For years, the RunTex to RunTex New Year’s Day run was one of my favorites events. But it wasn’t really an event as much as an annual gathering of friends, RunTex employees and folks who trained with Paul and Sheila Carrozza who got together for a celebratory 13-miler from the Gateway Shopping Center to the main RunTex on Riverside. The run wasn’t intentionally exclusionary, but is also wasn’t publicized or widely known because the fear was too many would show up, creating issues like road closures.
With the demise of RunTex, the fear was the New Year’s Day run would be lost. Fortunately, Rogue Running stepped up this year to keep this great tradition alive. Rogue renamed it the Black Eyed Pea Run and rather than maintaining it as a cliquey celebration, breathed new life into it by opening the run up to everyone.
I don’t know exactly how many ran the Black Eyed Pea yesterday, but it was at least 350-400 (double the number who usually ran RunTex to RunTex). Although the run retained the casual, run-as-you-please feel, the much bigger crowd—many from the various Rogue training groups– made it feel even more special than it had been.
Also, many runners affiliated with the various stores and training groups came together for this one run on a glorious morning that turned put to be the perfect way to start the new year. After a brief stop at Mount Bonnell for the traditional climb to the top for a glimpse of the shimmering Lake Austin, the run headed south down Balcones and the beautiful Scenic hills toward downtown to the new Rogue facility on Pressler, just off 5th Street.
Once there, Rogue upped the ante with food, beer, beautiful free T-shirts—and three massage therapists attending to anyone’s muscular needs. As the morning warmed up, so did the party.
There isn’t a better way to kick off the New Year than this event. Thanks Rogue.
O Since the groundbreaking for the Lady Bird Lake Boardwalk two years ago, it seemed like little more than a dream. But the 1.1-mile Boardwalk, which will close the gap in the trail going around Lady Bird Lake, is finally starting to take shape. And, says Susan Rankin, the head of The Trail Foundation, the Boardwalk is scheduled to open on June 28th with a grand opening ceremony. “Being able to run on the lake is going to be great,” says Rankin, a daily runner who has headed the effort to build the Boardwalk. More than half of the Boardwalk will be six feet above the water with lightning and centerline dividers to keep people from running into each other. Cyclists will also be allowed to use the Boardwalk so there will also be speed limits. So in a few short months, we can say goodbye to the crumbling sidewalk on Riverside and crossing I-35. Can’t wait.
O Congrats to Jody Broccoli-Hickey and Julie Pickler on their recent engagement. Jody’s going to grad school at UT, while still working part-time at Luke’s and Julie works for Apple. A fall wedding is planned. BTW: Julie’s brother Clay is a kicker for Florida State and will be playing in the national champs on Monday.
O My item a couple of weeks ago about the Running Reinas resulted in several emails from readers in San Antonio who informed me that Randy and Reuben weren’t the only Reinas who dominated distance running in the ’80s in the Alamo city. Robert Sutton wrote to say that there’s a middle Reina brother—Roland–who he ran against in high school cross-country. That’s in addition to the two Reina sisters—Janice and Ellen—who also ran at John Jay HS.
O Nice segue to a ranking of the top 50 Texas high school distance runners of all time by Alex Aldaco on Texasmilesplit.com. He took the best times for the 1600 and 3200 and concluded that Colby Lowe of Southlake Carroll (’08) tops the list. Reuben Reina was ranked fourth best of all-time (behind Craig Nowak and Steve Magness who is now the Univeristy of Houston coach). Former Longhorn Erik Stanley of Austin who ran for Klein is ranked eighth best of all time and current Longhorn Craig Lutz of Marcus (’11) is ninth best. Other runners in the top 50 with Austin ties are Leonel Manzano of UT and Marble Falls (14th), Scott MacPherson of Arkansas and Plano (15th), Parker Stinson of Oregon and Cedar Park (17th), Ryan Dohner of UT and Klein Oak (19th). On this list, other than Stinson there were only three guys who ran in Austin-area high schools: Dennis Hodapp (St. Michael’s), Adam Dailey who ran at Austin HS and Arkansas and Alejandro Ruiz of Elgin.
O Leo (The Lion) Manzano is the reigning Olympic silver medalist in the 1500 meters, but he has been without a shoe or apparel sponsor for more than a year. Manzano has decided to take matters in his own hands and has designed his own T-shirt which he is now selling on his website (leomanzano.com) to raise training funds and to hire a new coach.
O USATF has named the team that will go to the Bupa Edinburgh Cross Country race in Scotland on January 11th. USATF invited six junior men to run for the US team, including Michael Maton of Bend, Oregon. Only problem is Michael, the oldest son of Michelle Maton, formerly of Austin, isn’t a runner. But his brother Matthew certainly is. Matthew, a junior at Summit HS in Bend, was third in the recent Foot Locker Cross Country Champs and, after straightening out this little glitch, will represent the US in Scotland.
O Our guy in San Antonio—Chris Serra—reports in that the new We Run store (IH 10 West, Suite 205) in town will open its doors for business on January 24th. We Run, which has been a training group for 10 years, will kick off its retail business with a party and a little competition to see who can run the fastest on a treadmill.
O The second year of the Army Marathon on March 2nd will have caps for the marathon (1000) and half (2000). Race director Ed Bandas isn’t sure if the races will reach the caps, but registration is way ahead of last year. The point-to-point courses will begin in Killeen, skirt Ft. Hood and finish in Temple. For more info, go to www.thearmymarathon.com.
O The Woodlands Marathon, which was held on March 2, has DQ’ed women’s winner Mary Akor and announced that Jenna Boren of Melo Park, California, who finished second, has moved up a spot and has been declared the winner. Akor tested positive for a prohibited substance, accepted a two-year ban from racing and was disqualified from all race results between December, 2012 and November, 2013. Boren was awarded $3000 for her 2:44 win. Marnie Staehly of San Antonio was moved up to fifth for her 2:57 at The Woodlands and pocketed $100. This year’s race is on March 1.
O What I’m listening to this morning: “On the Road in Austin, Texas,” by the String Cheese Incident. This great 2002 show was at Waterloo Park and featured Tenacious D (Jack Black) singing “Tom Sawyer”. BTW: The String Cheese show from The Backyard last summer is also now available for digital downloads.
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