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CADENZAI don’t know who the best hill runner is in the ATX, but Jack Murray (and I) want to find out. Jack, the “Jack” of Jack & Adam’s Bike Shop on South Lamar, is putting on a fun little competition this fall—King of the Mountains—to determine just who are the toughest, fastest climbers in town.

We’re talking runners, not cyclists, so bikes aren’t allowed for this free, month-long event which will get underway in November. Here’s how it goes: there are 10 total hills (12.6 miles of climbing) that must be completed within a month once this gets going. There will be prizes (Mizuno running shoes) to the top climbers in overall, certain age groups and masters. To be eligible, all you have to do is register.

The rules are pretty simple: You have to run all 10 hills listed (more in a minute) and you can climb them as many times as you want within the designated time period. Your best time counts. All timing is on an honor system (neither Jack or I are going to time you).

There are plenty of great hills to choose from, but Jack has decided to use my list from an article I wrote last fall on the baddest hills in Austin. Here’s the link: Top 10 Biggest, Baddest Hills.

It lists the 10 toughest hills—all on road, no trails–in Austin from easiest to hardest, starting with Exposition and Balcones (I counted it as one) and going up all the way to what I consider the absolute toughest, steepest, punishing run-able hill: Beauford Road in the Northwest Hills.

You can quibble with my list all you want, but these are the top 10 we’re going with to determine who are the best climbers in town.

Some details of the contest still need to be ironed out and you can’t register quite yet, but once it’s set up, we’ll have a link to the registration site. Until it is, start practicing.


O Zac Ornelas, the former Vista Ridge HS star, finished sixth in the USATF 50-K Trail Championships last weekend in Bend, Oregon. Ornelas, who lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan where he went to the University of Michigan, ran 3:41:56. Last year, Ornelas made the US team which went to the World Mountain Champs.

O As we wrote last week, Boston Marathon registration has closed for the ’15 race and 23,546 qualifiers have been accepted. The way it shook out was you had to have a qualifier at least 1:02 faster than your age and gender standard to get in. The cut off for last April’s race was 1:38. The total field for the April 20th race will be 30,000.

O Former Lockhart HS stud Robert Uhr, a redshirt freshman at UT, was named the Big 12 runner of the week. Uhr led the Longhorns to the team title with a 1-2-3 finish at the UTSA Ricardo Romo Classic last Friday in San Antonio. Uhr won the 5000 in 15:29. He’s the first UT guy to win the Big 12 runner of the week award for cross-country since now-senior Craig Lutz won it three years ago.

O In the women’s race in San Antonio, newcomer Sandie Raines also won. A transfer from Arkansas, Raines ran 18:31 to lead the women’s field and her team to the team title. Both teams step up a notch in competition this weekend as they travel to Minnesota for the prestigious Roy Griak Invitational.

O Better late than never department: Belated congrats to Matthew Curtis who completed the Grand Slam of Ultra Running a couple of weeks ago at the Wasatch Front 100 in Utah with a time of 25:37. Curtis finished Western States, Vermont 100, Leadville and Wasatch this summer. Amazing.

O More congrats to former RunTex’er and all-around good guy Donnie O’Neal (now at Dell) who got married last Saturday to Michele Mulryan at Krause Springs.

O Also, congrats to Caroline Newman and her husband Jacob Phillips who welcomed their first son—Tyler Courtland Phillips—to the world last Sunday.

O And my friends at Austin Sports Therapy (who keep me running) have been busy. Tommer Arbuckle and Jill Thomson are awaiting the birth of their daughter any day day. Their partner Kyler Brown and his wife Kelley (who is not a chiropractor, she works at Facebook) are expecting their first child—a boy—in early December.

O Last one: Congrats to Roger Soler. The ’84 Olympian from Peru, who owns four Soler Sports locations in San Antonio, is celebrating the 25th anniversary of his thriving business. His Jackson Keller store was his first.

O In case you’re still missing the Schlotzsky’s Bun Run from last spring, the 32nd annual running of this great 5-K will be Sunday (September 28) but it’s moved from Central Austin way up to The Domain in North Austin. The 5-K will start at 8:30 at Alterra Parkway and Kramer Lane (just off Burnet) on the back side of The Domain. There’s $250 in prize money for the fastest guy and gal. Go to www.schlotzskys.com/bun-run/ for info.

O The first—real–World Champs in track and field were in 1987 in Rome. (I went and had my wallet stolen within two hours of landing.) Since then, it’s been held every two years in Germany, Japan, Russia, Sweden, Moscow, Greece to name a few and are scheduled to be held next year in Beijing and London in 2017. In the last 30 years, the Summer Olympics have been held twice in the United States, but the World Champs have never been held here. TrackTown USA (Eugene, Oregon) is expected to present a bid today to the IAAF to host the 2019 World Champs at Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus. Formal presentations of bids will take place November 20th when a decision should be announced. The other two cities seeking the ’19 Worlds are Barcelona and Doha, Qatar. Eugene staged the World Juniors in the summer and TrackTown USA will also organize the ’16 World Indoors at the Portland Convention Center.

O What I’m listening to this morning: “Brotherhood,” the great album by Del Castillo. The Del Castillo brothers—Rick and Mark—formed the band in 2000 and are playing their final Austin-area gig at The Roost on Wells Branch Parkway tomorrow night and at the Uptown Marble Theatre in Marble Falls on October 4. No word on whether Alex Ruiz will be singing with Del Castillo.

Have any news for me? If you have something, send it along to wish@texasrunningpost.com.

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