Kristin McLain Get Out Girl Paddle Jam set for Sunday


A morning glide across a serene river or lake can soothe the soul.

That’s the spirit behind Kristin McLain’s Get Out Girl Paddle Jam, an all-women’s paddle event (supported by guys, too!) that honors a Starflight nurse killed in the line of duty.

Kristin McClain loved water sports. Photo by Mark Purcell
Kristin McClain loved water sports. Photo by Mark Parcell

The event is scheduled for 8 a.m. Sunday at Steiner Ranch Lake Club on Lake Austin. Proceeds benefit Foundation 1023 and the Flatwater Foundation, which provide mental wellness services and outdoor programs for first responders and cancer patients.

Women are invited to paddle standup paddleboards, kayaks or canoes distances of 1 to 11 miles. Participants can bring their own vessels or rent SUPs or kayaks when they register. A post-paddle party will include music, food, a live auction and raffle.

Last year’s Austin event drew more than 135 female paddlers who raised almost $60,000. A partner event that took place in Frisco, Colorado, where McLain used to work, drew about 100 paddlers.

The Austin event also honors Travis County Sheriff Jessica Hollis, who died during a flood two years ago. Both McClain and Hollis loved water sports and believed in the mental and emotional benefits of spending time on the water.

For more information go here.


Austin climbs to fourth on list of Best Swim Cities in America

Brendan Hansen heads the swim program at Austin Swimming & Sports Academy. Photo by Chris LeBlanc
Brendan Hansen heads the swim program at Austin Aquatics & Sports Academy. Photo by Chris LeBlanc


Austin climbed a notch to the No. 4 spot on a list of the best swim cities in America.

The study, commissioned by USA Swimming and Speedo, ranks cities based on statistics including the number of fitness swimmers, Olympians, swimming clubs and public pools.

And considering the spring-fed pool in the middle of the city, the overabundance of swim champions who live here, that stellar swim program at the University of Texas, and all the U.S. Masters swim teams, it’s not surprising. (I swim with the U.S. Masters program at Western Hills Athletic Club, also known as Rollingwood Pool, and love training alongside several former UT swimmers – and lots of folks more my speed.)

The San Jose-Santa Clara area topped the list. Also in the top 10 were Ann Arbor, Mich.; Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk; Madison, Wisc.; Washington, D.C.; Raleigh; Fort Collins, Colo.; Indianapolis-Carmel; and San Francisco-Oakland.

The study noted the high percentage of new USA Swimming members in Austin, as well as its club swimming scene. It also mentioned the high number of fitness swimmers, and the 50 former Olympians who live here.

“The City of Austin has become quite the mecca for club swimming,” Brendan Hansen, a six-time Olympic medalist who now heads the swimming program at Austin Aquatics & Sports Academy, said in a press release. “It’s really great to watch the sport I love become such a huge impact in the community I call home.”

Researchers looked at the number of USA Swimming members, the number of USA Swimming clubs, and the number of swimmers who qualified for high level competitions like the Phillips 66 National Swimming Championships, the Speedo Junior Nationals, the Olympic Trials and the Olympic Games. They also tallied the numbers of competitive and fitness swimmers and the number of swim facilities open to the public.

To see the complete list, go here.

Women’s Running looking for cover model

Think you've got what it takes to be a cover model for a running magazine? Listen up.
Think you’ve got what it takes to be a cover model for a running magazine? Listen up.

One Austin runner has already made it to the finals of a contest to appear on the cover of Runner’s World magazine. Now another running magazine is looking for a cover model.

Can we make it an Austin sweep?

Women’s Running is accepting submissions in its fourth annual Cover Model Contest through Sept. 21.

Finalists will be announced by Sept. 26. Readers will be invited to vote online for their favorite finalist. The winner will appear on the cover of the publication’s January/February 2017 cover.

The winning runner fly to the company’s headquarters in San Diego for a photo shoot. She’ll also receive a new running wardrobe and a Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Tour Pass.

“The goal of the annual Cover Runner Contest is to celebrate and honor all runners – it’s important to us to celebrate athletes of all abilities, backgrounds, shapes, sizes and experience levels,” Jessica Sebor, editor-in-chief of Women’s Running, said in a press release. “This contest provides the perfect opportunity to highlight the achievements of our readers.”

Past issues of Women’s Running have featured what editors call a “regular-sized runner” and a runner with autism.

To enter the Women’s Running contest, go here.

Crews repair stream banks along Southern Walnut Creek Trail



Heads up, users of the Southern Walnut Creek Trail.

Crews with the city of Austin’s Public Works Department are working to repair the stream bank along the paved pathway, which is popular with bicyclists and hikers.

According to a press release from the city of Austin, the repairs will stabilize the banks and prevent erosion along Walnut Creek between Delwau Lane and MLK Jr. Boulevard. The trail itself is not affected; just the strip of land between the creek and the trail.

Signs will be posted north and south of where the trail crosses MLK Jr. Boulevard. Flaggers will also alert trail users to the construction zone. Delays may occur when heavy equipment is crossing the path.

Construction should be finished by Oct. 15, officials say.

June Black wins age group in aquathlon at World Championships

Four Austin women competed at the ITU World Championships in Aquathlon today. June Black, second from right, won her age group. Pam LeBlanc/American-Statesman
Four Austin women competed at the ITU World Championships in Aquathlon today. Pam LeBlanc/American-Statesman


June Black, one of four Austin seniors who competed at the International Triathlon Union Grand Final World Championships today, won her age group in the aquathlon event.

Black finished the event, made up of a 2.5-kilometer run, followed by a 1-kilometer ocean swim and another 2.5-kilometer run, in 1 hour, 16 minutes and 37 seconds.

Black, along with fellow Team USA athletes Jody Kelly, Kim Hanford and Carol Meisel, were featured in the Fit City column in the Austin American-Statesman last week. Read the article here.

Kelly placed second in the 75-79 year old age group, with a time of 1:48:03.

Hanford and Meisel placed sixth and seventh in the 65-69-year-old age group, with times of 1:17:45 and 1:19:52, respectively. Colleen Burns of Team USA won that division with a time of 45:18.

Austin runner Dori Livingston finalist for Runner’s World cover

Dori Livingstone is a finalist for a spot on the cover of Runner's World Magazine.
Dori Livingstone is a finalist for a spot on the cover of Runner’s World Magazine. Photo courtesy Runner’s World


Austin runner Dori Livingston just landed a little closer to a spot on the cover of Runner’s World Magazine.

Livingston, who trains with Rogue Running and calls the coaches and runners there her family, was named one of 10 finalists in the third annual Runner’s World Magazine Cover Search.

More than 1,000 people entered the national contest, which started in May. Two winners, one male and one female, will be announced in early November and appear on the magazine’s December cover.

“I was surprised and I’m in the company of a lot of great people who have inspiring stories,” Livingston said Wednesday.

She says she loves running because it lets her get to know the city in a different way. “You can drive around Austin, but once you get on foot you can see it,” she said.

If she wins the contest, it won’t be the first time she’s appeared on the cover of a publication. Livingston once graced the cover of Highway Patrol Magazine.

Applicants in the contest shared personal stories about how running changed their lives. Livingston, a special agent with the Texas State Police, wrote about how she used running to cope with her diagnosis of melanoma. She ran the Austin Half Marathon this year.

In July, a panel of judges named 100 semifinalists. Willey later announced the top 10 through a video.

“These 10 finalists made a big impression on us through applications and interviews, and we’re excited for two of them to be featured on our cover,” said David Willey, editor in chief of the magazine.

Besides Livingston, finalists include a 53-year-old woman with Parkinson’s disease, an 81-year-old man who started running 50 years ago to decompress from work, a 43-year-old victim of spousal abuse, a 38-year-old former football player, a 47-year-old cellist and breast cancer survivor, and a 34-year-old U.S. Army veteran.

A panel of judges, including Willey; Runner’s World Chief Running Officer Bart Yasso; Runner’s World Executive Editor Tish Hamilton; and Brooks Running Company CEO Jim Weber will choose the two winners.

Here’s Livingston’s contest profile:

“Dori Livingston has always felt strong, while playing college basketball and women’s professional football and throughout her 23 years in law enforcement. So a diagnosis of melanoma floored her. She had never been a runner, but with much urging from a friend, she signed up for a Susan G. Komen 5K Race for the Cure. ‘I never thought I could run that far,’ she says. It was joining a local running club, the Rogue Runners, that changed her attitude. “I was dealing with a lot of things,” she says, ‘and I loved the camaraderie and support I found there.’ Since then, this special agent with the Texas State Police has run distances from 10Ks to ultras. Running, she says, helps her cope with the stress of her job, especially as an African-American woman dealing with public perceptions. She is currently taking time off to heal a torn rotator cuff she sustained falling a few times during a recent trail race. Her ultimate goal, she says, is a 100-miler. ‘I’m verrrrry competitive.’”

To read all the profiles, go here.


To read all the profiles, go here.