Fitness Events In Austin through the Holiday Season

December 6, 2009

We set a record here in Austin today for the lowest temperature during this time of the year since 1950. With the holidays around the corner and the cold, many of us just want to stay and home and stay under the covers. However, there are many events in Austin that will help motivate you to keep your fitness levels up throughout the season.

Ranger Stampede 5K Run

Ranger Stampede 5K

When: Wednesday, December 9
Time: 5 PM (Registration at 4 PM)
Where: Texas School for the Deaf (1102 South Congress)
Cause: Event is free for students under 21 (otherwise $2) and open to anyone at any age. Any additional contributions will go to a charity of your choice. The race itself is part of a 7-event series that will happen once a month from November to May.  

Esmeralda’s Run 5K/10K

Esmeralda's Run

When: Sunday, December 13
Time: 9 AM
Where: Austin Tennis Academy (6800 Spanish Oaks Club Blvd)
Cause: Esmeralda’s son Brent Werbeck started this annual race in honor of his mother’s loss with a long battle with cancer in 2005.  “Through Esmeralda’s Run, my mother could be remembered for her valiant fight against cancer. People would remember how cancer never held my mother back and how it didn’t dampen her spirit…[this run will] ensure that my mother’s fear never came true. It would provide an opportunity for everyone to gather in remembrance of my mother and to unite together to fight the battle against cancer,” Werbeck said. Registration and donations can be done here.  

Resolution Run 2010

Resolution Run (New Years Day 2009) from event web site

When: New Year’s Day 2010
Time: 11 AM
Where: St. Phillip’s United Methodist Church (16321 Great Oaks Drive, Round Rock, Texas)
Cause: The race is a certified and chip timed, aiming to benefit Round Rock Serving Center–a non-profit corporation that carries out a community-wide mission of churches and other organizations. The organzation does many things for its city–include providing food, clothing, furniture and financial assistance for its citizens. Because it will probably be difficult for people to want to get out of bed at the start of the new year, the sponsors will be providing treats and door prizes. Register here.

Austin Marathon

When: Sunday Feb. 14, 2010
Time: 7 AM
Where: Congress Avenue and 2nd St.
Cause: Although the19th annual marathon does not have a specific cause, there is someone who is using the marathon as a way to show homage for her brother. Sarah Shary has started Running for Ryan.  In 2007, Sarah lost her younger brother Ryan while he raced in the 2007 Men’s Olympic Trials in New York. After Sarah was diagnosed with Lupus, she lost her urge to be healthy. Her brother came to her in a dream of her brother smiling at her while she was running–she became inspired to run the Austin marathon. She is not only running for her brother but also trying to raise $10, 000 for Wounded Warrior Project, a non-profit that helps veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan for coping services and couseling. To help Sarah’s cause, go to her web site, and to register for the marathon please go here.

Which event will you guys try over the holidays?

Cassandra Hernandez writes about North Austin and Pop culture in fitness. If you have any suggestions, please email her at


Austin City Council passed “Ciclovia”

November 22, 2009

On Thursday, Austin’s City Council voted for Austinites to have a different type of fitness event–a ciclovia, a Spanish word meaning “bike path.” The event, which was voted to take place in May 2010 as part of the Bike Month festivities, is described as a “motor-vehicle free event that connects runners, skaters, and cyclists.

Other places that have enacted ciclovias in their area include Cleveland, El Paso, Chicago, Portland, Miami, New York City, San Francisco and Wayne County, Mich. However, this type of event is extremely popular in South America. The event originated in Colombia–every Sunday and holiday, the main streets are rid of all cars, so that citizens can use any other forms of transportation. From 7 am to 2 pm, runners, skaters and cyclists are known to take over the streets.

As part of this resolution, the City Manager will work with the community to build this event, but to also encourage future event of this nature that will encourage public health and cycling.

Currently, there are no plans as to an official site where the event will take place or how much road will be cut off for the event.

First, they need to round up volunteers and get help from neighborhoods, says Nadia M. Barrera, Bicycle/Pedestrian Project Coordinator.

What do you think about this event? I can see the traffic already! Let me know in the comments!

Cassandra writes about fitness in pop culture and north Austin. If you have suggestions let her know in the comments or email her: CassandraHdz AT

Stephanie McDonald: Owner and SW Boot Camp Coach

November 10, 2009

I talked to Stephanie McDonald, owner of Austin Adventure Bootcamp about her experience in fitness and what inspires her to achieve her goals everyday as she holds bootcamps for women across Austin.


Stephanie McDonald, owner of Austin Adventure Bootcamp

Here were my questions for Stephanie:

What is your history with fitness and sports?

My initial inspiration for fitness came at the age of 15 when I stumbled across a women’s bodybuilding contest on television. From that moment on, I knew that I wanted to compete in bodybuilding and I aspired to achieve a strong feminine muscular physique like Cory Everson, the reigning Ms. Olympia at that time. This passion was new and exciting for me as I grew up in a family where the women were not very athletic. I began weight training with some of the football players in our high school’s field house. I started by learning the basics and then through books and magazines, I expanded my knowledge. I continued weight training through college and throughout my twenties. However, it took me until the age of 31 to finally get up the nerve to step on stage in my first figure competition. That was it. I was hooked! I’ve been competing for about 5 years now and I’ve almost  earned my professional status in the sport, which would put me in the same bodybuilding federation as Cory Everson.

What drives your passion for fitness?

I’m driven by my desire to improve and push my body and mind. I really enjoy pushing the limits of my fitness level to see how my muscles will react. I know that if I put my mind into it and focus, I can accomplish anything. I keep telling myself this as I continue on my quest for my professional status. I’m also driven by the fact that I am a role model for my clients, my friends, and my family. So many women struggle with knowing what to do and having motivation when it comes to being fit and healthy; it is my passion to be able to help them achieve this.

What kind of fitness goals do you set for yourself?

I have been fortunate enough to accomplish my goal of competing as a nationally ranked figure competitor and my current goal is to achieve professional status in the IFBB. After that, I may move on to obstacle course challenges or triathlons. I find it’s easier to focus on fitness, when I set a goal event that I need to work towards. Plus there’s such a great feeling of accomplishment after I’ve completed an event, even if it’s just a 5K.

What is the best thing about your program for you emotionally?

I am so fortunate to have such great women in my boot camps! They are my inspiration, and in turn make me want to be a better fitness role model. The stories and emails that I receive month after month about the successes of our boot campers are so inspiring that I want to continue to do all I can in order to help them achieve their fitness goals.

What would you recommend for people to do to improve their workouts/eating habits outside of your program?

If I had to chose, I would recommend that people focus on their diet first. Eating a clean, healthy diet is important for so many obvious reasons; if you’re not eating clean, you’ll be hard pressed to see results regardless of your fitness routine. Jack Lalanne was once quoted as saying, “If God made it, eat it. If man made it, leave it.” That’s really good advice from someone who is exponentially more qualified than I am.

I want to thank Stephanie for taking out the time for this great interview. If you would like to learn more about her boot camp, or more about her please refer to her website.

Cassandra covers the North Austin beat. If you have any suggestions please email her at

Clay Madsen Recreation Center

November 9, 2009

Round Rock, Texas may not sound like the most affluent city when it comes to fitness. But as a city that is on the outerskirts of Austin, one of the fittest cities in America and home to Dell, one of the leading PC affiliates in the nation–you definitely think twice about what this town has to offer.


Clay Madsen Recreation Center in Round Rock, Texas.

The Clay Madsen Recreation Center is a thriving place in Round Rock that provides many fitness options to its citizens of all ages. Currently the rec center has two full size gymnasiums, a six lane, 25 yard lap pool, four racquetball courts, a cardio/weight room, meeting rooms/kitchen, game room, and babysitting available for all of their memebers.

Along with these great amenities, they also have personal training services for reasonable prices ($30 for a one-on-one hour long session), free bootcamp training, jazzercise and group exercise activities. Some of the tailored classes include Core Power Yoga and Mat Pilates–not your average classes for a recreational center.

But the beauty of a place like this, is that it is provided by the city–people who want to help you and your family. With the family in mind, Clay Madsen rec center understands that children are a priority, so they provide babysitting as well as after school programs and summer camps.

In the time that of the holidays, the rec center has special family events as well. Saturday, Nov. 14th, they are hosting their  Eighth annual “Rockin’ Around the Holiday’s Bazaar.” Admission is free and over 90 vendors are currently signed up to display their arts, crafts and jewelery. Christmas Family Night is another big event put on by the recreational center. This year, the event falls on Dec. 11th at 6:30 p.m., and will be held in historic downtown Round Rock.

If you would like to register to participate in these fitness classes or events that were listed, please go here.

To get directions refer to the map below!


Cassandra Hernandez follows the North Austin beat. If you would like more information or have suggestions please email her at

Austin Adventure Bootcamp

November 3, 2009

Hello North Austinites! I found a boot camp that you can sample for free. Austin Adventure Bootcamps is owned by Stephanie McDonald and has received critical acclaim from Austin’s finest. The boot camp has scored titles from The Austin Chronicle as Best Fitness Class and ExerciseTV’s Best Trainer.

The program consists of about 20 sessions, over the time span of four weeks, 5 days each week. Each session is an hour and starts promptly at 5:30 AM. They offer women’s only classes as well as coeducational classes. According to their web site, their regime consists of a little bit of everything:

From running/walking (less than 1 mile), weight training (upper and lower body), core conditioning, abdominal work, calisthenics, plyometrics, circuit training and more!

They have openings in camps for Pflugerville, Round Rock, and Cedar Park/Leander. If you like the sample class above, their regular prices are $249 for the four week program and $199 for their 2 week program. Check ’em out!

North Austin Fitness: Race for the Cure Part II

October 30, 2009

As you read before, the Susan G. Koman Race for the Cure is two days away. I know that it may be hard for some of you to be dragged out of bed the morning after Halloween, but it is for a great cause. Breast Cancer is the most prevalent cancer in the world, affecting both men and women of different ages and races. 1.3 million people are diagnosed annually and there is currently not a cure.

This race is a way to show your support for people who live with this cancer and to promote strong, healthy way of life for yourself and those around you. It is not too late to make a difference with not only this race but to donate to the cause as well.

Here is the race information:

Place: The Domain, corner of Braker and Burnet Rd.

Time: Nov. 1 at 7:30 AM (Timed runners)

Miles: 3.1 (5K race)

There will only be one course but there will be different starting times for timed runners, untimed runners and walkers.

Here is the cost for particpation (excluding donations).

On-line (Deadline to register this way ends today at 6 pm):

ADULT  $30

CHILD (12 & under)  $20

In Person:

ADULT  $35

CHILD (12 & under)  $25

Race Day (at Registration Tent):

ADULT  $40

CHILD (12 & under)  $30

If you are not in the area, or if you cannot attend, please donate here.

North Austin Fitness

October 27, 2009


In this side of the news we will be exploring different fitness events happening in North Austin.

For example, this week we are going to be talking about Race for the Cure, an annual race that promotes not only awareness for breast cancer but allows Austin residents to promote health and fitness. This year the race will take place November 1, 2009 at 7:30 AM. at The Domain, corner of Braker Lane and Burnet Road, Austin, Texas

According to its Web site: “The Austin Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure was established in late 1999 to spread the life-saving message of early detection and to support breast cancer screening, treatment and diagnostic programs in Central Texas.  Komen Austin has granted nearly $7 Million since 1999 to fund these programs.

You can register as an individual or a team. If you are a fan of the Bobby Bones morning show, he has invited any of his listeners to join his team. I have been a part of this race and not only is it a great fitness challenge but it is also a great way to provide your time and money to a wonderful cause and your community.

If you want to get involved race, it is not too late to register, details are here. I will put up more information about the race Friday, Oct. 30, check it out.