Banff Mountain Film Festival returns to Paramount Theater April 18-19

Radical Reels on Saturday features adrenalin-packed films about extreme sports. Photo courtesy Banff Mountain Film Festival
Radical Reels on Saturday features adrenalin-packed films about extreme sports. Photo courtesy Banff Mountain Film Festival

South by Southwest Film Festival not quite your speed?

Sunday's films are less extreme, and more focused on culture and landscape. Photo courtesy Banff Mountain Film Festival
Sunday’s films are less extreme, and more focused on culture and landscape. Photo courtesy Banff Mountain Film Festival

Fear not. The backpack-and-hiking boots crowd gets its own version of movie theater nirvana April 18-19, when the Banff Mountain Film Festival returns to the Paramount Theater, 713 Congress Avenue.

The festival takes place over two nights. Saturday’s Radical Reels lineup features adrenalin-packed films about everything from downhill mountain biking and ice climbing to kayaking and other extreme sports. Sunday’s World Tour show (my favorite) focuses more on culture and landscape. This year’s lineup includes films about an 88-year-old skier and a stand-up paddle boarder investigating how we use and abuse water.

All the films originally screened as part of the 2014 Banff Mountain Film Festival in Canada. All the films are set in or somehow related to the mountains.

Tickets are available online or at Whole Earth Provision Co. Photo courtesy Banff Mountain Film Festival
Tickets are available online or at Whole Earth Provision Co. Photo courtesy Banff Mountain Film Festival

This year marks the 10th year that Whole Earth Provision Company has brought the event to Austin. Proceeds benefit Texas State Parks.

Doors open at 5:30 and the show begins at 7 p.m. on Saturday. On Sunday doors open at 4:30 and the show starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are $23 in stores or online. For more information and a list of films and previews, go here. http://www.wholeearthprovision.com/banff/

Head for the Cure 5K, LoziLu Women’s Mud Run benefit cancer causes

head for cure 3I hate cancer. It stole my father’s life last October.

Two events this weekend raise money and awareness for cancer-related causes.

  • Don’t mind a little mud? Participants will scale obstacles, climb nets, conquer walls, descend towering slides, dance and wallow in mud at the 5K LoziLu Women’s Mud Run on Saturday, March 28. Donations will be used to pay medical bills and help children with cancer achieve their bucket lists. Registration is $69 (less for military, children or students) here. http://www.active.com/austin-area-tx/running/mud-runs-races/lozilu-women-s-mud-run-austin-2015
  • Participants in the Head for a Cure 5K make their way along the course at Camp Mabry.
    Participants in the Head for a Cure 5K make their way along the course at Camp Mabry.
  • Rather keep it clean? The Head for the Cure 5K kicks off at 8 a.m. Sunday, March 29 at Camp Mabry, 2200 W. 35th Street. No mud, just a 5K run that benefits the Head for the Cure Foundation, which provided seed money to launch the Brain Tumor Trials Collaborative, a brain cancer research organization led by the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Registration is $35 through March 25 ($40 the day of the race, and discounts for multiple registrations) here. http://www.headforthecure.org/central-texas

LBJ 100 Bicycle Tour set for March 28

LBJ 100 courtesy NPSHas your bike been mothballed all winter? Now’s the time to pump up the tires.

Then, on March 28, you can bike through the ranch where Lyndon Baines Johnson once lived during the LBJ 100 Bicycle Tour.

Cyclists choose from routes of 10, 30, 42, 62 or 85 miles in this non-competitive group bike ride, which rolls off at 9 a.m. from the LBJ Ranch in Stonewall. All courses begin and end on the LBJ Ranch airstrip, cover quiet country roads and pass historical landmarks that figured prominently in U.S. Presidential history.

LBJ 100 two courtesy NPS

Registration is $40 for adults, $20 for children 12 and under, or $95 for families here . (That’s cheaper than last year, folks, because registration doesn’t include a T-shirt. If you want one, you can buy one onsite for $10.)

That same day, as about 1,500 cyclists pedal through Central Texas, a team of 25 active military personnel in Afghanistan will ride their version of the LBJ 100 on stationary bikes. Ride organizers even sent them goodie bags filled with T-shirts, water bottles, Whittington beef jerky and Asleep at the Wheel CDs so they get as close to the real experience as possible.

Free workouts during SXSW

Radius master trainers Caley Alyssa, Keoni Hudoba and Caley Alyssa will lead free workouts at SXSW.
Radius master trainers Caley Alyssa, Keoni Hudoba and Caley Alyssa will lead free workouts at SXSW.

More free, open-to-the-public fitness stuff to break up the beer-drinking, band-watching monotony of South by Southwest …

    • High energy cardio class finished with a yoga stretch, all led by Radius trainers, at 9 a.m. Friday, March 13 at the NBC Sports Lawn at the Four Seasons Hotel. RSVP radius@allisonpr.com.
    • Spark Fitness Austin, 111 Sandra Muraida Way, will host a 50-minute Buns & Guns Boot Camp with drills, body weight exercises and pushups at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, March 14. To RSVP, go here.
    • Vinyasa yoga on the upstairs patio at The Belmont, 305 W. Sixth Street, at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 14. RSVP radius@allisonpr.com.
    • High energy cardio finished with a yoga stretch at 9:45 a.m. Saturday, March 14 at The Belmont, 305 W. Sixth Street.RSVP radius@allisonpr.com.
    • Yahoo Health and Core Power Yoga will offer a free yoga class set to the music of a live DJ at 10 a.m. Sunday through Tuesday, March 15-17, on the rooftop of Brazos Hall, 204 East Fourth Street.
    • Cardio/yoga combo with Natlaie Uhling, Keoni Hudoba and Caley Alyssa at 8:30 a.m. Sunday March 15 at NBC Sports Lawn at the Four Seasons Hotel. RSVP radius@allisonpr.com.
    • Panel discussion on the intersection of fitness, technology and community followed by a high-energy cardio session and yoga stretch, at 11 a.m. Sunday, March 15 at 1021 East 7th Street. Then reset your focus with intention setting and meditation with Malika Chopra. RSVP radius@allisonpr.com.
    • Withings will host Activite Pop Dance Workouts at 9:30 a.m. Sunday and Monday, March 15 and 16, at W Hotel, 200 Lavaca Street. RSVP at popsxsw@withings.com.
    • Yahoo Health editor in chief Michele Promaulayko will lead a discussion with Yahoo Tech vice president David Pogue titled “The Struggle is Real: How to Stay Healthy in a Teched-Out World” at 2 p.m. Monday, March 16 at Brazos Hall, 204 East Fourth Street.
    • Meet at Rogue Running, 410 Pressler Street, at 7 a.m. Friday, March 20, for a 5K group run. ASICS will bring gear and A to Z Wineworks will provide food and wine.

Run under a giant inflatable colon at the Get Your Rear in Gear 5K

Runners at the Get Your Rear in Gear 5K will get to trot beneath a giant inflatable colon.
Runners at the Get Your Rear in Gear 5K will get to trot beneath this – a giant inflatable colon.

Because, honestly, who wouldn’t want to run through a giant colon?

On March 22, participants in the Get Your Rear in Gear 5K Run/Walk will get to trot through a giant, Pepto-Bismol pink inflatable arch complete with veins and funky little bumps, which we can only assume represent cancerous growths.

Wow.

But there’s a reason behind this madness. The Colon Cancer Coalition wants to make the words colon, colorectal and colonoscopy – and giant inflatable colons, presumably – a part of our everyday language. That, they say, will make us less squeamish about colon cancer itself, encourage us to get early screenings and, ultimately, decrease the number of deaths due to this largely preventable cancer.

That I can get behind.

Nearly 500 runners will participate in the Austin race, which starts with a few guest speakers at 8 a.m., followed by a Kids K a few minutes later, and finally the 5K at 8:30 a.m. Money raised at the event will be used to fund colon cancer screening and support programs.

Think it won’t matter to you? One in 20 Americans is diagnosed with colon cancer in their lifetime.

Early detection is key to beating the disease, but Texas ranks poorly when it comes to screenings. Only 60 percent of Texans get screened, putting us in 41st place in the country. A colonoscopy can detect and remove colon polyps before they become cancer, preventing the disease from occurring.

Local survivor Victoria Connor-Eagen was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer when she was 48.

“I assumed I was not at risk, since I was below the recommended screening age of 50. I am very lucky that my cancer was discovered early, and that I did not ignore my symptoms,” she says. “Young people need to be aware of their risk, and the preventative measures they can take to remain cancer free.”

Nine out of 10 patients survive five or more years when colon cancer is caught in early, but only one in 10 lives that long when the disease is diagnosed in late stages. Right now, 60 percent of patients nationwide are diagnosed with late stage disease.

To register for the run, go here. Race day registration is also available at Camp Mabry.

Brooks Running to host morning runs during SXSW – and what’s your fave running route?

Brooks Running will host free morning runs during South by Southwest. File photo by Matt Rourke/Austin American-Statesman.
Brooks Running will host free morning runs during South by Southwest. File photo by Matt Rourke/Austin American-Statesman.

Leave it to Brooks Running to keep you from falling off the fitness wagon during South By Southwest.

The running gear company will host morning runs, dubbed SXSW Morning Runspirations, on March 14, 15 and 16. Meet at East Fourth Street and Neches Street at 7:30 a.m.

Participants – at least those who arrive early – will get swag, including T-shirts and drink koozies, while supplies last. Register in advance here.

And let us know … what’s your favorite Austin running route?

Volunteers needed for Austin Parks Foundation’s It’s My Park Day on Saturday

Elena Berrera-Waters helps clear brush at Norwood Park on It's My Park Day in this file photo by Matt Rourke of the Austin American-Statesman.
Elena Berrera-Waters helps clear brush at Norwood Park on It’s My Park Day in this file photo by Matt Rourke of the Austin American-Statesman.

Want to pitch in to spruce up Austin parks?

Volunteers are needed to spread mulch, pick up trash, restore trails and do other work at parks all around Austin at the 13th annual It’s My Parks Day this Saturday.

In all, about 3,000 volunteers are needed for projects at nearly 100 Austin parks. Everyone who pitches in gets a special event T-shirt (I’ve collected several over the years!), coupons for Chipotle Mexican Grill and snacks from Wheatsville Food Co-op and Kind Healthy Snacks.

This year’s event coincides with two other park happenings – the re-opening of the Dove Springs Playscape and the ribbon cutting for improvements at Ramsey Park.

About 100 volunteers are needed at Dove Springs to mulch trees and paint park fixtures. At 10 a.m., they will celebrate the grand opening of the new playscape, which is also a national Wildlife Federation Demonstration Site. Austin Parks Foundation teamed with Austin Parks and Recreation Department to design the new play area and nature trails. Austin Parks Foundation and the St. David’s Foundation contributed a combined $250,000 for the project.

At Ramsey Park, volunteers are needed to aerate the baseball field. A ribbon cutting ceremony at 1:30 p.m. will recognize all the improvement there, including new trails, play areas, climbing equipment, an amphitheater and picnic tables. Austin Friends of Ramsey Park raised more than $450,000 for the project and Austin Parks Foundation contributed $50,000.

The Austin Parks Foundation was established in 1992. It fosters public-private partnerships that help develop and maintain 300 parks, trails and open spaces in Austin.

For more information about It’s My Park Day, go to here.

 

Send us your yoga pics to win passes to a Black Swan Yoga Recovery session during SXSW

Joshua Adair leads a yoga class at Black Swan Yoga in 2010. Photo by Larry Kolvoord/American Statesman
Joshua Adair leads a yoga class at Black Swan Yoga in 2010. Photo by Larry Kolvoord/American Statesman

South By Southwest is fast approaching, and although we love the music and late nights, all that fun can take a toll on a body.

A yoga session or two can help work out the kinks, and Black Swan Yoga is hosting some free sessions for SXSW badge holders – and we’re giving away a pair of passes to someone who doesn’t have a badge.

Want in? Send us a photo of yourself in your favorite yoga pose.

Photo by Eddie Vasquez
Photo by Eddie Vasquez

We’ll gather the submissions into a gallery and pick our favorite. The winner gets passes to a Live Black Swan Yoga Recovery Session Powered by Onnit at 10 a.m. or noon on Saturday, March 21, at Black Swan Yoga, 403 Orchard Street.

The session, for anyone from beginner to expert, will be set to live music by top emerging artists on the world music scene. Afterward, enjoy hemp protein smoothies, blended coffees and health tonics from Onnit’s flagship Total Human Optimization Truck.

If you’ve got a SXSW badge, you can attend any of the Black Swan yoga sessions during SXSW, which will be held at 10 a.m. and noon every day from March 13 to March 22 (with a bonus session at 10 a.m. March 18 at the Austin Convention Center).

Onnit, an Austin-based health and wellness company, runs a workout center, makes fitness equipment and sells all-natural nutritional supplements and foods. It bought Black Swan several months ago.

To enter the contest, email your photo to pleblanc@statesman.com, tag it @fitcityaustin and #fitcityyoga on Instagram, or post it on the Fit City page on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/FitCityAustin.

La Primavera at Lago Vista bike races set for this weekend

Cyclists make their way over the hilly course at La Primavera at Lago Vista Bike Race. Photo courtesy Lago Vista and Jonestown Area Chamber of Commerce and CVB.
Cyclists make their way over the hilly course at La Primavera at Lago Vista Bike Race. Photo courtesy Lago Vista and Jonestown Area Chamber of Commerce and CVB.

If a trip to Europe to take in the Tour de France isn’t in your future, consider a jaunt to the north shore of Lake Travis this weekend to see La Primavera at Lago Vista Bicycle Race.

A cyclist celebrates after crossing the finish line at La Primavera at Lago Vista Bike Race. Photo courtesty Lago Vista and Jonestown Chamber of Commerce
A cyclist celebrates after crossing the finish line at La Primavera at Lago Vista Bike Race. Photo courtesty Lago Vista and Jonestown Chamber of Commerce

The race, in its 24th year, draws about 900 cyclists from across Texas, surrounding states and even Mexico and Canada, who race in packs over a twisting, notoriously hilly 5.5-mile course.

The event, hosted by the Lago Vista & Jonestown Chamber of Commerce and the Texas Bicycle Racing Association, runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and it’s free to watch. Spectators typically bring their own folding chairs and line the streets as cyclists speed past. The start/finish line is at 1925 American.

It’s one of the largest road races in the region, with categories for juniors, masters and pros. Among those expected to attend are Heath Blackstone, who represented New Zealand in the Olympics and now lives in Austin, representing Elevate Cycling. Ben Spies, a world famous grand prix motorcycle racer who rides with his elbows sticking out, will lead Team Elboz.

“Anybody who’s a bike racer in Texas is going to be there,” says race director Don Hutchison.

Weather forecasts show temperatures should hover in the 40s and 50s most of the weekend. Rain or cold, never stop this show, Hutchison says. Last year temperatures hit 82 degrees under sunny skies on Saturday, then dropped to 34 as rain moved in on Sunday.

“It’s a great spectator course – it’s only a 5.5-mile loop, so you can see riders come by every 15 minutes,” Hutchison says. “It’s a loop on the peninsula with a lot of up and down. There’s not a mile of flat road on it.”

Free face painting is planned from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. both days and Boneshaker Program, whose mission is to inspire kids to lead healthy and active lifestyles, will be on hand.

For cyclist registration details, go to www.txbra.org.