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Roundup: Film festival caters to outdoors crowd; Austin triathlete scores Ironman China win

Pam LeBlanc
pleblanc@statesman.com
'Committed 2: The Walk of Life' played in Banff, Alberta. The film fest is in town this weekend.

Now that the hipsters have had their fun, it's time for the hiking boots and tent-toting set to get theirs.

The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour returns to Austinthis weekend, with two collections of mountain-themed flicks. Radical Reels will show at 8 p.m. Saturday; the 2010 World Tour will show at 6 p.m. Sunday.

The stars of this festival aren't Oscar-nominated, glammed-up actors and actresses, they're stump-jumping dudes on bikes, rock climbers with no fear of heights and paddlers who plunge into places most of us would never steer a kayak.

The festival features a selection of the roughly 300 action, environmental and adventure films entered into the annual mega-festival in Banff, Alberta. The tour is stopping in 285 cities around the world.

Whole Earth Provision Co. is hosting the Austin festival at the Paramount Theatre. Tickets are $20 a night or $35 for both nights at all three Austin Whole Earth stores, the Paramount box office, online at www.austintheatre.org or by calling 866-977-6849.

Proceeds benefit the Austin Parks Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works with community volunteers and the city of Austin Parks Department to maintain and improve area parks.

For more information, go to www.wholeearthprovision.com.

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Austin triathlete Amy Cottrill Marsh has added another Ironman victory to her resume.

Marsh, who moved to Austin in 2001, started racing triathlons in 2002 and went professional in 2006, took first place at China Ironman on March 14.

She was third out of the water, then recorded the fastest bike split of the day, despite having a flat tire. After a conservative marathon, she crossed the finish line more than 10 minutes ahead of second place finisher Nicole Leder of Germany. Marsh's finishing time was 9 hours, 52 minutes and 45 seconds — not bad for swimming 2.4 miles, cycling 112 miles and running 26.2 miles.

"IM China was a great experience," Marsh said by e-mail during a layover on her return trip to Austin. "Some of the toughest race conditions I've ever experienced. Very windy on the bike and a hot, hot run. I felt pretty good throughout the race, but the run was just survival because it was so hot."

Brandon Marsh, Amy's husband, came in ninth in the men's race, finishing just ahead of his wife with a time of 9 hours and 52 minutes.

It was Amy Marsh's second long-distance win in recent months. She won Ford Ironman Wisconsin in September. She races for Team TBB.

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An Ironman's a little much for you?

Test the triathlon waters with a race you really don't have to train hard for — the Barton Springs Pool Tree-athlon Fun-Raiser.

The mini, mini triathlon, presented by Friends of Barton Springs Pool in cooperation with the Austin Parks Foundation, will raise money to plant new trees and care for existing ones at the city's favorite downtown swimming hole.

"As much as the city works hard to support (the park's trees), the available money from the public side is limited. We're basically trying to provide private support from people who use the pool," says Mike Cannatti, fundraising chairperson of the Friends of Barton Springs Pool.

The race kicks off at 10 a.m. Saturday at Barton Springs Pool.

"It's extremely short and fun," Cannatti says. "They swim across the width of the pool — just enough to get cold — then bike from the parking lot down the internal road and then run a lap around the polo field area."

A finish line party for anyone who manages to complete the grueling course will feature beer, food and live music.

You definitely don't have to be a serious athlete to enter. Still, the event will have the look and feel of a real triathlon, with official race T-shirts (featuring salamanders, of course!), body marking and transition areas.

Registration is $25 until Thursday (when it goes up to $35) at www.myraceregistration.com/EventView.asp?EVID=82. For participants who are not USA Triathlon members, there is also a $10 one-day USAT license fee. Proceeds benefit the Barton Springs Tree Fund.

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Imagine this: You park your car, go for a run around Lady Bird Lake, and when you get back, your vehicle's been washed and waxed, instead of covered in bird poo.

Enterprising twin brothers Emory and Thomas Fincher, 26, opened their Wash & Run business outside RunTex, 422 W. Riverside Drive, in September.

They offer three packages: the Sprint ($30), a basic hand wash, spray wax, vacuum and dashboard/door wipedown; the Mile ($80), which adds a hand wax, mat shampooing and complete interior wipedown; and the Marathon ($150), which adds leather cleaning, upholstery steam cleaning and complete interior detailing.

It takes about 30 to 40 minutes for the Sprint, up to an hour and a half for the Mile (hey, that's slower than me!), and two or 2 1/2 hours for the marathon (there's a personal record!).

"People who stay in shape and take care of bodies also like to take care of cars," says Emory Fincher. "And now they can do it all at once."

Hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and by appointment Sunday and Monday. To make an appointment, call 461-9524.