Nearly three years ago, former University of Texas track star Leo Manzano stormed down the homestretch, passing all but one runner to claim the silver medal in the 1,500 meters at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
This weekend Manzano will unveil a new trail system named after him in Granite Shoals, a small town northwest of Austin on the north shore of Lake LBJ, where he grew up and still has family.
The opening of the Leo Manzano Hike, Bike and Run Trails is set for 9 a.m. Saturday at Quarry Parks, 2221 N. Phillips Ranch Road. The public is invited to walk or run the trails with Manzano from 10 to 11 a.m. Bicycles will be permitted after 11 a.m.
Grants from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department funded construction of the trails, which are dotted with granite benches, tables, monuments and exercise stations and wind alongside an old quarry. The system includes an outer loop of more than 2 miles called the Manzano Hike, Bike and Run Trail, an inner half-mile called Leo’s Loop around a large quarry pond, and several connecting trails.
The trails are part of 131.6-acre park development that also includes an interpretive pavilion and wildflower garden and the Roddick Youth Tennis Foundation’s Roddick Tennis Center.
The trails are open from dawn to dusk. No motorized vehicles are allowed. Alcohol and glass containers are prohibited, and fishing, swimming and diving are prohibited in the quarry ponds. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.