REI offers free classes July 30-31

Paul Garza, left, takes a break during an REI Intro to Outdoor Rock Climbing class at Middle Earth Wall inside North Shore Climbing Area at Reimers Ranch Saturday, July 25, 2015.  (Stephen Spillman / for American Statesman)
Paul Garza, left, takes a break during an REI Intro to Outdoor Rock Climbing class at Middle Earth Wall inside North Shore Climbing Area at Reimers Ranch Saturday, July 25, 2015. (Stephen Spillman / for American Statesman)

 

Add this one to the free fun files…

REI’s Outdoor School will offer free classes and events July 30 and 31. On the agenda? Paddleboarding, rock climbing, park tours and a celebration at a park.

Here are the highlights:

  • Exploring Spring Lake in San Marcos by standup paddleboard.
  • Introduction to outdoor rock climbing at Reimers Ranch Park.
  • REI Free Weekend celebration at Wild Basin Preserve.
  • Moderately-paced fitness hike at Friedrich Wilderness Park on the northwest side of San Antonio.

Registration is open now at http://www.REI.com/freeweekend.

Adam Ellenstein attempts 65-mile swim to honor his aunt in Austin

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A Michigan endurance athlete will swim 65 miles across a Canadian lake this month in honor of his aunt, an Austin woman who was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

Adam Ellenstein, 39, plans to swim the length of Okanagan Lake in Penticton, Canada, starting on July 25. He expects the swim to take about 40 hours, and in the process he hopes to set a Guinness World Record for the fastest north-to-south non-stop swim of the lake.

The swim honors his aunt Susan Scarlett, 65, who will travel to Canada to swim alongside her nephew for portions of the swim. The pair hope that the event encourages other people living with Parkinson’s to incorporate more exercise into their lives.

Ellenstein, who has successfully completed Ironman and UltraMan triathlons, says some of his earliest memories are of swimming with his aunt at his grandmother’s swimming pool in Indiana. He got interested in endurance swimming five years ago, when he started competing in triathlons. Last year, he joined a friend in an 18-mile swim across Lake Winnipeg in Canada.

“That swim gave me the confidence to step up to the 65-mile swim,” he said by phone this week from his home in Michigan.

Adam Ellenstein, left, and his aunt Susan Scarlett. Scarlett, who lives in Austin, was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Family photo
Adam Ellenstein, left, and his aunt Susan Scarlett. Scarlett, who lives in Austin, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Family photo

Water temperatures in Okanagan Lake hovered in the mid-60s this week. Ellenstein plans to wear a wetsuit, and a crew of 16 people on safety kayaks and motorized boats will support him as he makes his swim, dubbed VictorySwim105.

Scarlett, who says she wasn’t much of an exerciser until recently, will wear fins so she can keep up with him. Since her Parkinson’s diagnosis, she has started going to the gym three days a week, doing Pilates twice a week and swimming as often as she can.

Swimming, she says, gives her “that beautiful feeling inside of rhythm and sweetness.”

“I’m thrilled, proud and really enthusiastic,” Scarlett said of Ellenstien‘s upcoming swim. “It puts such smile on my face, just the idea that I can help him succeed is so beautiful.”

Adam Ellenstien will swim 65 miles across a Canadian lake in honor of his aunt, Susan Scarlett of Austin, who was recently diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Family photo
Adam Ellenstien will swim 65 miles across a Canadian lake in honor of his aunt, Susan Scarlett of Austin, who was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Family photo

Scarlett won’t be the only swimmer joining Ellenstein. A rotating cast of athletes will jump in the water to keep him motivated. Among them is Austin triathlete Meredith Terranova, who will help pace him during the swim. (Legend has it there’s a monster in the lake, too.)

Here in Austin, Scarlett’s 92-year-old mother, Jeanne Ellenstein, will swim laps at the pool at her home at Querencia at Barton Creek, a retirement community. Even Scarlett‘s dog will swim in the pool at the kennel where it’s being boarded.

Others around the world – including people in seven foreign countries – will do their own swims to show support and raise money.

Ellenstein’s progress will be updated on the VictorySwim105 Facebook page here.

Ellenstien’s swim is a fund-raiser for the Davis Phinney Foundation, whose mission is to help people with Parkinson’s disease live well today. Parkinson’s is aprogressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. There is no known cure. To make a donation, go here.

Police to lead off pro race at tonight’s Driveway Series

Cyclists race during the Driveway Series on April 7, 2016. Photo by Pam LeBlanc
Cyclists race during the Driveway Series on April 7, 2016. Photo by Pam LeBlanc

 

Two bicycle officers and a police squad car from the Austin Police Department will lead the first lap of the pro race at tonight’s Driveway Series as a show of support for the police officers killed in Dallas.

Last week’s police shootings took place just down the street from the Dallas version of the Thursday Night Bike Races, which take place weekly at Fair Park.

The Dallas Police Department is sending officers to the Fair Park races tonight to mingle with racers and lead off the races in a squad car. The organizer of that event, Ginny King, is accepting donations for Assist the Officer, which provides financial assistance to police officers and their families at times of crisis. Cyclists will get blue ribbons to attach to their seat posts.

At the Driveway Series in Austin, donations will also be accepted for Assist the Officer, according to Andrew Willis, president of Holland Racing, which puts on the Driveway Series.

The police representatives will arrive at about 6:15 p.m.

The Driveway Austin is located at 8400 Delwau Lane.

International Day of Yoga celebration set for July 30

People practice yoga on the south lawn of the Capitol during the 2015 International Day of Yoga celebration. This year's event is set for June 21. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN
People practice yoga on the south lawn of the Capitol during the 2015 International Day of Yoga celebration. This year’s event is set for July 30. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

 

Need to de-stress?

Hundreds of Austin residents will stretch, fold and meditate in the shadow of the Texas State Capitol on July 30, during a city-wide yoga celebration.

In an effort to mainstream yoga, the United Nations last year declared June 21 the International Day of Yoga. In Texas, the celebration has been extended. The Austin event on July 30 will mark the culmination of nearly six weeks of events around the state.

Local yoga studios and mindfulness communities, along with representatives of the government of India, organized the event, which starts at 6 p.m. near the south steps of the Capitol. The lineup will include a 90-minute yoga asana sequence, a meditation for peace, a yoga dance performance, live music, chanting and meditation.

Organizers hope to connect Austin’s diverse communities, including veterans, state officials, seniors, adults, children and celebrities.

Partners include the Art of Living Yoga, Isha Foundation, Bea Love Yoga, Austin Yoga Tree, Pure Action, Agni, Yoga Yoga and Natural Awakenings and about 40 others.

Bring your own yoga mat.

For more information go to the event page here or the Facebook page here.

Learn more about International Day of Yoga here.

International Day of Yoga celebration set for July 30

People practice yoga on the south lawn of the Capitol during the 2015 International Day of Yoga celebration. This year's event is set for June 21. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN
People practice yoga on the south lawn of the Capitol during the 2015 International Day of Yoga celebration. This year’s event is set for July 30. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

 

Need to de-stress?

Hundreds of Austin residents will stretch, fold and meditate in the shadow of the Texas State Capitol on July 30, during a city-wide yoga celebration.

In an effort to mainstream yoga, the United Nations last year declared June 21 the International Day of Yoga. In Texas, the celebration has been extended. The Austin event on July 30 will mark the culmination of nearly six weeks of events around the state.

Local yoga studios and mindfulness communities, along with representatives of the government of India, organized the event, which starts at 6 p.m. near the south steps of the Capitol. The lineup will include a 90-minute yoga asana sequence, a meditation for peace, a yoga dance performance, live music, chanting and meditation.

Organizers hope to connect Austin’s diverse communities, including veterans, state officials, seniors, adults, children and celebrities.

Partners include the Art of Living Yoga, Isha Foundation, Bea Love Yoga, Austin Yoga Tree, Pure Action, Agni, Yoga Yoga and Natural Awakenings.

Bring your own yoga mat.

For more information go to facebook.com/events/ or http://idayofyoga.org/.

2017 Cap10K will benefit Austin Parks Foundation

Runners head toward Cesar Chavez during the 39th Austin American-Statesman CAP10K race held in Austin, Texas, on Sunday, April 10, 2016.  LAURA SKELDING/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Runners head toward Cesar Chavez during the 39th Austin American-Statesman CAP10K race held in Austin, Texas, on Sunday, April 10, 2016. LAURA SKELDING/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Austin parks will get a boost from next year’s Statesman Capitol 10,000.

Race officials today announced that the Austin Parks Foundation will receive $1 from every registration for the 40th annual race, set for April 23, 2017.

The non-profit Austin Parks Foundation was established in 1992. It fills the funding gap needed to develop, maintain and enhance the area’s more than 300 parks, trails and green spaces. Since 2006, it has awarded more than $2 million in grants.

“Austin parks are fundamental to the exceptional quality of life we enjoy in our city, providing a variety of resources and recreation for tens of thousands of Austinites every day,” Colin Wallis, executive director of Austin Parks Foundation, said in a press release. “Financial support, like that from the Statesman Cap10K, will ensure our growing city has safe, beautiful and high-quality green spaces today and for generations to come.”

Jacob Burzynski heads for mile 5 as Spider Man during the 39th Austin American-Statesman CAP10K race held in Austin, Texas, on Sunday, April 10, 2016.  LAURA SKELDING/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Jacob Burzynski heads for mile 5 as Spider Man during the 39th Austin American-Statesman CAP10K race held in Austin, Texas, on Sunday, April 10, 2016. LAURA SKELDING/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Cap10K registration is open at cap10K.com. When registering, race participants can also make an additional donation to the Austin Parks Foundation; the Statesman will match donations up to $10,000.

The Cap10K is the largest 10K race in Texas and one of the top 10 in the nation. It began in 1978 with 3,400 participants. In 2016, the race had more than 20,500 registered participants.

 

Manzano just misses making Team USA

Leo Manzano trains at the University of Texas track in spring 2016. Photo by Erika Rich for American-Statesman
Leo Manzano trains at the University of Texas track in spring 2016. Photo by Erika Rich for American-Statesman

 

Austin’s Leo Manzano, who won silver in the 1,500 meters at the 2012 London Olympics, just missed making his third Olympic team last night.

Matthew Centrowitz won the men’s 1,500 meters Sunday in a record 3 minutes, 34.09 seconds. Robby Andrews came in second, and Ben Blankenship edged out Manzano for the final spot on Team USA.

Last year, Manzano and Blankenship battled it out for third place in the race, but that time Manzano came out on top.

The race marked the first time in 11 appearances that Manzano didn’t finish in the top three at the U.S. championships, according to an article on LetsRun.com.

The race didn’t come without controversy.

According to an article at oregonlive.com, Blankenship drew a flag for contact when he pushed another runner who passed him closely.

Manzano could have made the team and gone to Rio if Blankenship was found guilty, but he was not and an appeal was denied.

 

Barton Springs is open again

Reed Atkins, 12, right, jumps into Barton Springs Pool in this file photo.  DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Reed Atkins, 12, right, jumps into Barton Springs Pool in this file photo. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

 

Barton Springs has reopened following a water main break.

The pool was closed this morning after a water main break in Zilker Park shut down water to the pool’s bathhouse and surrounding areas.

The main has been repaired and the pool has reopened.

 

McKinney Falls gets nod on “Top Secret Swimming Holes” show

Jaclyn Howell jumps into the upper falls at McKinney Falls State Park last August. (Stephen Spillman for American Statesman)
Jaclyn Howell jumps into the upper falls at McKinney Falls State Park last August. (Stephen Spillman for American Statesman)

 

It’s really not much of a secret, but Austin’s McKinney Falls gets a nod in an episode of the Travel Channel’s program, “Top Secret Swimming Holes.”

The program will air at 9 p.m. Sunday.

McKinney Falls features 9 miles of trails, an ancient rock shelter, camping facilities and a couple of pretty nice waterfalls, which are flowing nicely thanks to heavy spring rains. The bones of an amphibian dinosaur named Mosasaur were discovered at the site in 1935. And an Austin yoga instructor leads regular yoga hikes there. http://www.mystatesman.com/news/lifestyles/recreation/like-a-little-hiking-with-your-yoga-try-yogahike/nnMqb/

Participants in the Epic Adventures summer camp jump into McKinney Falls in 2012. Kelly West/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Participants in the Epic Adventures summer camp jump into McKinney Falls in 2012. Kelly West/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

The hour-long TV program gives viewers a glimpse of natural swimming spots at rivers, lakes, ponds and streams around the globe.

McKinney Falls State park is located at 5808 McKinney Falls Parkway. Admission is $6 for adults and free for children 12 and under. For more information go here http://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/mckinney-falls or call (512) 243-1643.

Campers and counselors from the Epic Adventures summer camp jump into the water at McKinney Falls State Park. Kelly West/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Campers and counselors from the Epic Adventures summer camp jump into the water at McKinney Falls State Park. Kelly West/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Barton Springs Pool closed due to water main break

 

***********

 

Reed Atkins, 12, right, jumps into Barton Springs Pool in this file photo. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Reed Atkins, 12, right, jumps into Barton Springs Pool in this file photo. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

*****

UPDATE: THE POOL IS OPEN

****

Barton Springs Pool is temporarily closed today due to a water main break at Zilker Park.

The break is impacting water service to the pool’s bathhouse and surrounding area, according to the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department website.

“We’re working on getting this fixed and will let you know when it reopens,” the website said.

The pool is located at 2201 Barton Springs Pool. For a recording with information about pool hours and fees, call 512-867-3080.