My little sister Nancy said she was thinking about running the Austin Half Marathon. I dared her to. Then I double dared her. And then I said if she would run it, I’d run it with her. It would be my third Austin Half. By the time we were finished daring each other to train through the winter, my brother, another of my sisters (I have countless sisters and grew up playing with paper dolls), and two of my many nieces all found themselves day-drinking in a swanky Austin hotel.

I wasn’t always playing with paper dolls while growing up. My brother is five or six years older, depending on the season, and taught me to play sports. He taught me to throw and hit a ball right-handed. Turns out I’m left-handed.

After a day and a half partying in downtown Austin, Nan and I found our way to the starting line Sunday morning. I gifted her the tech t-shirt the Christmas before last. A tip for other self-published authors; never overlook the opportunity of leveraging your siblings as billboards.

Nan was still smiling at mile 12 as she crossed the bridge over Lamar. Youth.

As we passed the Capitol, with maybe 200 yards to go, Nan had the audacity to ask me how much further we had to run. Thinking back, that was most of our conversation over the 13 mile course.

My sister Sandy captured our final steps on video, proof of another Austin Half completed.

Sandy led our nieces, Michelle and Brook up and down South Congress for the 5K.

They finished, hardly breaking a sweat. But then it was only forty-some degrees outside, which is chilly for Austin.

We all found ourselves at the finish for a team photo. And before everyone returned home to our five respective states, I turned them on to the amazing fries at Hyde Park Bar and Grill.