Katy Trail & Katy Trail Ice House – Is this Dallas or Austin?

Posted: August 18, 2011 in Training
Tags: , , ,

If you have been following along over the past year and a half or so at Run for Dom there are a few things that haven’t changed.

We are still running and racing – a lot.

And we are still traveling – a lot.

Since this journey started we have logged miles in the following cities and countries:

Austin, TX
Abilene, TX
Birmingham, AL
Boston, MA
Boulder, CO
Buffalo, NY
Cancun, MX
Cedar Rapids, IA
Charleston, SC
Columbia, SC
Dallas, TX
Denver, CO
Ft. Worth, TX
Galena, IL
Holland, TX
Horseshoe Bay, TX
Houston, TX
London, ON
Los Angeles, CA
Lubbock, TX
Marina del Rey, CA
Minneapolis, MN
New Braunfels, TX
New Orleans, LA
New York, NY
Newark, DE
Orlando, FL
Philadelphia, PA
Pittsburgh, PA
Raleigh, NC                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               San Francisco, CA
Toronto, ON
Wrightsville Beach, NC

Many of those cities on the list I have run in numerous times.  I’m fairly certain I’ve forgotten a few.  Some of those locations have been tremendous discoveries for me, running along old train lines, trolley tracks, canyons, bridges, trail systems, urban streets, downtown parks, hills, flats, oceans and coast lines.

Through all of that, closing in on 4,000 miles since we started Run for Dom I have always felt like Austin was home, and nothing was quite like it.  The streets, hills and trails here are just simply unique.  Every run is different as Spring becomes Summer and Fall becomes Winter. 

The people are just a little different, dedicated to “Keeping Austin Wierd” and all that – but there truly is a community “Vibe” that you experience running in Austin that is comforting and genuine – that we’re all in it together here in Austin. 

Kindred spirits.

While I was in Dallas this week I had an opportunity to run on the very well known and well-loved Katy Trail.  The Trail is an elevated 12 foot wide 3.5 mile long paved and lighted trail for cyclists, pedestrians, runners and a lot of lucky Dallas doggies.

Adjacent to the paved trail is a 3.1 mile long pedestrian only trail that is essentially another 8 foot wide paved surface that has been covered with a rubberized impact reducing track like material.  This side of the trail is for safety reasons restricted to only pedestrians.

Mix in a fully lit trail when it is dark out, restricted access points to the trail and only two times where the trail actually crosses over an active roadway with vehicular traffic and you have a very popular exercise trail.

Although the trail is short for half-marathoners and marathoners, the 7-mile round trip loop is great for quite a lot of runners.

I was able to run my 8-mile tempo workout on Tuesday and with the help of a couple of miles off the trail to the SMU campus and back my 10-mile marathon pace workout on Wednesday.

A great place to run in a very large bustling city like Dallas.

But the real surprise for me was the Katy Trail Ice House that opened back on March 25th of this year.

Literally a step off of the trail to the right heading from Victory Park up towards Airline around the 1.25 mile mark, there is a very “Austin-like” beer garden with heavy-duty picnic tables, misting fans and umbrella covered round tops to sit at and have a nice cold beer or beverage of your choice.

The Katy Trail Ice House also has an indoor restaurant serving burgers in air-conditioned comfort with a nice bar and a few televisions to broadcast sporting events.

My good friend Rob took a steamy 1.5 mile run from our hotel up to the Ice House after a day of meetings on Tuesday – my second run of the day – to enjoy the outdoor seating area and have a couple of adult sports elixirs.

Afterall, carbs are carbs right?

So if you are visiting Dallas and are either up near the SMU Campus area or down near the American Airlines arena, you are at a great starting point to the Katy Trail.  A beautiful, scenic, low-impact running location where if you time it right, you can also visit a little bit of Austin” without the 4 hour drive.

Great stuff.

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