Saturday, October 22, 2011

Team Fatty Rocks the Austin LiveStrong Challenge - Saturday

Note from Steve: This is part 2 of the LiveStrong Weekend series, Friday's events (Part 1) can be found hereSunday's events can be found here. The entire inventory of pictures is here.

Visit for all things Fatty. Paul's super writeup about the LiveStrong weekend is hereAlso, read Pam & Tracy's experiences in the Run/Walk and Ride, and then looking back.

Saturday's main events were the Run/Walk in the morning and the Dinner in the evening. I (we, the team, in pieces) stopped by MJs and the LiveStrong Village several times for shopping, listening, autographing, and general milling about.

The Run/Walk

The Run/Walk started downtown, on the south end of the 1st Street Bridge, the route winding through a little bit of South Austin. I did not participate since I enjoy watching other people run, not running myself. Really, does anyone actually enjoy running...or do they just say that? I attend to cheer on and support all the participants, they deserve all the support we can give.

The weekend had extremely pleasant weather so I was treated to nice sunrise. I had parked a ways away, Austin had just recently changed their parking rules for Saturdays (boo!). Fairly inconvenient, I must say. Still, with such nice weather, a little extra walking was not an issue.

Sidelight Alert
I agree with Fatty, Honey Stinger chews/bars/waffles are awesome
One of the more touching parts of the event are the pedicabs carrying kids with cancer.

Coming home, the gentle rise in the bridge made the last part a little more difficult, but the pedicabs all made it in style!

Here's the start of everybody, I think!

Pam & Tracy
Paul & Tim
I wore my long sleeved Fatty jersey to help other team members identify me, it worked out well as I met Tim and Paul at the Run, and then Tracy and Pam at MJs. Unfortunately, it also made me a target for Levi yet again, but would I see him? Or more importantly, would he see me first?


Henrike finishing the run
I also met my friends from year's past, Amanda, who had come down to visit Henrike, the international mentor and also a friend from prior Challenges, it was great to see them again!

The 1st runner arrived back somewhere around 16 minutes with the final walkers being these fine ladies, astride the route.


I wonder if this little guy ran the whole way?

Up to MJs

A calm Levi? Maybe...
Chris Carmichael
After the Run/Walk, Tim and I headed up to MJs. While we were there, both Chris Carmichael and Levi Leipheimer were signing autographs. I had no reservations donning the Fatty jersey while talking to Chris, but note, I removed it when I saw Levi, self-preservation instincts being what they are. He acted like he didn't remember sending his henchman the night before. But I knew better. Oh yes, I did.

Levi and Sasha
When Sasha arrived, she wisely chose to conceal her Team Fatty membership as to not trigger a response from Levi. Smart thinking.

Too many names

We milled about the Village for a while, met Tracy and Pam, visited the Tribute Wall, and stopped by the Honey Stinger booth more than a few times, yum!

Sasha, Tim, and I then ran up to Whole Foods for a quick bite and then back to MJs for a Q & A session with several of the Team RadioShack riders. The original list of rider was Ben King, Chris Horner and Jason McCatrney. However, due to other commitments, Jason was unavailable to attend and was replaced by.... you guessed it.... Levi!  I mean, it seemed like there was no way we were getting away from him.

Levi, Ben, and Chris
Luckily, Levi was distracted by the questioning, and thus Team Fatty remained safe.  At least for the time being. Subsequent to the Q & A, the guys signed some more autographs (and yes, Sasha now has Chris Horner autographed socks!), followed by a small raffle of Team RadioShack gear, some caps/socks/jerseys. Team Fatty was unfortunate, our numbers were not selected for any of the prizes. Probably some sort of fix if you ask me.  With that, it was getting late in the afternoon and we needed to get ready for the Dinner.

Dinner at LiveStrong Headquarters

Pam, Tracy, Sasha, Steve
Again, due due Sasha's exceptional fundraising, she was able to bring three guests to the Dinner (and brought in by bus from the Hyatt downtown). She invited Pam, Tracy, and myself. Initially, Sasha had done a "name in a hat" selection with Tim and Jeremy selected, however Jeremy could not attend due to a prior commitment, and Tim graciously gave up his ticket so Pam and Tracy could attend together. A Fatty moment if I do say so. Paul and Adam's fundraising amounts qualified them independently. Unfortunately, we were unable to locate them at the dinner, we had sat a fair distance from the entrance, they never saw our home made Team Fatty sign. Paul passed this along later:
I apologize again for my disappearing act both on Saturday night, and Sunday after the ride. What you may not know is that I contracted a case of food poisoning on Saturday and barely made it through the Livestrong dinner.... DON'T EAT DUCK GUMBO!!! 
Yikes! Paul was very unlucky! Luckily, it was not the food at the dinner that did him in, but food from his "friends". I cannot help but wonder if Levi was somehow involved. He's everywhere.

The dinner tables were setup in the back parking lot of the HQ, the large images are projected onto the back of the building.

After dinner, Lance, Doug Ulman, and our local Congressman (Lloyd Doggett) gave some short speeches, followed by the various awards for largest total raised (~ $214,000), most donors (~2800!).  The donors who qualified for the "Ride for the Roses" were also asked to stand.  The "Yellow jersey" tier actually had the most donors, that's amazing. The largest cheer of the evening was reserved for a soldier Lance had met in Iraq who had flown for 28 hours to get to the dinner. Wow. Welcome home!

The dinner ended somewhere between 9 and 10, and we headed back to the Hyatt.  Early, early day tomorrow.

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