After I downloaded the South by Southwest (SXSW 2013 mobile) app, I noticed that Brooks Running was having a “Cowboy Run” on Saturday, Sunday and Monday (March 9-11). I signed up immediately. I had cowboy boots but was certainly not going to run in them. I also didn’t want to “schlep” costumes down to Austin with me. So I decided to run the race in “normal” running clothes.
Before the conference, I reached out to the Austin Runners Club and Director of Information Services, Benjamin Williams, who graciously got back to me with suggestions on trails in the Austin area. Since I am directionally challenged (I get lost driving around my town), I was a little nervous about going alone. So when this came along, I was thrilled.
I got up early on Saturday morning and met a group of runners at the meet up tent by my hotel. I was excited to do the 5K. They also had a 10K, which I should have done but figured I would do that the next day.
Everyone received a Brooks Running shirt that looked like a cowboy shirt but was a dry fit. At 7:30 a.m. the race began. I was one of the slower runners but didn’t care. I wanted to check out Austin from a different perspective. The run went past the Austin Convention Center and onto a road that lead to Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail, which was a mostly gravel and dirt trail.
I followed the pack and ran up and down small hills. There was one hill that was nearly 90 degrees. I looked at Michael Olague, who is the Central Texas rep. for Brooks Running and said, “Ummm. … Really?” as I huffed and puffed running up the hill.
The trail was amazing. I ran along the river and saw the most magnificent views of the city. Over bridges and onto dirt trails I ran. At one point the person in front of me was far away and I started to get nervous about getting lost, but then a woman ran past me and I noticed she was in the race, so I followed her.
When I got back to the Brooks Running tent, I stretched out and spoke to Mr. Olague about the brand for a while. I asked him to hook me up with the current marketing director so that I can continue to review products for them on this Runner’s Diary series.
Although the run was hard for me (I guess because I’m used to flat living in Long Beach, NY), I felt a sense of accomplishment. I tackled a piece of Lady Bird Lake and loved every minute of it. Thanks Brooks Running for organizing the race and making me “Run Happy!”