SAN ANTONIO – Editor’s note: This story was published through a partnership between KSAT and Live From the Southside, a new local- and Latina-owned magazine that works to improve & expand community relationships through promoting events, stories and businesses.
Frank Vasquez is a veteran of the Marines, ultra-runner and motivational speaker. On April 23 and 24, he will be the first person to run 100 miles around San Antonio through the Howard W. Peak Greenway Trail System for autism awareness.
Vasquez has partnered with the Autism Community Network, a local nonprofit, to pull off this amazing feat.
Growing up, Vasquez always loved exploring our Missions and followed the river for miles before any of our beautiful trails existed. It wasn’t until August of 2020 when he started going back to his roots to explore and fish at Mission Espada. He noticed there were concrete trails that stretched up and down the San Antonio River.
He began training for his double marathon to utilize the trail system for long-distance runs and fell in love all over again. After his double marathon (52.4 miles), he knew he would be doing a 100-mile run.
While he could have chosen a race like Bandera 100, Rocky Racoon 100 or Tejas Trails 100 which are all great organizations and communities, they all take place in rural areas of Texas.
Run after run on the trail system Vasquez noticed, compared to other cities, the Greenways don’t get utilized enough yet there are over 80 miles of completed trails. In Austin, San Diego, Denver, Philadelphia and Boston, you see huge communities of roller skaters, runners, bikers, etc. utilizing the streets for fitness.
San Antonio has a paved trail, is easily accessible and provides beautiful scenery for miles. The trail system cuts through urban areas and neighborhoods, but on any given day or time you find only a handful of people exercising on them. With his run, he not only plans on raising donations for ACN, but he would also like to showcase the beauty of the Howard W. Peak Greenway Trail System.
He wants to highlight the Greenway Program’s goals about park connectivity, access people have to outdoor recreation from their neighborhoods, and most importantly the habitat conservation that Parks and Recreation has provided so generations can see the same beautiful trails their parents and grandparents got to enjoy.
He says, “Together we can further connect people to the parks, trails, nature, recreation and resources. I hope to inspire and improve the quality of life for all residents of San Antonio.”
This article initially appeared on Live from the Southside.
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