Running and beer go together like—dare I say—peas and carrots. (Thank you Forrest.) But it’s true. Running and beer have been inextricably linked since the days when many of the major beer brands (Coors, Bud, Old Style, Michelob, Natural Light, ad nauseam) saw a vast, untapped market and began pouring sponsorship dollars into road race series, marathons, triathlons and duathlons.
Clearly, the marketing worked as nearly every race from then on had a keg or two of free beer at the pre-race carbo load and then afterward. Beer was healthy and you could carbo load for the marathon with it and replenish lost carbs afterward. (Neither is true.)
On this tradition of post-race beers, I must confess to being one of the outliers. I love beer and I love running, but I don’t love them together. It doesn’t bother me in the least when guys celebrate a good race or long run with a beer or two, but I’d rather have a Sweet Leaf.
So it’s not much of a surprise that the only time I attempted a beer mile, I didn’t even make it much past 400 meters. But then neither did Lance Armstrong.
Anyway, our fair city is quickly becoming the Beer Mile Capital of the World. (Let’s see if ABIA puts that sign up on the jetways, right next to Live Music Capital.)
I guess this is beer mile season as Austin will have its own Austin Beer Mile on Saturday, November 29th at the Circle C Soccer Fields (on Slaughter, just west of Escarpment) at 4 p.m. The top two guys and gals move on to the open division of the Flo (Track) World Beer Mile Champs on December 3rd (a Wednesday) at Yellow Jacket Stadium in east Austin (3100 Hargrave Street) at 6 p.m.
There, the best beer drinking milers from around the country will compete for the $5000 first prize for breaking the existing world records (men, 4:57; women, 6:26 by our own Chris Kimbrough).
Expected to compete are world-class 800/1500-meter runner Nick Symmonds as well as top milers Jacob Hernandez and Kyle Miller, 5:01 beer miler Corey Gallagher and world record holder James Nielson who ran the 4:57 several months ago (although Gallagher doubts Nielson ran that time). Scotty MacPherson, the occasional Austinite, is also planning to run. Seanna Robinson, who held the women’s world record (6:42) for 17 years before Kimbrough broke it, is also running. (Chris is running and drinking too.)
The Running Event is also in town that week and I would expect many running industry folks and celebs will postpone dinner and their own beer drinking to head on over to Yellow Jacket Stadium for the Beer Mile. There’s going to be food trucks and—I assume—plenty of beer as well as national coverage.
Should be a fascinating event.
O The Austin Marathon released its revised course maps this morning for the February 15th races. The guts of the marathon course are mostly unchanged, but the start has been moved south on Congress to 2nd Street (just north of Cesar Chavez) where the race began for a few years. The half marathon begins in the same spot as the marathon on Congress and its course is also basically the same. One nice change for both courses is the tricky hills up San Jacinto (just outside the Capitol) have been reduced from two climbs for the marathon to one (in the final half mile) and for the half marathoners, it’s gone entirely.
O Parker Stinson, the former Cedar Park HS stud who has used up most of his track eligibility at the University of Oregon (he has indoor track left), made a big splash in his first national road championship last Sunday. Stinson finished sixth in the US National 12-K road champs in Alexandria, Virginia with a time of 34:19, six seconds off the winning time of Brian Shrader who was Parker’s roommate when they were freshmen at UO. Devin Monson of Austin was 19th in 35:46. Stinson accepted the $2000 in prize money, but, in order to retain his collegiate eligibility for indoor track, has to use the money for travel expenses. When Parker does turn pro this spring, it will allow any future prize money he wins to go directly to the bank.
O Black Swan Yoga, which has three studios in Austin, has been acquired by Onnit, a lifestyle company which specializes in fitness tools. Onnit CEO Aubrey Marcus, a long time Black Swan student said, “I want the rest of the world to have a chance to experience this incredible modality being practiced at the height of its potential.” Marcus added that Black Swan will continue to provide donation based yoga classes at the three Austin locations and add a new one in Houston.
O Leo (The Lion) Manzano announced this week that his first race of the year will be in the Camel City Indoor Mile in Winston-Salem North Carolina on January 31st.
O Sonya Manson, a coach for Gilbert’s Gazelles, has enough energy to light up the city of Trail of Lights by herself. Often, on long runs, instead of going the usual 18-20, she continues on to round it out to 26. This year, Manson decided to do a marathon a month. She finished up the year on Sunday at the Fiesta Marathon in Edinburgh with a 3:36 on a warm, foggy day which was good enough for second place. Last month she PR’d in Chicago with a 3:25.
O Paul Carmona, who heads the Twenty Six Two Marathon Club, ran the Revel Canyon City Marathon last Sunday in 3:21:58 to finish seventh in his 50-54 age group. A streaker, Carmona has run 658 days in a row—and counting.
O Another seasoned marathoner—Jim Cleary—journeyed all the way to Malaysia for the Penang Bridge International Marathon. Believe it or not, the race began at 2 in the morning local time and almost all of it was on the Penang Bridge, making it the world’s longest bridge marathon. Cleary, who is 51 and typically runs sub-3, ran 3:43.
O Congrats to Rory Tunningley, the former UT star from Lockhart, and Megan Vasquez who were married on Sunday. The newlyweds got out of the cold and rain by honeymooning in Orlando.
O On the road to recovery is Mac Allen. The coach and masters runner (and training contributor to TxRP) is out of the hospital after undergoing a lengthy operation to repair an aortic aneurysm and have a new aortic valve installed. Mac reports he’s still sore, but is up and walking.
O Natasha van der Merwe is one of the top pro triathletes (and coaches) in town and one of her goals was making the 2016 Rio Olympics. It looks like Natasha is going to make it to Rio, but as a guide for Patricia Walsh—a blind Para Olympian—who will be doing the actual competing. Van der Merwe, a South African native who will soon become a US citizen (she’s married to an American), will compete on her own for much of 2015, trying to get enough points to qualify for Kona. If she doesn’t make it to Kona, Natasha will then switch to racing with Patricia. If she does make it to Kona, she won’t start back up racing with Patricia until after Ironman. Either way, she will race with Patricia (who she coaches) and then hopefully, in Rio. In case you’re wondering as I was, the two swim and run tethered together (which takes plenty of practice so the guide doesn’t slow the participant) and then bike on a tandem.
O The UT men and women cross-country teams announced its signings for the 2015 season. Meghan Lloyd of Keller—her district’s champion—will attend as will Jordan Welborn of Lumberton. The men signed Caleb Hollified of Round Rock (third in the state in cross), Darren Medrano of Georgetown, Alex Rogers of New Braunfels (second in the state), John Rice of Brooklyn, New York, the top high school steepler and Pedro Nasta of Houston who won the Nike South Invitiational in October.
O The Longhorn guys advanced to the NCAA Cross Country Championships (Saturday in Terra Haute, Indiana) for the sixth straight year, finishing second to Arkansas at the South Regionals. Craig Lutz finished second, Mark Pinales was 10th, Eduardo Rodriguez was 11th, Jacob Pickle was 12th and Will Nation finished 15th for Texas. The UT women did not advance to the NCAAs, finishing seventh in the regionals.
O Matthew Maton, a two-time Oregon state cross-country champ, has signed a letter of intent with the University of Oregon. Maton, who lived for many years in Austin, is generally considered the best high school distance runner in the country. His sister Ashley – a former Westlake runner before moving to the west coast – is a junior on the Oregon team.
O Heard Around the Lake will be off next week but will return December 4th.
O What I’m listening to this morning: “Heart Like A Wheel,” by Linda Ronstadt. The greatest woman singer of my generation, I snuck into a bar in Phoenix when I was 18 to see her the first time. Love every word this woman has ever sung.
Have any news for me? If you have something, send it along to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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