San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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June 15th, 2009
Austin races brought something different for runners

Run with Moe: A Column
By Moe Johnson
San Marcos Runners Club

This past weekend, Austin held a little different type of race for runners. The Congress Avenue Mile Run is a real favorite for runners of all ages. Age groups start at six years old and under, and go on up to over 80 years. The reason for the popularity is that for a mile run, it is slightly downhill. In other words, the finish line is downhill from the start.

This is not to say that it is a steady gradual downhill all the way. There are slight uphill sections scattered along the way to the finish line. A lot of elite runners like it because it gives them a good chance to run under a four-minute mile. This year, the fastest time for the mile was 4:07:95 minutes put in by Ci Brown. Not quite a sub four minute mile, but still a fast time for the mile.

The big difference in running on Congress Avenue is that there are no lanes to keep you on a straight path and the course is one straight shot down the street, instead of four laps around the track. The quarter mile marks are posted along the way, so runners have some idea of pace and distance, because looking at a mile straight away distance is very deceiving when it comes to judging distance.

There were a few local runners that did well in the race, with Ros Hill taking a first place in the 45-49 year age group, with a time of 4:47:15. Hill was second overall in the Masters category and missed the overall Masters title by only 2 seconds. Britt Van Dine, from the San Marcos Runners Club, was also in the 45-49 age group and ran a 5:12:30 that was good for a fourth place finish. In the 40-44 age category Randall Wood came in with a fourth place finish, with a time of 4:50:75.

The results listed in the Austin paper only mentioned the first five places and there may have been other runners from San Marcos that ran the race. It is encouraging to see that even with an age category of over 80, there were runners in the race that can still put in a decent time for a mile. The women’s winner was Sumi Leonard in 11:14 and the men’s over 80 winner was Joe Barger in 10:05. The most impressive runner to me was Ino Cantu in the 75-79 age category and ran the mile in 6:34. Cantu has been a runner for a number of years and had won the Moe’s Better Half Marathon in years past.

For those runners that are looking for a more traditional 5K distance, the 2009 Firecracker 5K Evening Run on Thursday evening, July 2, at the River Ridge Business Park, is fast approaching. This has always been a fun run for everyone and the evening start time of 7:30 p.m. lets the temperature cool down a little. The 5K race is sponsored by the San Marcos Parks and Recreation Department and the San Marcos Runners Club. Pre-registration can be found at the San Marcos Activity Center for $15 until June 29. Day of race and late registration is $20. Day of race registration starts at 6:30 p.m. at the River Ridge Park.

The course is flat and fast and the T-shirts are always a good design for runners to wear at July 4 celebrations. Age group categories start at 14 and under, and go up to 70-plus ages. The top three finishers in each age for men and women will receive awards, as well as the Overall Male and Female.

For more information call (512) 393-8280. Temperature for the summer looks like it will be a hot summer for running. The fact that the race starts at 7:30 p.m. is good, but it will still be a warm time to run. Drink some cold liquid before, during and after the race to help with the hot temperatures. The Firecracker 5K is a great way to start the holiday and an easy race to drive to for local runners.

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