4:30 or Bust: A Quest for Marathon Mediocrity

Austin Day 3

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Saturday was day 3 in Austin.  Another great day.  The weather was cold, though.  We were very suprised when we stepped out into what could have been a New York winter day.  Cold and windy.  It was in the mid 40’s, so definitely warmer than your typical New York winter’s day, but colder than we were expecting, for sure.

My goal for the day was to drive the marathon course, and along the way, we would stop off at several touristy stops.  We drove the 1st six miles of the course, and then went to the Austin Botanical Gardens, at Zilker Park.  It was small, compared to others gardens I’ve seen, and since it is the tail end of winter, there was not a lot in full bloom, but it was still wonderful.  They have a great Japanese Garden, complete with a half moon bridge.  They also have a spectacular bamboo forest.  A few of the roses were in bloom, and we also went through the Prehistoric Garden, which has a statue of a dinosaur that was native to the area.

We then hit the marathon course again for another 8 miles or so, and turned off at Mt Bonnell.  It is a large hill with great views of Lake Austin.  It is more like a scenic overlook than a tourist destination.  We hiked up the many stairs to the top, admired the view for a bit, and headed back to the car.  Apparently, lots of people go there to picnic, and there was a couple with picnic basket, setting up for a Valentine’s Day lunch.

Finally, we drove the remaining 13 miles of the course.  We intended to stop off at the LBJ Presidential Library and Museum, but changed our minds at the last minute to get a head start on our late lunch / early dinner plans.  

It was really useful to drive the course ahead of time, to get an idea of the hills, the turns, and the different stages of the course.  You can only appreciate the look of the hills at the end of the course once you’ve seen the whole thing and can grasp how big they are and how late in the race they appear!

For our late lunch / early dinner, we went to Salt Lick BBQ.  This is the place that was most strongly recommended among the people we spoke to.  It is way out in the sticks, about a 40 minute drive south and west of Austin, in the hill country.  And yet, when we arrived there at 2pm and put our names on the list, we were told it would be a 1 hour wait.  1 hour (and even 2 hour) waits are typical, it seems, and they had a guy singing and playing the guitar for entertainment in a heated tent.  It was still quite chilly (low 50’s), so we stayed in the tent to listen to the entertainment while we waited.  The wait did end up being 1 hour, but it was well worth it.  Probably the best BBQ I’ve ever had!  And the meal was topped off with a great Pecan Pie for me and a Blackberry Cobbler for my wife.  Another fantastic meal.

We were back at the hotel early and watched Get Smart, before retiring early to bed.  Had to be up early the next morning for the Austin Marathon, which started at 7am.


Written by SCL

February 16, 2009 at 4:32 pm

One Response

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  1. It actually interestingly. Good job! I wish successes!


    February 18, 2009 at 3:32 am

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