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Fit City: Austin runner finishes half-marathon in 50 states plus Washington, D.C.

New site lets people rent out their bikes to visitors

Pam LeBlanc
pleblanc@statesman.com
Claudette Wakefield at the Monster Mash half marathon in Dover, Del. Wakefield has run a half marathon in all 50 states plus Washington, D.C.

What better way to see the country than 13.1 miles at a time, while wearing running shoes?

When Claudette Wakefield crossed the finish line of the Monster Mash on Oct. 20 in Dover, Del., she checked off the final race in her mission to run a half-marathon in all 50 states plus Washington, D.C.

Wakefield, 68, started in 2006 and aimed to run roughly one half-marathon every month or two.

A chilly run through Anchorage, Alaska, one on Whidbey Island in Washington, and the Leading Ladies in South Dakota ranked among her favorites.

They weren’t all sunny skies and balmy temperatures, either.

“The toughest was Estes Park, Colo.,” she says. “It rained hard throughout the entire race and was around 39 degrees.” She wound up slightly hypothermic at that one.

Now that she’s covered all of America, Wakefield, who trains with Gilbert’s Gazelles training group, has set her sights on running a half-marathon on all seven continents. She already has scheduled a race in Spain next May, and she’s on the waiting list for one in Antarctica. She’ll also run her first full marathon in Sacramento, Calif., in December.

Bikes for rent

Hoping to make a buck off that bicycle collecting dust in your garage?

The website Liquid (formerly known as Spinlister) matches people looking for bikes to rent by the day with those willing to rent theirs out. It launched in New York City and San Francisco in April and has since gone global.

When last I checked, eight bikes were available for rental in Austin, including a sweet baby blue beach cruiser for $15 a day, a mountain bike for $22 and a lean-looking fixie for $45.

I’m not quite sure the advantage of renting from an individual over a bike shop, but there you have it. Some folks rent their houses for the F1 races; now you can rent your bike.

To list a bike, owners provide a few details about it and submit photos. After it’s approved, which takes 24 to 48 hours, it goes up online. Renters can search by location, bike size and type to get a list of available bikes.

To check out bikes listed in Austin, go to http://tinyurl.com/cgl736k.

UT swim meet

An upcoming swim meet at the University of Texas takes on an Austin flair, with a band performing on the 5-meter platform during warmups and some of the fastest swimmers in the country diving off the blocks.

The 2012 AT&T Winter National Championships is scheduled for Nov. 29 through Dec. 1 at the Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center.

Nobody’s confirming anything just yet, but look for at least one Olympian to participate in the amped-up meet. Austin’s own young swimming phenom Quinn Carrozza, daughter of RunTex owner Paul Carrozza, also is scheduled to race.

Folks who don’t want to sit in the bleachers can plop on a cushy couch in a “fan zone,” where the meet will be streamed live on a big-screen TV in the hallway. The meet will be aired on NBC Universal.

“(It’s) going to be loud, fun, and spectators are guaranteed to see the fastest swimmers in the nation,” said Brianne Powers, who is helping to organize the event. “Anyone who has swimmers, is a swimmer, likes watching swimming in the Olympics, or is interested in seeing a sport on the rise should come out and watch.”

A $42 ticket gets you into all sessions. Daily tickets (prelims and finals) are $15 for adults, $10 for youths and seniors and $5 for UT students. Single-session tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for youths and seniors or $3 for students.