US Paratriathlon National Championships returning to Austin in 2015

 Patricia Walsh, of Austin, and guide Angie Balentine, right, celebrate Walsh's win during the US Paratriathlon National Championships  in Austin in 2012. Rodolfo Gonzalez/American-Statesman
Patricia Walsh, of Austin, and guide Angie Balentine, right, celebrate Walsh’s win during the US Paratriathlon National Championships in Austin in 2012. Rodolfo Gonzalez/American-Statesman

It’s official: The USA Paratriathlon National Championships are returning to Austin in May.

The championships will be staged as part of the Life Time Tri CapTex on May 25. Austin’s own Patricia Walsh, who is blind, is among the triathletes expected to compete.

If you’ve never seen the event, it’s incredible to watch.

The athletes will compete for national titles in five sport classes on a 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike and 5-kilometer run course through downtown Austin.

It’ll be the third time that Austin will host the event. (It was scheduled to take place in Austin this year, but was moved due to a change in the paratriathlon classification process.)

“We are thrilled to once again join forces with Life Time Tri CapTex and the city of Austin to welcome and celebrate our nation’s best paratriathletes,” Rob Urbach, chief executive officer of USA Triathlon, said in a press release. “With the 2016 Paralympic Games on the horizon, this is an excellent opportunity to showcase the talents of these inspiring athletes to a community that has hosted one of the leading triathlons in the U.S. for over two decades.”

USA Paratriathlon Nationals is the first of three top-level paratriathlon competitions that will be held in the U.S. in 2015. The 2015 Detroit ITU World Paratriathlon Event is set for Aug. 16. The ITU World Triathlon Grand Final and World Championships are scheduled for Sept. 15-20. Top finishes at USA Paratriathlon Nationals, the Detroit ITU World Paratriathlon Event and the ITU Paratriathlon World Championships will count toward the ITU Paratriathlon rankings.That all leads up to the biggest news of all – paratriathlon makes its debut at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Paralympic Games in September 2016.

For more information on USA Paratriathlon go here.

New ClassPass lets members take fitness classes all over Austin

Laura Lee Kozusko works with student Kristen Turner at The Bar Method, one of more than 30 studios that offer classes through ClassPass. LAURA SKELDING/Austin American-Statesman file photo
Laura Lee Kozusko works with student Kristen Turner at The Bar Method, one of more than 30 studios that offer classes through ClassPass. LAURA SKELDING/Austin American-Statesman file photo

A new fitness “passport” lets holders take fitness classes at studios all over Austin, instead of buying a membership to just one.

ClassPass, which operates in New York City, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Seattle, Portland, San Diego and Dallas-Fort Worth, recently announced its expansion to Austin.

So far, more than 30 Austin fitness studios, from Ballet Austin and The Bar Method to Dharma Yoga and Ride Indoor Cycling, have joined the network. (To see a map of all participating fitness centers, go here.)

A membership costs $99 per month, and allows access to any studio in the network up to three times per month. Options include cycling, pilates, yoga, strength training, dance and martial arts.

For more information go here.

Auditorium Shores Trailhead reopens to the public

Auditorium Shores Trailhead accessFrom the City of Austin:

The Austin Parks and Recreation Department would like to announce that as of Wednesday, December 10, 2014, the Auditorium Shores Trailhead is open to the public. This includes an expansion of the parking lot, new restroom facility and associated utility upgrades, trail realignment and widening, shoreline restoration, improved bicycle and pedestrian connectivity, exercise and stretching area enhancements, landscaping, lighting, site furnishings and signage.

Funds for the project were made available through a grant from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and a match from the 2006 and 2012 City of Austin Bond programs.

More information on the project is available at: http://austintexas.gov/department/auditorium-shores-trailhead

PLEASE NOTE: Because of events at the Long Center Wednesday, December 10 through 2 p.m. on Thursday, December 11, Riverside Drive will be closed between South 1st Street and Lamar Blvd. Therefore, access to the Auditorium Shores Trailhead parking lot will be via the northbound access on the east side of South 1st Street.

Red Dress Run, Jingle Bell 5K set for this weekend

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The Red Dress Run takes place Saturday.

 

Ladies and gentlemen, grab your slinky red dresses and prepare to dash.

The Austin Duathletes Red Dress Run will kick off at 7 p.m. Saturday at Jack & Adam’s Bicycles, 300 South Lamar Boulevard. Runners decked out in their reddest finery will stop by a dozen downtown bars during the ninth annual edition of this fun run. Prizes will be awarded for the best-dressed male and female.

“The Red Dress Run has, over the years, become one of Austin running’s defining events,” Austin Duathletes president Phil “Panther” Carmical said in a press release. “You aren’t a real Austin runner until you’ve done the Decker Challenge, the Hill of Life, and the Red Dress Run at least once.”

Entry is a suggested $10 donation to the Ronald McDonald House of Austin Association. For more information go here.

For more information about Austin Duathletes, go here.

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Prefer your holiday running alcohol free?

The 17th annual Austin Jingle Bell 5K this Sunday benefits Mothers Against Drunk Driving. The family-friendly run/walk at the Domain starts with a kid’s fun run at 8 a.m., followed by the adult timed 5K at 8:30 a.m. Every runner gets a pair of jingle bells and Santa will be on hand to cheer on participants.Entry fee is $40 for adults or $20 for children for the fun run; $10 for the kids fun run. To register go here.

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Texas State Parks passes $5 off through Jan. 5

You can buy a Texas State Parks pass for $65 through Jan. 5.
You can buy a Texas State Parks pass for $65 through Jan. 5.

Need a gift idea for the outdoors person in your life?

If I didn’t already have one, I’d put a Texas State Parks pass at the top of my holiday wish list.

The pass provides access to the card holder and everyone in their vehicle to nearly 100 parks in all corners of the state. I’m on a mission to visit every one of them.

If you buy the pass through the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation by Jan. 5, it will cost $65 – $5 off the regular price. One hundred percent of the proceeds goes to supporting state parks.

To buy a pass, go here. http://bit.ly/11lpX1i”. If you’re buying it as a gift, the recipient will be mailed a special certificate that can be redeemed for a parks pass at any Texas state park.

HITS Multi-Sport Austin event set for Sunday at COTA

Runners can choose from five distances - or a duathlon - at Sundays HITS event at Circuit of the Americas./JA Sports Photo
Runners can choose from five distances – or a duathlon – at Sundays HITS Multi-Sport event at Circuit of the Americas./JA Sports Photo

Runners get a chance to burn some human-powered rubber at the Circuit of Americas this Sunday, when HITS Multi-Sport stages five running races and a duathlon at the Formula 1 racetrack.

It’s the second year for the event, which includes a marathon, half marathon, 10K, 5K, Friends & Family Mile and a sprint duathlon.

Among this year’s competitors is 28-year-old Sydney Davis of Cypress, who may have an advantage. She’s driven a race car at COTA, but never run a footrace. When she heard about the duathlon, she decided she wanted to know what it would be like to bike on the same track she’d driven.

Entry fees are $120 for the marathon, $90 for the half, $40 for the 10K, $30 for the 5K and $20 for the mile. (Fees increase Saturday.)

To register go here. Registration will also be available during packet pickup Saturday at Texas Running Company, 1011 West Fifth Street, and at COTA on race morning. For course maps and more information go here.

Circuit of the Americas is located at 9201 Circuit of the Americas Boulevard off of FM812, east of U.S. Highway 183 in Del Valle.

  • Schedule of Events:
  • • 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Fitness expo
  • • 7 a.m.- Half marathon and marathon start
  • • 11:30 p.m. – 5K and 10K start
  • • 1:15 p.m. – Friends and Family Mile start
  • • 2 p.m. – Sprint duathlon start

Tonight’s Beer Mile World Championships moved to Circuit of the Americas

Greg Baxter and Chris Kimbrough train for the Beer Mile. The World Championships will take place tonight at Circuit of the Americas. STEPHEN SPILLMAN/American-Statesman
Greg Baxter and Chris Kimbrough train for the Beer Mile. The World Championships will take place tonight at Circuit of the Americas. STEPHEN SPILLMAN/For American-Statesman

Heads up, running and beer drinking fans.

The venue for tonight’s Flotrack Beer Mile World Championships has moved from Yellow Jacket Stadium to Circuit of the Americas.

Athletes competing in the event run a mile, stopping every quarter of a mile to drink a 12-ounce can of beer. Organizers said the event was moved after complaints were raised about the appropriateness of holding the event at Yellow Jacket.

The beer mile has been an unofficial “thing” among runners since the late 1980s, with athletes posting videos of themselves racing and sharing their times. This marks the first year of an sanctioned event, with official timing and the athletes all in one location.

Chris Kimbrough of Austin, who broke the unofficial women’s world record in November, will compete. Also signed up are Olympian Nick Symmonds; athletes Corey Gallagher, Jack Colreavy, Scott Macpherson, Markus Liwing, Brian Anderson and Tully Hannan; Team USA mid-distance runner Katie Mackey, Seanna Robinson and Kristy Smith.

The current men’s world record is 4:57 and the women’s record is 6:26.06.

“The Circuit of the Americas provides the perfect backdrop for our athletes to do what they set out here to do, win the World Championships,” Flotrack co-founder Mark Floreani said in a press release. “Ultimately, we ended up in a world-renowned venue to host our inaugural Flotrack Beer Mile World Championships. The Circuit of the Americas has been a great partner as we pivoted to secure a new location for the event.”

Flotrack is offering a prize purse of $2,500 for the overall winners and a $2,500 bonus if the men’s or women’s unofficial world record is broken.

The event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 5 p.m. Open heats begin at 5:35 p.m. The women’s elite race starts at 7:25 p.m. and the men’s race starts at 7:45 p.m. The Circuit of the Americas is located at 9201 Circuit of the Americas Boulevard.

Flotrack.com’s live broadcast of the event will begin at 6 p.m. at http://www.flotrack.org.

Lights of Love 5K, Trail of Lights Fun Run, Girls on the Run 5K this weekend

The Lights of Love 5K is set for Friday night at the Mueller development.
The Lights of Love 5K is set for Friday night at the Mueller development.

Looking for a festive holiday run? You’ve got options this weekend…

Hot chocolate will be served at the Lights of Love 5K.
Hot chocolate will be served at the Lights of Love 5K.
      • The Lights of Love 5K is set for Friday at the Browning Hanger in the Mueller development, 4550 Mueller Boulevard. The route features a trail of holiday lights. Besides the run (or walk), caroling, photos with Santa, kids crafts and music are planned. Hot chocolate will be served. Proceeds benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Austin and Central Texas. Walk-up registration and packet pickup will take place from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., with the family mile walk at 6:30 p.m. The 5K starts at 7:05 p.m. Entry for the 5K is $40 for adults or $35 for the untimed 5K or fun run ($25 and $20 for children.) Register at http://www.lightsoflove5k.org.

The Austin Trail of Lights Fun Run takes place Saturday night at Zilker Park. The 2-mile run starts at the Zilker Tree and ends within the Trail of Lights. All speeds welcome; tots in strollers ride for free. Costumes are encouraged. The event starts at 7 p.m. Registration is $20 for children, $35 for adults and $10 for a glow package. You can also make a donation to the Trail of Lights Foundation, which funds and maintains the beloved holiday lights display. For more information go

here

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  • The Girls on the Run 5k is set for 8 a.m. Saturday at Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park, 6614 Blue Bluff Road. Proceeds help fund the Girls on the Run program, which teaches girls in grades three through eight lifelong skills through running. Registration is $25 per person ($20 without T-shirt.) To sign up go to http://www.gotraustin.org.

Hoka OneOne hosts 2-Mile Postal Nationals Tuesday, run with Leo Manzano Thursday

Leo Manzano will lead a social run this Thursday. Photo by Jay Janner/Statesman staff
Leo Manzano will lead a social run this Thursday. Photo by Jay Janner/Statesman staff

Think you can keep up with Olympic silver medalist and Austin runner Leo Manzano?

Manzano, who is sponsored by Hoka OneOne, maker of those crazy-looking thick-soled running shoes, will lead a social run starting from Texas Running Company Austin, 1011 West Fifth Street, at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Hoka OneOne will have demo footwear on hand for those who want to try it themselves.

Hoka OneOne is known for its thick-soled running shoes.
Hoka OneOne is known for its thick-soled running shoes.

Parking is free in the garage. Show up early; the run will depart promptly. More details here.

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Hoka OneOne is also hosting the 2014 Hoka One One 2-Mile High School Postal Nationals – South from 4-7 p.m. Tuesday at Nelson Field, 7400 Berkman Drive near Reagan High School.

Top local high school club teams will compete in the 2-mile distance, record the cumulative time of their top five runners, and have the opportunity to compare it against the nation.

Race day registration is $15 per individual or $75 per team. For more information go here.