Lifestyle

Walk, Run, or Bike in the Hill Country at the 2019 Tour de Castroville

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As the Tour de France is to… well, France, so too is the Tour de Castroville to a beautiful Texas Hill Country town known as the Little Alsace of Texas. With its eighth annual running, this unique walk/run/ride is anticipating a huge crowd as it makes it way through historic Castroville, Texas. Taking a scenic loop into the neighboring town of LaCoste, as well as Western Bexar County, this event features some of the more stunning scenery the area has to offer, coupled with fresh country air and lots of good fun.

Taking place on Saturday, April 6, 2019, this family-friendly event starts off at the Castroville Regional Park, 15 miles west of San Antonio. A non-competitive, untimed, good-natured walk, run, or bicycle ride, the course for the 5K and 10K routes take participants past more than 50 historic structures. Built in the 1840s, when Castroville was settled by Henri Castro and immigrants from the Alsace region of France, these structures form part of the charm that emanates from Castroville to this day. The 30- and 60-mile bicycle routes take their scenic cues from picturesque Medina and Bexar Counties, along low-traffic roads that connect Castroville to neighboring La Coste. Between these towns, the cozy accommodations, fine dining, museums, parks, and unique shops make this Hill Country event a true gem.

Walk, Run, or Bike in the Hill Country at the 2019 Tour de Castroville

Photo: Pixabay

Meandering along the picturesque Medina River for a portion of the Tour de Castroville event, participants can enjoy scenic Texas Hill Country views and peaceful places through which to peddle, walk, or run. Experience all the charm that a tour through the area can manage. Castroville is loaded with Alsatian allure blended with rural Texas charisma. From the homes of original settlers since turned into bed and breakfasts to its array of antiques, wonderful dining options, and unique shopping opportunities, this Hill Country town is a dream come true for visitors. Not only that, but proceeds from the Tour de Castroville event will be used by the Castroville Special Events Foundation for the benefits of Parks and Recreation as well as additional non-profits in the Castroville area.

Walk, Run, or Bike in the Hill Country at the 2019 Tour de Castroville

Photo: Pexels

The Tour de Castroville had its humble beginnings when a bicycling enthusiast who hailed from Switzerland met with a Castroville contact to discuss the beautiful bike tour trails through the Texas Hill Country toward San Antonio. The tour truly got legs in its first year. Registering 87 participants, it captured the attention of those looking to exercise, train, or simply be active in the Castroville area, and anchored itself as a mainstay in annual sporting events. Since then, it’s grown to approximately 425 participants of all fitness levels, including the participation of the Wounded Veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom/Enduring Freedom. Partnered with the Active.com network, the Tour de Castroville is now even easier to find for avid walk/run/bike athletes looking to participate in well-coordinated sporting events. In addition, three years ago the American Volkssport Association requested a partnership with the event. That partnership continues to this day, featuring a sanctioned volksmarch (or a non-competitive walk) in conjunction with this year’s 8th Annual Tour de Castroville. Event details can be found at the web link available here.

Walk, Run, or Bike in the Hill Country at the 2019 Tour de Castroville

Photo: Pixabay

Over the years, the event intent has remained the same, although the routes have changed minimally, due to development in and around the area. Staying its course as a community fundraiser with a focus on the historic and natural beauty of Castroville and the surrounding area, the Tour de Castroville welcomes repeat registrants and new participants each year. Age ranges vary from 10 to 84, as do fitness levels. Everyone is welcome to enter and walk, run, or ride at their own pace, for their own fitness challenge or pure enjoyment.

With five rest stops throughout, race organizers have also made it easy for Castroville businesses to become involved in the big day, including volunteering, potential sponsorship, as well as manning a rest stop of their own. Breakfast and lunch are both Included in the day’s festivities for those registering as bicyclists. For those wishing to register for the walk or run, a hearty breakfast is included in the fee. Breakfast will be held from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., and lunch from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Bicycle events will start promptly at 7:45 a.m., while walk/run events will commence at 8:45 a.m. Participants will also receive a commemorative Tour de Castroville t-shirt!

Walk, Run, or Bike in the Hill Country at the 2019 Tour de Castroville

Photo: Pexels

Digital copies of the map routes for the Tour de Castroville can be found at the link available here (search Tour de Castroville). Participants and volunteers are asked to check the city website after 4 p.m. on Friday, April 5, 2019, for any potential weather postponement. For the additional safety and comfort of registrants, all routes will be serviced by the five rest stops noted above, in addition to bicycle shop technicians and HAM radio volunteers. Those interested in participating in either the 5K or 10K walk or run, or the 30- or 60-mile ride can register today at the event link available here on Active.com for $25 per walker/runner or $45 per cyclist. Wounded veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts can register at no cost. Come get your walk, run, or bike on this spring in the Hill Country and enjoy everything that the Little Alsace of Texas has to offer in the Tour de Castroville!