000 less in prize money than Houston pledged in its bid. Makes one wonder why LA was chosen over Houston in the first place.
O The USATF 100-Mile Trail Championships were held last Saturday in Huntsville and the women’s division was won by Nicole Studer of Dallas in 15:42. Cara Bass of San Antonio was eighth and Shay Riley of Cedar Park was ninth. In the USATF 100-Miler men’s division, Matthew Laye of Sausalito, California was the winner in 13:17. Steven Moore of Austin finished 11th and Lorenzo Sanchez of San Antonio was 14th.
O One of the best trail (and road) runners in town is Erik Stanley. The former UT runner is opening a new trail business which he’ll call Trail Roots. Stanley will provide coaching for trail runners from newbies to experienced ultra folks. There will be weekly trail runs as well as weekday training runs from downtown on the roads. “The reason I am starting Trail Roots,” said Stanley, “is I really love our running community and love watching people challenge themselves to achieve their goals. Trail running is one of the fastest growing sports and Austin needs a dedicated focus to help trail runners progress.” For all the info you need, check out Stanley’s website: trailroots.com.
O Paul Carmona celebrated his 50th birthday last Saturday as only he knows how: He ran 50 miles on Lady Bird Lake with a dozen of his best friends from the Twenty-Six Two Marathon Club which he heads. BTW: Twenty-Six Two is accepting applications for its free first-time women’s marathon training group. The group will train for the 2015 Austin Marathon and the only requirements for women—only women—is that you have never run a marathon but have done at least one half or 10-miler. Go to the group’s site—twentysixtwo.org–to apply.
O Next week begins Marathon Week and there are all sorts of happenings around town. Luke’s Locker will be hosting a course talk and race strategy session on Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. On hand, will be Austin race director John Conley and Team Mizuno’s David Fuentes, who has won the Austin Half twice, as well as the multi-talented Jennifer Harney of Luke’s who will be running the marathon next Sunday.
O We’ll have a complete list of the elite field for the Austin Marathon and Half Marathon tomorrow, but there are a few intriguing names that popped up. First, Zach Ornelas, the former Vista Ridge HS star who now lives in Michigan, will be running the half. Ornelas has a marathon best of 2:20 in his only attempt at the distance. Rory Tunningley is also running the half. Tunningley, the former Lockhart HS and UT star, ran his first half last month in Houston in 1:06:29 and is looking for some redemption. Fastest American in the half field is Craig Leon of Eugene (1:04:01) who is using Austin as prep for the Boston Marathon where he finished ninth last year. The fastest PR among the women is Nicole Aish of Arvada Colorado, but her 1:12:30 was several years ago. Nicole’s husband—two-time New Zealand Olympic marathoner Michael Aish—is also running the half marathon as he gets ready for an ultramarathon in New Zealand. Aish was third at Leadville last August. Erik Stanley is running the marathon which will clinch the Austin Fit Magazine Distance Challenge series title for him. Stanley has won every DC race this year with the exception of the Run for the Water 10-Miler which David Fuentes won with Stanley third.
O What I’m listening to this morning: “Machine Head,” by Deep Purple. The greatest album by the absolute heaviest of the heavyweights.
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