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.