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rose-marie-hagman-interviewWe all love the Butler Trail and appreciate what it brings to our lives. Rose Marie Hagman is no exception. In fact, she feels like the Trail has given her so much she wanted to give something back. Each year, to celebrate her birthday – as well as “toast” the health and happiness of her loved ones – Rose Marie and several friends have established the tradition of running a half marathon. This year, in lieu of presents, Rose Marie has asked her friends to donate to The Trail Foundation.

What is your favorite spot on the Butler Trail?
All of it! I enjoy the entire Trail, but if I had to choose, probably the area from the “dip” back to Austin High. I typically run on the south side of the Trail first, so this section on the north side is on my way back and means I’m nearing the end of my run.

Do you have a favorite memory on the Butler Trail?
Yes. It was the first Daisy 5K organized by the Austin Runner’s Club. It was an all women’s race with about 60 runners. The course was an out-and-back starting where the baseball fields are now (they were not there then), went across the MoPac pedestrian bridge and then to a turn-around near the railroad tracks by Zilker Park. It was so nice to have an all-female race that was run on the Trail.

What inspired you to ask your friends to give to The Trail Foundation instead of giving you birthday presents?
Well, first of all, the Trail is my “home away from home”. It is one of my favorite places in Austin; I have been running on it since the 1970’s and wanted to give back to something that has given so much to me.

Secondly, The Trail Foundation is the organization that protects the Trail and helps take care of it. We are so fortunate to have this space – I would rather people give to something that is important to me and helps protect this green environment than give me more “stuff”.

What does the Butler Trail bring to your life?
Commitment – The Trail has helped me maintain meaningful commitments to my fitness and overall health. Additionally, it has helped me keep commitments to my friends and myself by spending quality time running on the Trail.

Friendships – I have met several life-long friends through running on the Trail. Some are friends I continue to see and some I may not have seen in years, but because we ran together on the Trail, there is a bond of friendship there that is lasting.

Appreciation – The Trail reminds me of how fortunate we are to have this wonderful natural space in the middle of the city. Houston has Memorial Park and Dallas has White Rock Lake, but the Trail in the heart of Austin is like no other place – it is special.

What is your favorite time of day on the Butler Trail?
Early morning for sure. Seeing the sunrise over the city from the Trail is absolutely beautiful.

What is your favorite season on the Butler Trail?
Every season except summer! No, I’m kidding, even summer isn’t too bad if you run early in the morning and we are blessed to have the coolers with water out there. Really, I like anytime on the Trail except when it’s cold and rainy.