A Pflugerville woman is recovering today from injuries sustained when a car struck her during the Austin Marathon.
Lani Nguyen Martinez, 31, had passed the 17-mile marker of the 26.2-mile race Sunday when she was hit from behind on Foster Lane, between Great Northern Boulevard and Shoal Creek Boulevard.
Nguyen Martinez was running in the center of the marked-off runners’ lane when she went down just before 11 a.m. A middle-of-the-pack marathoner, she was looking forward to the next water station, staffed by volunteers of the Down Syndrome Association, because she was running for charity for the organization.
“I saw a runner look back at me, and wondered what he was looking at,” she said. “All of the sudden I just felt impact and the back of my head hit the hood. I remember seeing a flash of part of the car and then I rolled off and hit the pavement.”
Runners and bystanders came to her aid. An ambulance transported her to North Austin Medical Center, where she was treated for bruises, a concussion and a neck strain and released a few hours later.
“I woke up today feeling like I got hit by a car, then thought ‘Oh wait, I did,'” the billing analyst for Apple Inc. said. “I’m banged up and have a lot of headaches, but for once I’m not sore from running.”
Nguyen Martinez finished last year’s marathon, and plans to finish this year’s, too, as soon as doctors clear her to run again. Austin Marathon officials told her they would give her a finisher’s medal when she completes the race.
“So instead of my hospital wristband it’ll be the medal,” she said.
She’ll also still qualify for her Austin Distance Challenge finisher’s jacket, according to Iram Leon, president of Austin Runners Club, which awards the prize to runners who finish each in the series of six races.
“I’m a little frustrated, but at the same time at least it was just me and not a group of runners, and I came out with nothing broken. I feel blessed to be here,” she said.
Conley Sports, which puts on the race, could not immediately be reached for comment.
We’re checking to find out if charges have been filed against the driver of the car.
HEAT Bootcamp and Personal Fitness is hosting a donation-based community workout from 9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20.
Proceeds from the event will benefit Anthropos Arts, a local non-profit organization that partners low-income and at-risk students with music educators. Funds will pay for free music lessons, curricula and mentorship for more than 150 students in 16 under-served Austin middle schools and high schools.
Workouts will last 25 minutes each and start every half hour. Fitness fiends can participate in as many workouts as they want.
“HEAT Bootcamp is honored to team up with such a meaningful cause,” said Cody Butler, owner of the fitness program. “Anthropos Arts does such tremendous work to make a difference in children’s lives, and we are humbled to play a small role in helping them achieve their mission and positively impacting our community.”
HEAT Bootcamp is located at 2210 South First Street, Suite A.
The Anthropos Arts Band will perform and High Brew Coffee, Oatmega, Live Soda, Rhythm Superfoods and Epic will provide refreshments.
In honor of Valentine’s Day, we share the story of Paul Crowley and Katie Weber.
Crowley grew up in Austin, and when he thinks of Lady Bird Lake and the trail around it, it reminds him of home. Katie spent hours gliding up and down the river as a member of the Texas Women’s Rowing Team, and now spends hours running the trail around it while training for marathons.
They both love the trail, and it’s part of their history together.
While walking across the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge one Sunday afternoon last year, a stranger ran past and handed Katie a rose. Then someone ran by wearing a T-shirt that said “Will.” Then came “You,” and, of course, “Marry.” Paul dropped to a knee and flipped up his headband to finish the question. “Me?”
Katie said yes.
To celebrate their engagement, Paul bought two commemorative bricks at Lou Neff Point, along the Butler Trail around the lake.
The two plan to marry this September. Look for their bricks the next time you’re on the trail.
Now The Trail Foundation is offering commemorative bricks at the trailhead of the boardwalk in Lakeshore Park, just east of Interstate 35.
Three sizes are available, for donations of $250, $500 or $1,000. Money raised through brick sales will help fund Trail Foundation projects to further enhance the trail. A limited number of bricks is available.
That from Don Ferguson, corporate secretary of the Austin Archery Club.
Several hikers who struck out on the trail at Emma Long Metropolitan Park just after noon on Sunday thought they saw a mountain lion near the top of a mesa. Park rangers on Wednesday discovered that they had encountered a three-dimensional foam archery target depicting a cheetah on the adjacent archery range.
The news had readers wondering if they were in danger of flying arrows when they hike on the trail, part of Emma Long Metropolitan Park.
The answer is no, if they stay on the correct trail.
Ferguson, from the archery club, said that more people have recently started using a gravel pit at the park as a dog run. The hikers apparently wandered onto the range from that area.
He said the property is marked with signs, but the hikers who reported the mountain lion said they didn’t see any notice that they had left the park and entered the archery range.
“As a safety measure we moved the targets further away from the gravel pit and will post additional signs, which were shipped yesterday. The individuals apparently wandered onto the range from that area,” he said.
The club, which has about 300 members, has operated at its current location off of City Park Road for more than 40 years without an accident, he said.
“Targets are placed so shooting is directed back into the range, not out. Anyone who wandered into the ranges would be in back of the shooter and out of harm’s way, but they would be seen if they were in front of a shooter,” he said.
It’s not just people the archers are looking out for. The property is a federal bird preserve and wild animals roam freely, Ferguson says. It’s against the law to hunt on the property.
Head to Luke’s Locker, 115 Sandra Muraida Way, to meet two of the running world’s best, Steve Jones and Henry Rono. They’ll be autographing photos (compliments of Conley Sports) and chatting with fans from 1-2:30 p.m.
And in case your wondering how your running shoes stack up, here’s the low-down on Jones and Rono.
Jones, who worked full time as an aircraft mechanic with the Royal Air Force during the peak of his career, roared to a world record at the Chicago Marathon in 1984, with a time of 2:08:05. He got even faster the next year, when he finished second at the same race with a time of 2:07:13. He also set a world record in the half marathon in 1985,with a time of 61:14.
Career highlights include wins at the 1985 London Marathon, the 1988 New York City Marathon and the 1992 Toronto Marathon.
He was known as a blue collar runner, and never used a watch during training or races. He just knew where he was. Today he lives and coaches in Boulder, Colorado.
Rono earned his fame in track and field.
He started running when he was an elementary school student in Kenya. He moved to the United States and attended Washington State University. During an 81-day span in 1978, he broke four world records – the 10,000 meters (27:22:50), 5,000 meters (13:08.4), 3,000 steeplechase (8:05.4) and 3,000 (7:32.1).
His steeplechase record stood for 11 years, and his 10,000 meters record for a college runner didn’t fall until 2010. Today, he coaches high school runners in Albuquerque.
In honor of Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday, Title Nine is hosting a Mardi Bras Fit Tuesday event today.
Customers are invited to bring in their gently used or unworn bras in exchange for a $5 Title Nine gift card. The store will donate the bras to Free the Girls, a anon-profit organization that helps women who have been victims of sex trafficking. Customers also get a free personalized bra fitting.
Title Nine is located at 500 North Lamar Boulevard. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
It’s marathon week, folks. Are you worried about your feet?
This year’s big race coincides with a four-day scientific meeting of foot and ankle specialists in Austin. When they finish with the business part of the 74th Annual Scientific Conference of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, some of the physicians will head to the finish line of the Austin Marathon and Half Marathon to help runners whose feet hurt.
That’s a lot of toes to tend. More than 14,000 athletes are expected to compete in the race, which starts and finishes on Congress Avenue.
Dancers Shape, a barre, pilates and yoga studio, will host free workouts all day Thursday, Feb. 11. They’re calling it Galentine’s Day, and you and a friend can sign up for a class together at no charge.
Classes are offered from 6 a.m. until 8:15 p.m.
If you like that class, you might want to sign up for another Dancers Shape event, the Athletic Conditioning Workshop from 1:15 to 3:15 p.m. Feb. 27. The workshop, open to men and women, will teach you how to properly use stability balls, wedges and resistance bands, and how to engage the deep stabilizer muscles and large muscle groups. That class costs $35.
The studio is located at 5350 Burnet Road No. 7.
To sign up for either session, call the studio at (512) 382-9150.