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September running calendar packed with races

Brom Hoban, Austin Running

Staff Writer
Austin 360

It's almost September. So pull out those running shoes, wipe the sweat from your brow, think fall, wipe your brow again, and get back to running.

Here's a look at September's busy first two weeks.

• The Zilker Relays. Unofficially, this is the season-starting rally for the Austin running community. Teams of four will run the 2.5-mile loop around the perimeter of Zilker Park, with each person running one loop. The first team to complete 10 miles wins.

There are 16 different team categories, including open, high school, masters (40 and over), corporate and nonprofit. The race starts at Stratford Field in Zilker Park at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

Darren Brown, Joe Thorne, Kyle Miller and Erik Stanley of Team Rogue Elite were the champs last year in 46 minutes, 49 seconds, a brisk 4:48 per mile pace. Check out www.zilkerrelays.com for more information.

• The Austin Triathlon. This is actually two events on Labor Day: an Olympic distance race (1,500-meter swim, 40K bike and 10K run) and a sprint race (700-meter swim, 27K bike and 5K run).

The longer event starts at 7 a.m. at Auditorium Shores. The shorter event is at 8:45 a.m. The swim is a loop between the South First Street bridge and Lamar Boulevard in Lady Bird Lake (the sprint race only goes halfway out). The bike course features long stretches on Congress Avenue and Cesar Chavez Street (three loops for the Olympic race, two for the sprint).

The race finishes with a relatively flat running course up Riverside Drive to Barton Springs Road and back to Auditorium Shores (two 5K loops for the Olympic, one for the sprint race).

Richie Cunningham (1:53:26) and Desiree Ficker (2:06:21) were the Olympic distance winners last year. Scott Murphy Halasz won the 2009 sprint race in 1:18:19, and Keelin Treacy was the women's sprint champ in 1:24:15. See www.theaustintriathlon.com.

• Gruene 10K. After a hiatus that began in 2002, this race is back.

Scott Wood, a race director in New Braunfels, has taken it over and is relaunching the venerable race Sept. 11. Wood restored the old course, which always was run over rural roads surrounding Gruene. He even restored the steep uphill to the finish line in front of Gruene Hall. Curses!

Check out www.athleteguild.com.

That's just for starters. The local running calendar lists more than a dozen other events in September covering distances of one, five and 10 kilometers.

If you're looking to set a personal best, consider the Run with the Heroes 5K on Sept. 12, a race honoring fallen heroes of emergency services (police, fire, EMS). The course circles the Southpark Meadows shopping area at Slaughter Lane and Interstate 35, and is almost entirely flat. Allison Macsas was the overall winner last year in 17:45, with Anthony Orozco topping the men's field in 17:47. See www.runtex.com.