Enrique Castillo, assistant manager at Ready to Run since March 2020, likes to go the distance. A runner since age 13, Castillo graduated to ultramarathons after moving to Austin in 2016 from Wichita Falls. Most ultra-runs are held on trails, and the Austin area has a robust trail scene, which Castillo loves.
“Sure, I like running ultras, but I also like short stuff on the roads,” he said.
On May 7, he showed that he can take on tough courses, winning the Texas Switchback Trail Half Marathon in 1:34:07. The event took place at Flat Creek Crossing Ranch, a private ranch between Dripping Springs and Johnson City just east of Pedernales State Park.
“It’s a typical Texas Hill country course,” said Castillo. “Lots of rocks, lots of roots and short, steep climbs. There were probably around 100 people for the half. I think being out in the woods, running on trails, is an attractive thing right now.”
Castillo admits he didn’t really know what to expect as he has not been training a whole lot.
“I just went out there, and let it fly and I ended up winning,” he said. “The first mile I kind of warmed up. After that I put on a surge and didn’t see anyone for the rest of the race.”
Castillo has never done a road marathon but ran 3:08 one time in training. He did however run and win the Goodwater Double Marathon around Lake Georgetown.
“It’s a 26-mile loop, and you circle the lake twice,” said Castillo. “I ran just over nine hours and won it. An event like that tests your limits. It’s all about problem solving on the fly. There will be times when you don’t feel great, but you find your way out of it. It’s a physical sport, but a huge part of it is mental. Sometimes you want to quit, but your mind keeps telling you to go—you have to fight the temptation to stop. As you become a more experienced ultrarunner, you become tougher. Every ultra is a test of that toughness.”
Most days, you’ll find Castillo helping people out at Ready to Run, pairing them with the best shoes and gear.
“Working at Ready to Run, I get to surround myself with great running gear and equipment. And I like to be surrounded by people who enjoy running, and I enjoy helping them. Every person is unique and specific to their needs. So shoe choice depends what they like and what type of running they’re doing. I try to fit them in what I think will work best for them, based on my experience and knowledge.”
Next up for Castillo? “I plan to run the Sky Island 50K in the Davis Mountains next September,” he said.
Upcoming Races: Monday, May 31, CapTex Triathlon 7:00 a.m. at Lady Bird Lake, Austin. June 4-6, Texas Trail Running Festival (26.2-mile, 13.1 mile, 10K, and 5K), at Krause Springs, 404 Krause Spring Rd. Spicewood, TX