Vrooom! Vroooooom! Saturday the brand new, not really finished Formula 1 race track opened its gates to runners, joggers, and walkers to take a tour of its 3.4 mile loop. Known as the Circuit of the Americas, it’s the only Formula 1 track in the United States. With the inaugural F1 race taking place in 2 weeks, RunTex put on this fun run giving special access and a preview of the course before anyone else.
Full disclosure, I had no intention of running the Formula Run. Just a week after the Ironman 70.3 Austin I fully intended on resting an entire week before even considering any form of exercise. Well the day before the run I won two free entries on Facebook from CultureMap, so I asked my friend Derrick to join me and we were signed up before I could second guess myself.
I’ll hit the highlights and entertain you with pictures. On this particular morning a thick fog settled over Austin. It was cool at first, and just became annoying, especially once we got going on the race track. It stole away the perspective and magnitude of the whole event. But we would not accept defeat! … although we were almost done before getting started… The traffic out to the new Circuit of the Americas race track was absurd. With 5000 runners, we’ll have to see how they do with 120,000 F1 fans trying to get there. (It took an hour and forty-five minutes to go 20 total miles, including an hour to go the last mile)
We showed up thirty minutes late thanks to the traffic. The people in charge were aware and postponed the start by about thirty minutes too. So we got our t-shirts and numbers and walked over to the starting line about five minutes after the airhorn sounded.
And then we were on our way! The 3.4 mile course was pretty packed with people of all kinds: serious runners, casual walkers, nondescript joggers, families with strollers. Everyone.
Since we started
late last, we were very much at the back of the pack. It turned out to be much more of a party than a pseudo-race and everyone was having a grand old time. A little past the halfway point there’s a towering structure right in the middle of the infield. You could undoubtedly see it from anywhere in clear conditions, but because of the fog we couldn’t see it until we were right up underneath. It’s an 18-story viewing deck that should give a pretty incredible view of the entire track. I don’t know who designed it or what it’s supposed to be, but it’s certainly… unique.
Making the last turn down the backstretch was my favorite part. Seeing the grandstands, spotlights, and finish line gave me a little bit of a chill. No doubt it’ll make for an exciting F1 race with cars screaming towards the finish line at 180 miles per hour.
After crossing the finish I spotted my friend Joseph (who happens to be at every local race I run). We made a loud, childish scene in front of a reporter from KXAN (local NBC). Naturally he asked to interview us both about the run, the race track, and what it means for Austin. My answers were so epic they didn’t air them on the evening broadcast. The public probably couldn’t have handled it.
we I had breakfast on the brain. We knew what we had to do.
The run was a great event and I’m glad I got to tour the track. Several times throughout the morning I mentioned there’d be very little chance of me ever coming back. Between the traffic and lack of interest in the events that go on at a race track, it just isn’t going to be on my to-do list. That said, I’d say it’s worth checking out if you ever get the chance. It’s no doubt impressive and going to bring a lot of attention to Austin.