Sunday, September 22, 2013

Running Around Dallas, TX

I headed to Dallas for a short weekend trip and had the opportunity to do some great running (and eating!). Dallas is actually a great city for people who like to keep in shape. On a Saturday morning, you'll catch tons of fit runners and bikers bouncing around. Apparently, olyn Austin outstrips Dallas in terms of sporty-ness. Be sure to dress to impress though-- both men and women (though particularly women) wear their finest sports gear and will hang around town in them all day.

The first great running spot I headed to was a little outside of Dallas at a lake and park known as Whiterock. Whiterock has a giant man-made lake and a 9.3 mile bike and running path that circles it. When I headed there on Friday morning, it was cloudy and misty. The heavy rains the night before caused the lake to swell a bit and the overflow portion behind the dam was raging-- a very cool sight to see. On a cloudy and rainy day, there are not many people, which was nice to have so much freedom. Everyone there is very friendly so be sure to say "Hi!" as you pass by (or, when I'm tired, I try and give a friendly smile and a thumbs up, which always boosts my mood too and helps me to pick up the pace a little). The the paved trail follows the lake the whole way around, dipping a little into a forest-like tree line, but always coming back to the lake. Sights around the lake that made it enjoyable were a small sailboat marina, a nice pedestrian bridge, the dam, and the nature. Since there weren't a lot of people around, I caught a beautiful crane hunting (and catching and eating) a fish. Definitely a spot worth a visit!
Aerial view of Whiterock Lake


Right in Dallas is also the Katy Trail. This trail was apparently a former railroad track and is a great escape from the city, while still staying in the city. As such, there are always tons of runners, bikers, and walkers on the trail at any time of day and especially on the weekends. The trail is about 3.5miles one way. Because it gets so congested, I would suggest checking it out early in the morning if possible. Alongside the paved trail is Turtle Creek, a nice and small little park that can be accessed from the trail. I would suggest hitting this up too if you have a chance-- I didn't, but I could see it from the trail and it looked very charming!

Popular Bar right off the Katy Trail


Running, however, was not the main focus of this trip. There was a LOT of eating involved. Food highlights include jalapeno skins (a jalapeno popper but instead of a breaded outside, it was a jalapeno with cream cheese wrapped in bacon!), the Dank hamburger at Kung Fu (Definitely check this place out-- they have free arcade games! And the burger: onion rings, grilled cheese sandwiches for the bun, so much cheese, two beef patties stuffed with jalapeno... Amazing!), brisket enchiladas at Meso Maya, and fried pickles. Tates has really beautiful cocktails, so definitely stop there any time of day. We also went on a private 2 hour Segway tour (www.nationtours.com, ask for Cameron, he's awesome!) and saw pretty much everything. If I had more time I would have checked out the art museums there, so if you have time definitely check them out!

The Dank

A unique event going on was Redbull's Flugtag. Flugtag (pronounced "flooh-tahg") is when you make flying contraptions and you have a team of friend push the contraption off a ramp and into water and see how far they go. It was, needless to say, hilarious! It was only in 5 cities in the country and they do it as an annual event (I think). Redbull also sponsors it around the world and there is a flugtag world record. Teams get really into the event by dressing up and putting on a skit before shoving their craft off and into the lake below. The craft is also creatively done up and the skits and team members all go with the theme. One of my cousin's friends was on a team and actually was the "driver" who was shoved off with the craft. They had a plane that was designed to look like a space ship and they had the crowd roaring when they danced around in their space suits and ran around with an American flag (which was naturally pinned to the front of the ship and launched off as well). One of the funniest ones was a portapotty (seriously, it was a portapotty with wheels). For the team's skit, they played the 90s song, "Everybody dance now" (you know it, just google it!). But when the lyrics played they had signs that went up "Everybody pants down" and ripped off their pants to expose nude colored leotards and then they just danced around really crazy. At the end of the skit, they pulled some lever that caused the walls of the portapotty to fall down into wings and expose the driver sitting on the john (pants down). They then pushed the portapotty over the edge and he then plunged face first into the water. Epic.

I would definitely go back to Dallas! It was awesome!

Special thank you to Seth Gold for giving to my fundraiser! Don't forget that if you give more than $26.20 ($1 for every mile) you will get a FREE T-SHIRT! Woo! Hope to have the design out for everyone to see soon! :)