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The only thing better than sleeping through the type of deluge we got last night is running in it. I love the sounds of heavy rain pounding the house at night and was so excited about the prospect of getting soaked to the bone on my morning run, I could barely sleep.
I’ve always loved running in the rain. It’s so cleansing and regenerative that it almost always feels special. Unfortunately, it happens about as often as Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott agree on something substantive.
Over the years, there have been a few notable races disrupted by tropical downpours, but I have been drenched by rain on very, very few of my morning runs. Most of our systems are triggered by the heat and—I guess—morning conditions aren’t conducive to storms. Even the overnight storms, usually peter out before daylight. Remarkably, I can recall only a couple of morning runs in the past year I was rained on, but it didn’t keep me from praying for at least one drenching morning run this summer.
Maybe, after another brutally hot and dry summer, Mother Nature owed us (me) one.
When I ventured out in the pre-dawn darkness this morning, most of the lightning and thunder had moved out but the rain was still hammering Austin and within a minute or two I was soaked.
It felt so good to splash through the streets before I arriving at a deer trail which connects me to a golf course near my home. It was still pitch black when I hit the course and the rain was coming down in such torrents, I had to feel around before I could even find the security of the cart path.
Still, it was such a wonderful feeling to run through the warm rain and mud. Each fairway had a little stream running right through the center and whenever I came to one of the dry creek beds that were now flowing, I had to wade across, rather than leap over. It felt almost primal.
My shoes felt like they weighed about 10 pounds, but it was a small price to pay for such a joyous run. Just hope we don’t have to wait six months for another one.
O Registration for the 2015 Boston Marathon has closed. Registration for qualifiers, which began on September 8th, will not reopen as Boston has reached its cap of 24,000 qualified runners. Although the total field will be approximately 30,000, another 6000 slots are reserved for charity runners.
O Leo (The Lion) Manzano’s season is over and done with. Manzano flamed out a bit in his last couple of 1500 and saved his worst for last. He finished up with an inexplicably bad 1500 at the Continental Cup in Morocco on Saturday where he placed seventh (out of eight) in 3:50.35. That’s 1500, not the mile.
O Mark Siefken, a trial attorney in Austin, is lucky to be alive. He was stabbed early Tuesday morning while running on the Greenbelt. Siefken told APD he was accosted by two men on the Archstone Trail, near MoPac and 290, who wanted money and when he didn’t have any, he was stabbed. Siefken had critical injuries and underwent surgery at Brackenridge, but is expected to make a full recovery. No suspects have been arrested yet in connection with this brutal attack.
O Kelly Williamson has had another solid season on the triathlon circuit, including a huge win at the Memorial Hermann Texas IM in 8:54 way back in May. She also finished second at the Coeur d’Alene IM a month later, but since then Kelly’s been deep into training for the Hawaii Ironman World Champs on October 11th. Although Williamson is one of the very best runners among the pros, she hasn’t had much success on Kona where she’s finished 15th twice and 11th once.
O Scott MacPherson, the occasional Austinite (who lives in Columbia, Missouri these days), was in town last week to consult with his coach, Steve Sisson, and get in a few long runs. He’s back in Missouri now getting ready for the Twin Cities Marathon on October 5th where he hopes to run sub-2:15. He ran Twin Cities last year in 2:16:02.
O Another former Austinite—Chass Armstrong who now lives in Asheville, North Carolina—is planning on making his marathon debut at the Steamtown Marathon in Scranton, Pennsylvania on October 12th.
O Armstrong’s former high school teammate from Boerne—David Fuentes—has decided to pass on a fall marathon his year. Fuentes, who has already qualified for the ’16 Olympic Marathon Trials, will defend his Run for the Water 10-Miler title in late October and then possibly run the National Cross-Country Champs.
O I missed the Run Free Texas 8-K last Sunday up in Cedar Park. The first race in the Austin Fit Magazine Distance Challenge was won by Jonathan Kibet who edged Collin Smith by a fraction of a second to win in 23:27. Lorin Wilson was third in 24:09 with Mr. Asics—Jared Carson—fourth in 24:20. First masters runner was 50-year-old Larry Bright in 29:09. Amy Baker was the top woman in 29:59 with Patricia Vargas in second in 31:46. Vargas, 42, was also the top woman masters runner.
O Vance Taylor won his age group (65-69) at the Big Cottonwood Canyon Marathon last weekend in Utah. The 66-year-old ran 3:55:52. Paul Williams also ran and finished in 3:53:44. Paul’s daughter Lindsey also finished in 4:35.
O Ryan Hall, the two-time Olympic marathoner and still the American record holder for the half marathon, will serve as an ambassador for the MetroPCS Dallas Marathon and will appear on race weekend (December 13-14). No word on whether Hall will run any of the Dallas races or not. BTW: Hall, who has been largely self-coached, has thrown in his hat with the highly respected Jack Daniels who coached at UT many, many years ago.
O Rogue Running (410 Speed Shop) is partnering with Evans Dermatology to host a terrific event. On October 16th (4-7 p.m.), three dermatologists will do a skin cancer screening at the store off 5th Street on 410 Pressler Street. It’s free and open to anyone.
O There’s already a statue of John A. Kelley (The Elder) on the Boston Marathon course and on Sunday, a statue will be dedicated to John J. Kelley (The Younger) in his hometown of Mystic, Connecticut in a a small park right next to Mystic Pizza. Kelley’s protege and close friend Amby Burfoot was instrumental in getting the funding for this statue which has an image of Kelley running with his dog Brutus. Young John Kelley, a two-time Olympic marathoner who won the 1957 Boston Marathon, died three years ago at the age of 80. He was a high school teacher and coach at Fitch HS in Groton, Connecticut where he coached Burfoot to the 1968 Boston Marathon title.
O Back on My Feet’s Austin chapter and Rogue will host the Bigfoot Trail Race on September 28th in Johnson City. The fund raiser for Back on My Feet non-profit, which assists the homeless, will have three distance options: 10-K, 30-K and 50-K. For more info, go to austin.backonmyfeet.org/event. Or contact Melissa Daley if you want to volunteer or help out at Melissa@BackOnMyFeet.org.
O What I’m listening to this morning: “Made Up My Mind,” by the Tedeschi Trucks (Susan Tedeschi-Derek Trucks) Band. They’ll be at the ACL Live (Moody Theatre) on November 12th. (I wish I was.)
Have any news for me? If you have something, send it along to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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