I was suppose to run this marathon last year, but I couldnt afford another trip so I chose to my have entry carried over to the following year. The Race Directors Steve and Paul Boone were kindly enough to transfer my entry to 2011.
I decided to arrive in Austin cuz I want to spend a day visitng the city of Austin and expereince some of their good food. Below are the places I have visited while I was in Austin, TX
Round Rock Donut - I saw this place mentioned on the show Man Vs Food, they serve the biggest donut EVER!! http://www.roundrockdonuts.com/
I could only finished half of it, it's just HUGE!!
Salt Lick BBQ restaurant - this place was also mentioned on Man Vs Food, their ribs were really juicy, http://www.saltlickbbq.com/
me standing infront of the open grill pit inside the restaurant
I ordered the babyback rib for takeout, they were really tasty!!
Friday - New Year's Eve -12-31-2010
Well, this day I decided to drive down to San Antonio and spend the day visiting the famous Riverwalk and check out some of their famous restaurants that I saw on the show Man Vs Food, and yes I watch that show a lot cuz I love to eat!!!
First stop, Juan In A Million. http://www.juaninamillion.com/, they have the cheapest and biggest famous "Don Juan" El Taco Grande for only $3.80. I heard that if you can eat 7 of those, you will get your picture on their wall of fame, I really enjoyed their taco, but I didnt attempt to eat 7 of those, maybe next time.
This was the "Don Juan" El Taco Grande
Second stop, Lulu's Bakery and Cafe, http://www.luluscafeinsa.com/ another Man vs Food's destination, this place has been known to have the biggest cinnamon rolls ever, 3 lbs!!! I only ordered their famous Chicken Fried Steak with mashed potatoes and dinner roll, which were ok I guess, didnt get the 3lbs Cinnamon Roll since I dont think I could finish it all by myself.
This was the famous chicken fry steak, it was ok to my taste.
The rest of the day and night I just strolled around the famous Riverwalk in downtown San Antonio, also got the chance to visit the famous The Alamo, what a history this place had back in the days, I enjoyed walking thru their museum and read their stories about the war, lots of items were being display, such as the clothes, the riffles, coins, etc.... It was definately a must go whenever you are in San Antonio. I stayed in San Antonio until 10pm because I didnt want to deal with the crazy crowd when the midnight strikes, since they had a new year's eve outdoor party nearby, so I just drove back up to Austin and watched the ball drops in my room.
The front of the historical The Alamo
Race Day - 1-01-2011
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!
Well, it's the first race of the new year and also my very first time that I ever ran a marathon on New Year's Day. So I woke up at 3am and drove 3 hrs from Austin down to Kingwood, TX, It was a very comfortable in my rental Mustang, I could drive that car anyday, anytime. =-) I arrived at the Greentree Park, where the race held, at around 6am, parked right next to the basketball court close to the start, then I went to pick up my bib, time chip, my long sleeves t-shirt, a gym bag, yes, they gave you a gym bag with your registration!! Plus a mug and a visor, what a nice swag!!! I went back to my car and took a little nap before the race starts at 8am.
Before the race starts, race directors Steve and Paula Boone were addressing the crowds and welcomed us to Texas. They also showed us the HUGE medal we will be getting when we finished the race, which was a solid 3lbs medal!! They really live up to the "Everything is Big in Texas" statement. They also congratulated Yolanda Holder and Larry Macon for breaking the record for most marathon run in a calendar year in 2010 with 106.
Yolanda Holder and Larry Macon were being congratulated before the race.
The course is pretty much going 4 times(2 times for the Half ) on a 6.5 miles loop course around the beautiful park, aid station every 1.5 miles, although majority of the course is on concrete, it doesnt seem to bother me. And what I love about loop course was that I got to see those same runners over and over again during the stretch of the course, it's always fun to see familiar faces when they were coming toward me.
We had to run around this beautiful lake during the 6.5 miles loop.
During the first mile, I noticed they have hung a lot of 8x10s on the tree with each runner's name on it on both left and right side, I couldnt find my name until my 3rd loop, it was on the left side of the course (left coming out, right coming back). So I have decided that I shouold take my sign down on my final loop and pinned on my shirt so people can see it. I caught up with Yolanda Holder at mile 25, she is the Guinese World Record holder for most marathon run in a calendar year by a female, 106, I chatted with her while we were walking since I didnt care about my time anyway so I just enjoyed my time to chat with Yolanda, we always see each other at our races since we are SoCal locals. I crossed the finish line at 4:42.40, Yolanda still had 1 more laps to go. And when I finished, they gave me my medal, a little rubber ducky with my place written on it, plus a duck hat!! Then they have pizza, cookies and soda at the other table for us.
Yolanda and Larry finished the race together.
Yolanda and me at the finish.
Always love to meet fellow Maniacs.
Overall this race is a VERY, VERY fun AND friendly race, I enjoyed every mins of it, running thru the beautiful park with gorgeous lake view was breath taking. I always love meeting new Maniacs before and after the race. I would recommend this race to anyone who doesnt mind a low-key race with HUGE medal. I will definately run this race again in the near future, maybe next year???
Next Race...............Rock n Roll Arizona Marathon, 1-16-2011