What’s the most important race in Austin? Is it the Austin Marathon? 3M? Cap 10? Or maybe it’s the Run for the Water 10-Miler?
Just one man’s opinion, but the most important annual race in Austin is the Maudie’s Moonlight Margarita Run 5-K which just so happens to be tonight.
While it certainly isn’t the most competitive, most scenic or largest race in town, the Margarita Run’s importance lies in the fact that it is the single race that directly impacts almost all Austin runners. This the 10th anniversary of the Margarita Run and this race serves as the main fund raiser for The Trail Foundation which pays for all the improvements, drinking fountains, landscaping and maintenance on our beloved 10-mile Butler/Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail.
All the other races also raise thousands of dollars for deserving charities, but most of us are fortunate enough and healthy enough that we don’t benefit directly from the money raised for those causes. (Thank goodness.) While I don’t mean to equate money raised for cancer research, clean water in Africa or the Special Olympics with our trail’s beauty and maintenance, our trail is so very special and the centerpiece of our running community.
As the stewards of our trail, the selfless folks of The Trail Foundation deserve our support. Even though the entry fees for the Margarita Run are a tad high compared with a more conventional 5-K, it’s practically our annual civic duty to fork over the added dough so the work of The Trail Foundation can continue.
Every time we run on The Boardwalk we should be cognizant of the fact that it would never have happened without the work (and funding) of The Trail Foundation. Nor would the new bathrooms or the improvements and redesign of the trail head at Austin HS ever been done without The Trail Foundation. Thank you Susan Rankin and her staff.
So it’s imperative that we do what we can to support The Trail Foundation by running the Margarita Run. Again, it’s tonight at 8. About 2,000 runners are expected and there’s still room for the race and party. To register go to thetrailfoundation.org.
O Paul Carrozza was recently named interim director of the Boneshaker Project which is a group which promotes and develops “programs and events that contribute to economic growth and increased quality of life in the greater Austin community.” Two other familiar names on the Boneshaker staff are Will Ross (cycling coach) and Cassie Henkiel (fitness coach).
O Michelle Ryan finished the Bryce Canyon (Utah) 100-miler last weekend. Not exactly a novice at ultras, this was Michelle’s first 100-miler which she finished in 32 hours and 15 minutes, good for 12th among the women. (Results of this race are terrible and I can’t locate another local finishers.) Fewer than half of the starters finished, but Michelle gutted it out (she had stomach issues) to finish well under the 36-hour cutoff. Needless to say, her husband Jim crewed and paced her but she finished the final 15 uphill miles by herself. Amazing.
O Craig Lutz, the UT senior, ran his final collegiate race last night at the NCAAs in the 10,000 meters and finished fourth in 29:11. The pace was very slow, but Lutz moved into the lead with 11 laps to go and tried to force the field. Lutz was always near the front before Oregon’s Edward Cheserek (28:58) and Eric Jenkins (28:59) and Jason Witt of BYU (29:04) went by him with three laps to go. Lutz earned All American honors for his fourth place. Sandie Raines will run in the 5000 on Saturday afternoon. Ashley Maton of the University of Oregon (a former Westlake HS runner) will compete tonight in the 1500 meter prelims. The meet is being televised by ESPNU, ESPN3.com and ESPN. Tonight, the meet will be televised by ESPNU (at 6 p.m.) and ESPN at 7:30.
O Meanwhile, in Portland on Saturday night and Sunday will be the Portland Track Festival. Kristen Findley of Rogue is scheduled to run in the 5000 meters on Saturday. In the men’s 1500 on Sunday, Ethan Doherty of Rogue is running.
O Last weekend, several Rogue runners competed in the Music City Classic in Nashville. Mary Goldkamp was seventh in the steeple in 10:30, Rebecca Friday was ninth in the mile in 4:51 and Cate Barrett was fifth in the 5000 in 16:55. Drew Soucy (not Rogue) was ninth (though second in his heat) in the mile in 4:07.7. BTW: In the women’s mile, Sonja Friend-Uhl of the Atlanta TC set a U.S. Masters mile record with her time of 4:45.68.
O Former UT grad student Kyle Merber ran the fastest 1500 (3:34.54) by an American so far this year at a meet at Furman two weekends ago and then followed it up by running an 800 meters in 1:48.81 at another meet in Concord, Massachusetts last weekend. Merber is pointing for the USATF Nationals and hopefully, a spot on the World Champs team.
O Former UT stud Will Nation won the first road race of his life—the 3M Half way back in January in 1:07:01—but hasn’t raced since then. Nation was dinged up and starting a new job so racing was on the back burner for a while. But, he’s been gearing up for a possible Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier when he runs the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon (part of the Grandma’s Marathon weekend) on June 20th in Duluth, Minnesota. Says his coach John Hayes, “We had to take a very conservative approach with Nation’s training. It’s always tough training this time of year so I didn’t give him a lot of intensity, but he’s reacted well to lots of thresh hold work. I hope he’ll run well and have a good race.”
O David Fuentes is headed for the XTERRA East Coast Championships in Richmond, Virginia this weekend. Don’t worry. Fuentes isn’t switching gears. Fuentes is going to the XTERRA as part of his Powerbar duties, but figures as long as he’s there he might as well run the 10-K trail race—very carefully. BTW: Fuentes was down in Wimberley, helping with the clean up efforts and passing out tons of Powerbar products to volunteers and folks who needed food. When David gets back from Virginia, he’ll be coaching with Derick Williamson at the Austin Running Academy.
O Registration goes live today for the Zilker Relays (September 11th) and the first 80 who sign up before Tuesday can enter for only $20. After that, the price goes up. This fun event consists of four-runner teams with each one doing a 2.5-mile loop around Zilker Park. Beer from hops & grain, top notch TexMex from Tacodeli and a hot band are always part of this final race of the summer (or the first race of the fall). For more info, go to zilkerrelays.com.
O Congrats to George Hernandez and Kimberly Murphy. They got engaged on Saturday.
O Alan Webb, the former world-class miler (and reigning American record holder in the mile in 3:46) has been trying to transition into the triathlon since retiring from track two years ago. At the Dallas CAMTRI Sprint, Webb had a bad crash on his bike on the final turn of the last bike loop when he collided with another rider and ended up in the hospital with a fractured scapula and two broken ribs.
O What I’m listening to this morning: “Running on Empty”, the always awesome live album by Jackson Browne about the ups and downs of life on the road. Jackson will be appearing in these parts on October 20th at the Majestic Theatre in San Antonio and the following night at Bass Concert Hall.
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