Austin Hopkins On the Run

Austin has been running five to six years now. While he started running initially to impress a girl, he has continued on a rich and rewarding journey of learning.

Randi, Austin’s wife, took up running first after watching a friend in a race inspired her to give it a try. She was the faster and more committed of the two until recently. Now they enjoy parity in their runs and the companionship that they share as they pursue running goals.

The Payette Lake Run in 2014 was a big learning moment for Austin when he placed third in his age division in the 5k. He discovered the satisfaction of “seeing how far you can push” and the resulting performance gains that come from that. He increased his focus and commitment to training after that race. Just this month (July 2016) he decided to go out with the leaders in the Dirty Dog Trail Half Marathon and soon discovered he was the leader. He continued on to finish first overall.

Austin has also been acquiring wisdom and learning patience in the process. At one point early on when he was able to run enough that he realized that he was feeling healthier and he could go faster, he started to run faster. “I wasn’t patient about it at all! I was like, ‘Oh, if I can go faster, I need to go ten times faster!’ and I just started blowing stuff out.” He ended up with a lot of muscle strains in his calves, but his enthusiasm carried him along for about three months until one day in the middle of a run. He stopped at a stoplight. When the walk light came on, he went to step off the curb, and he suddenly felt something pull loose straight up toward his knee. He ended up having to take six months off from running to recover from that injury. From that experience Austin says, “Now I am seeing the benefits of taking it easy.” In the end, he has learned there are times to push through the pain and times to stop. “To learn this you just got to run.” Everyone’s body is so different and the line between “too much” and “enough” is unique to every individual.

After several years of running Austin has learned that there are “too many good reasons to run and not enough bad reasons not to run.” He has learned that the specific motivations to keep running day after day vary for him. On some days, he loves feeling healthy. The idea that his running reduces health risks is very satisfying. On other days, feeling fit and pushing it physically provides a real charge. And there are those trying days where running is the reset button that restores his mental health and outlook on life.

Austin recognizes that he will need to learn many more lessons if he is going to run well in the decades to come. He admires the role models he finds among the more seasoned runners in the Boise Area Runners. Runners who still “crush it” even though they may be older than his parents and grandparents.

Austin’s story is far from over and he can look forward to many more learning moments as he continues to grow and develop as a runner. See you on a run!

This article is the first in the BAR Story Project where we will be telling stories of BAR runners. A new article will be published each month.

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May Monthly Mile

We had a great run last week for the Monthly Mile. We had six runners log their first BAR Monthly Mile time and five other set new PRs. Additionally, one of the new PRs was the fastest time we’ve seen on the track, 4:40! Great job to all the new and returning runners.

If you’re interested in tracking your improvements in running, we run a timed mile the first Tuesday of every month at the Boise High track. Details and a list of times is available on our Monthly Mile page.

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Running Clinic

It’s time for a Running Clinic. Details are below and you can sign up here.

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BAR Ambassadors

We’ve been going through some behind-the-scenes changes recently within the club. We’ve now adopted our first set of official by-laws and are in the process of becoming a member of the Road Runners Club of America. Most of the time, this won’t change how the runs have been happening. What it will do is help provide guidelines for the club as well as a structure for everyone’s voice to be heard.

More details will be coming soon, but for now, if you’re interested in becoming a BAR Ambassador (voting member of BAR), check out our Membership Page.

The other change we made was to set up a Square account so we can now take credit card payments. It’s set up for donations currently, but we’ll be adding the option to purchase BAR swag soon. No more need to carry paper money on the run just to buy a T-shirt at the end.

These may be little things, but I’m still excited to see it happening.

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Another Brewery Run

It’s time for another brewery run. We’ve picked a new start/end brewery. This time we’re meeting at Woodland Empire and running 6.7 miles, stopping every mile or so for a beer. Here’s the order:

* Woodland Empire
* Cloud 9
* Highlands Hollow
* 10 Barrel
* The Ram
* Boise Brewing
* Woodland Empire

We’ve done this several times before and it’s always been a fun event. You can sign up on MeetUp and we’ll see you there.

Brewery Run

Saturday, Mar 12, 2016, 2:00 PM

2 Runners Attending

Check out this Meetup →

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Run a Day

Apparently Mark Zuckerberg has encouraged people to run a mile a day. He feels it will improve people’s overall health, which is probably true. Looking into it, there’s a group that tracks people who have run at least a mile a day for at least one year! The numbers on the Running Streak page are crazy. Some runners have been going for over 30 years without missing a single day. I’ve been running for years and that still seems like a lot of running. I’m interested in seeing how long I can go without missing a day (or more  likely doing too many miles and getting injured).

Anyone interested in starting a BAR Running Streak club?

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Broadway Bridge Detour

So a central part of the Greenbelt is closed until Fall 2016 because of construction on the Broadway Bridge. This will impact many of our Greenbelt runs. There is a detour around the construction which is mapped out here. This extra section adds about 0.5 miles to any Greenbelt loop (unless you were planning to go across the Broadway Bridge, of course).

On the north side of the river (through Julia Davis park), take the last driveway out of the park to Myrtle St. Stay on Myrtle past the Ram as it becomes Park and take the first road on the right, Ferguson St. This will lead you back to the Greenbelt.

Going back, get off the Greenbelt just after the small wooden foot bridge and follow Leadville Ave south for one block. Turn right on Belmont St then right on Longmont Ave. This takes you behind Chili’s and brings you to Broadway just outside the construction area. Cross Broadway and stay on Cesar Chavez Ln until you can get back on the Greenbelt.

The whole detour should be well signposted but if you have any questions about where to go, grab one of the regular runners at the next Greenbelt run and they’ll make sure you don’t get lost.

One thing to note about the map is that Google doesn’t seem to know about the stairs up to the W Parkcenter Bridge which adds a larger loop than you need to run.

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Warm, icy track

What better way to start the new year than with a timed mile? We had 9 people participate in the Monthly Mile this week and are now looking at improving their times throughout the year.

Although it was above freezing for the first time in several weeks, not all the ice had melted from the track. There were still a few spots where footing was less than ideal. That said, we had some good mile times posted. For the complete list, check out the Monthly Mile page and better still, join us next month. See you then.

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Running in the New Years

As 2015 ends and 2016 begins, there are several great runs coming up. We’re doing a trail run in Military Reserve Park on New Year’s Eve Morning for anyone looking for some fun. We also have several runners participating in the YMCA New Year’s Day 5k and if interested in testing yourself, but don’t want to pay for a race, there’s another Monthly Mile on Tuesday. You can join us at the Boise High School Track to get a timed mile and then you can spend all year working to improve your time. So many fun options! We look forward to running with you soon. Happy New Year

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BAR video

This video was made last year and had been on our site. When we transitioned to the new one, our videos didn’t make the jump. If you have other videos that didn’t make the transition, please send them my way so I can add them back.

This was done by Tim’s son, Mack, who had his camera stolen at gun point. They started a GoFundMe project to help him get a new one.

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