Thankfully, the timing fiasco that marred the final Chuy’s Hot to Trot 5-K was an aberration. It’s happened before and probably will happen again, but what it pointed out to me was how spoiled we are.
Compared with other cities, we have more high quality races with more runners. Our races aren’t all perfectly orchestrated—stuff happens—but we take for granted so many of the technical aspects of road racing, such as timing and results. We take for granted that our courses are accurately measured with mile markers and clocks along the way in most of the biggies. We take for granted that the courses are safe and coned off to protect us from traffic. (Thank you APD.)
We take for granted a quality start and finish area and not some fly-by-night set up. We have experienced race directors and race-associated businesses (fencing, coning, timing, race management) based right here that usually work together to put on our biggest races.
We take it as accepted practice that post-race activities include food, drink (some beer) and even music. T-shirts are de rigueur. We even have five-month race series (Austin Fit Magazine Distance Challenge) with a variety of distances that leads up to the Austin Marathon. Dare I say, we even have a website (this one) devoted entirely to running and racing in Central Texas.
We also have nearly a dozen specialty running stores in the area and almost as many running and tri training groups with reputable coaches and staff for every level from beginner to national-class.
More than anything, we take for granted our crowded race calendar. There are plenty of road races virtually every weekend from Waco to San Antonio. In addition, we have a full triathlon schedule, including several events that are national in scope.
Our running community is one of the most vibrant and largest (on a per capita basis) in the country. Our strength is in our numbers. We sent twice as many runners to Boston this year than some of our massive neighbors to the north (Dallas) and south (Houston and San Antonio) who cast an envious eye at us.
In the ATX, we are the norm who are fortunate to live, run and race here. Thank you.
O Wasn’t able to list the women’s winner (or even top three) from last Saturday’s Chuy’s Hot to Trot 5-K because of the timing issues. The women’s winner was Michelle Finn who was fourth overall in 16:50. Chris Kimbrough was next in 17:02 and Cate Westenhover was third in 17:51 with Lauren Davis fourth in 18:54. Bryan Morton was the overall winner in 15:25 with Phil Sneller second in 16:17. Interestingly, neither Sneller or Morton ran in college and Sneller—an organic farmer–didn’t even start running until he was 25. Since moving here, Sneller’s run a 2:30 marathon at Chicago and 2:32 at the ’12 Austin Marathon and is quickly moving up in the 5-K and 10-K ranks.
O A large contingent from Rogue Elite went up to Palo Alto, California last weekend for the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational at Stanford. Top finish of the night went to Tia Martinez who placed fifth in her heat (there are several) of the 5000 meters in 16:14.93. In the 3000-meter steeple, Sarah Peace was eighth in her section in 9:53.57 and
Mary Goldkamp placed 12th in her heat in10:22.52. Lennie Waite of Houston (a Rice coach) was 12th in 10:02. In the 10,000, former Longhorn Ali Mendez was 33rd in 33:26. BTW: Former Cedar Park star Parker Stinson of Oregon was 21st in the 5000 in 13:45, considerably slower than his PR of 13:31 which he ran in the same meet a year ago.
O It’s a miracle Allison Macsas of Rogue Expeditions has time to train. She’s been all over the globe in the past year organizing trips for Rogue runners and last weekend led a group of 20 up to British Columbia for the rainy Vancouver Marathon. Macsas, who qualified for the ’12 Olympic Marathon Trials, finished second by just three seconds in the Vancouver Half in a PR of 1:15:20., just missing a qualifier for the ’16 Trials. It was her third time to finish second in Vancouver—and third PR in this race.
O The Congress Avenue Mile was one of the great events on our racing calendar and organizer Paul Carrozza’s favorite race. But with the demise of RunTex last year, the Congress Avenue Mile disappeared. Now, it is being revived on May 17th as the Aggie Mile in College Station on the A&M campus. It’s being put on by the Brazos Running Company and is open to the 40th fastest boys and girls in Texas. The course is described as “flat”, rather than the downhill drop on Congress Avenue which was such a big attraction. In addition, there will be a 5-K. For info, go to aggiemile.com.
O Sonya Manson is an amazing woman on so many counts. Don’t exactly know where she gets the energy to coach, work, be a mom and run seven marathons (by my count) in the last seven months. Let me see, I know she recently ran Louisiana and Austin this winter and then Boston (and an ultra). Last weekend, the 45-year-old Manson ran 3:44 to finish second in her age group in the Colorado Marathon in Fort Fun…er, Collins. Kim Griger of Austin ran 3:29:55 to win the 35-40 age division, and Karen Hatley of was fourth in her division (50-54) in 4:08:23. Marina Popovich of Cedar Park ran 4:03 and Larry Johnston of Dripping Springs ran 5:23. In the half, Jesse Devlyn finished second in his age group (40-45) in 1:40:58. Hope Wilson also ran the half in 1:41:50 as did Tom Olson of Boerne in 1:4417.
O In the Lincoln (Nebraska) Marathon, Michael Diaz of Round Rock ran 3:17:51 and Joseph Ollerbidez of San Antonio ran 3:34, Noah Mitchell recorded a 3:35 and Johnson Kerlaita of San Anton ran 3:36. Lisa Buckley finished in 3:39 and fellow Gazelle Jason Schneider came in at 3:44.
O Down in San Antonio, our man Chris Serra (one of our contributors) won the Cornyval 5-K last weekend in 17:36, just ahead of Emily Daum in 17:40. BTW: Chris reports that Soler Sports will be having a teacher appreciation day destination run on May 28th which starts and finishes at my favorite SA brewpub—the Blue Star Brewery, right on the Riverwalk. Runners can test drive the new Asics GT 2000-2.
O IMHO, the Houston Marathon (and Half) is the best race in our fair state. It’s the only race with a true national and international scope and has hosted two Olympic Marathon Trials (and should be hosting another in 2016, but that’s another story). Anyway, early registration for the 2015 Houston opened on Tuesday and continues until May 29th. There’s also a lottery. Race date is January 18th which doesn’t conflict with 3M which is scheduled next year for January 25th.
O What I’m listening to this morning: “Solo Acoustic Live” by the great Jackson Browne. Only thing missing is a little David Lindley.
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