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Here’s what happened when two brothers tried to run 50 miles to Weikel’s Bakery in LaGrange

Pam LeBlanc

Chalk up the Flanagan brothers 50-mile kolache run as a success – mostly.

Will and Todd Flanagan of Austin finished their fund-raising jaunt from Bastrop to Weikel’s Bakery in LaGrange with mixed success. Will ran all 50 miles; Todd pulled up after about 30 miles because of a sore knee and rode a bike the rest of the way.

The brothers used their run to raise funds for The Gazelle Foundation, which builds clean water systems for people in Burundi. Both brothers started running with Gilbert’s Gazelles, a running group headed by Burundi native Gilbert Tuhabonye, about 10 years ago. They learned from Tuhabonye that many residents of the African country must spend up to 4 hours a day just fetching clean water.

The brothers started their Kolaches for a Cause Run at about 3:15 a.m. Saturday. They reached the bakery a little after 5 p.m. that afternoon. Once they got there, they celebrated by tossing back a few pastries. (Todd ate five in one sitting; Will ate one, plus four more later, after his stomach settled.)

“It hurt,” Will Flanagan, 19, said of the run. “At beginning, we were stopping every 2 or 3 miles. At the end, we were stopping every mile to eat and drink water. We walked a good portion through Bastrop and Buscher state parks, because they’re really hilly.”

The hardest section came between miles 46 and 47, when they knew they were near LaGrange but couldn’t see the city yet. “Once you get to LaGrange you can kind of power through,” Will said.

Four days after the run, Will had mostly recovered from the effort, although his Achille’s tendon felt tender. Todd, 22, was still soaking his foot in a bucket of ice water, wondering if he’d bruised something or possible suffered a stress fracture.

“We learned from this experience,” Todd Flanagan said. “What I learned is it’s better not to train at all, because Will didn’t train at all. But sometimes you’ve just got to do it.”

The brothers may run again next year, although they might adjust the distance – and put in a more standard level of training.

They’ve raised about $4,000. To donate, go here.