Friday, October 19, 2007

LiveStrong Challenge - Day 2 (Saturday the 13th) - Walk

The LIVESTRONG Challenge Walk/Run took place at the Texas State Capital, with the start/finish line just south of the capital building on 11th street. The weather was beautiful, and the temperature was very mild.

(Update: Pictures taken by the professional photographers at Kreutz Photography are online).

I parked in the Capital Visitor's Garage. When I arrived, it was fairly empty and still pretty dark out (sunrise is about 7:30). From there, it was just a 5 minute walk over to the Capital grounds. The stage was setup on the southwest corner of 11th and Congress, with the start/finish to the left, and the jumbotron to the right. I arrived maybe 45 minutes before the start time and stayed near the front of the crowd, at one of the gates to the Capital grounds (they wanted the crowd off of 11th Street). The announcer indicated the runners should be ahead of the walkers, but I liked where I was standing!

About 20 minutes before the start, the special bus (being used for Lance's trip around the state advocating Propostition 15) pulled up, and Lance and Andy Roddick (the tennis pro, he lives in Austin) got off. At this point they they motioned for the crowd to move up to the stage. Doug Ulman (the President of the LAF) gave a short welcome, followed by Andy, followed by Lance. Lance also announced the winner of the T-shirt contest. Mia Hamm and Bev Kearney (Track & Field coach from UT Austin) were also there, along with some the local politicians supporting Proposition 15.

Once the short speeches were done, the pace car, followed by Lance, Andy, and Doug lined up and the run started. Even though I don't run, I did today, to not be crushed by the large group of runners behind me. I probably went a 1/4 mile before stopping. (This was not a good idea, since I do not run, the tibialis anterior muscle became sore, and was still sore the next day for the ride. Fortunately, this did not affect me). I walked the remainder of the way. I did not get an official chip timer, I believe my times were 13:20 for mile 1, 29:29, for mile 2, and 48:00 for mile 3. As I crossed the bridge going north on Colorado, I could still see the folks heading south crossing the newly renamed Ann Richards Congress Avenue Bridge.

When coming to the finish, the announcer was calling out people's names, and I was by myself so I was all set to be 'announced'. At that moment he says "I see the first Pedicab is now finishing". It came up and passed me just before the finish line. Needless to say, they skipped me, oh well. There were numerous Pedicabs, carrying kids from the Dell Children's Hospital. After I finished, I got a banana or two, and a bagel, and watched other folks finish for a little while.

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