Pam LeBlanc

Fitness & outdoors reporter

Pam LeBlanc writes about fitness and travel for the Austin American-Statesman. She has worked for the Statesman since 1998 and written her weekly fitness column, Fit City, since 2004.  Pam rides a bicycle to work, swims on a team and runs with her girlfriends. All her hobbies, from scuba diving to horseback riding and snow skiing, involve bulky gear. She lives in Austin with her husband, who is really good at applying bandages and ice packs.

Latest from Pam LeBlanc

What’s it like to swim across Lake Tahoe? I can tell you
 I thought I’d turn into a Popsicle, but as it turned out, the water temperature hovered at a balmy 65 degrees in July, when I swam across Lake Tahoe as part of a six-person relay team. That’s well above the 55 degrees we’d braced for, and barely cold enough to raise goose bumps, as long as you keep moving. And thank goodness...

Posted: 4 hours ago

I thought I’d turn into a Popsicle, but as it turned out, the water temperature hovered at a balmy 65 degrees in July, when I swam across Lake Tahoe as part of a six-person relay team. That’s well above the 55 degrees we’d braced for, and barely cold enough to raise goose bumps, as long as you keep moving. And thank goodness...
West Texas on the rocks: a spin on gin
 Molly Cummings rakes her hands gently down the branches of a juniper tree growing on a hillside in the Davis Mountains like she’s milking a cow. Pea-size berries drop with a steady plunk-plunk-plunk into the heavy apple-picking apron cinched around her waist, and an hour later, when the pocket on the front of that apron bulges with...

Posted: a day ago

Molly Cummings rakes her hands gently down the branches of a juniper tree growing on a hillside in the Davis Mountains like she’s milking a cow. Pea-size berries drop with a steady plunk-plunk-plunk into the heavy apple-picking apron cinched around her waist, and an hour later, when the pocket on the front of that apron bulges with...
Pedal all the way to Alaska? These students did – for a good cause
 This year’s Texas 4000 riders will roll into Anchorage on Friday. Photo courtesy Texas 4000   Sixty-nine University of Texas students who pedaled out of Austin earlier this summer are expected to roll into Anchorage
            tomorrow, wrapping up their 70-day quest to raise awareness about cancer. A documentary about their venture...

Posted: 9 days ago

This year’s Texas 4000 riders will roll into Anchorage on Friday. Photo courtesy Texas 4000   Sixty-nine University of Texas students who pedaled out of Austin earlier this summer are expected to roll into Anchorage tomorrow, wrapping up their 70-day quest to raise awareness about cancer. A documentary about their venture...
How many days in a row have you run? Bill Schroeder’s logged 20 years
 From left, Bill Schroeder, Jodi Ondrusek and Wing Ho run on a trail at Brushy Creek Park on Wednesday, February 24, 2016.
               DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN Bill Shroeder hasn’t missed a run in years. He’ll celebrate 20 years worth of running – calculated by combining two separate running streaks –...

Posted: 9 days ago

From left, Bill Schroeder, Jodi Ondrusek and Wing Ho run on a trail at Brushy Creek Park on Wednesday, February 24, 2016. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN Bill Shroeder hasn’t missed a run in years. He’ll celebrate 20 years worth of running – calculated by combining two separate running streaks –...
Swimming’s free – and so’s the guitar solo – before 8 a.m. at Barton Springs
 I started this morning with a swim at Barton Springs Pool.   I almost always start Wednesday mornings with a swim at Barton Springs with a few friends. Besides getting in a good workout, I always see people I know. Runners gather there after logging their morning miles, to
            cool their legs in the cold water. My lap swimming...

Posted: 10 days ago

I started this morning with a swim at Barton Springs Pool.   I almost always start Wednesday mornings with a swim at Barton Springs with a few friends. Besides getting in a good workout, I always see people I know. Runners gather there after logging their morning miles, to cool their legs in the cold water. My lap swimming...
Hill Country land comes back to life at Spicewood Ranch
 Chris Harte acts like a proud papa as he points out a grove of tiny green, white and red flags sprouting alongside a gravel road cutting through his Hill Country ranch. The flags mark the locations of post oak, Mexican plum and Eve’s necklace seedlings. To Harte and David Mahler, an ecologist with Environmental Survey Consulting who...

Posted: 11 days ago

Chris Harte acts like a proud papa as he points out a grove of tiny green, white and red flags sprouting alongside a gravel road cutting through his Hill Country ranch. The flags mark the locations of post oak, Mexican plum and Eve’s necklace seedlings. To Harte and David Mahler, an ecologist with Environmental Survey Consulting who...
Bid summer farewell with Splash Bash at YMCA
 The YMCA TownLake will host a Splash Bash from 1-3 p.m. Saturday. Photo courtesy YMCA Bid summer goodbye with the annual Splash Bash at the TownLake YMCA this weekend. The free community event is scheduled for 1-3 p.m. Saturday and will include a pool party with free snacks, games, giveaways,
            music and a bouncy house. The Y is...

Posted: 11 days ago

The YMCA TownLake will host a Splash Bash from 1-3 p.m. Saturday. Photo courtesy YMCA Bid summer goodbye with the annual Splash Bash at the TownLake YMCA this weekend. The free community event is scheduled for 1-3 p.m. Saturday and will include a pool party with free snacks, games, giveaways, music and a bouncy house. The Y is...
Tired of trash at Mansfield Cut? Pitch in at Saturday’s cleanup
 A cleanup of Port Mansfield Cut is set for Saturday. Photo courtesy Kathie and Miller Bassler A few months ago, I spent a long weekend camping at Mansfield Cut along the Texas Coast. We pitched tents in the sand, fished and surfed along the channel between North and South Padre Islands. I loved the place,
            but couldn’t believe...

Posted: 12 days ago

A cleanup of Port Mansfield Cut is set for Saturday. Photo courtesy Kathie and Miller Bassler A few months ago, I spent a long weekend camping at Mansfield Cut along the Texas Coast. We pitched tents in the sand, fished and surfed along the channel between North and South Padre Islands. I loved the place, but couldn’t believe...
At Camp Gladiator Stadium Takeover, join a group workout where the Longhorns play
 Camp Gladiator will host a free public workout at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on Aug. 11. Photo courtesty Camp
               Gladiator If you’ve always wanted to train on the field where the University of Texas Longhorns play, head to Darrell K. Royal-Texas
            Memorial Stadium on Aug. 11. Camp Gladiator will celebrate...

Posted: 12 days ago

Camp Gladiator will host a free public workout at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on Aug. 11. Photo courtesty Camp Gladiator If you’ve always wanted to train on the field where the University of Texas Longhorns play, head to Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on Aug. 11. Camp Gladiator will celebrate...
After heart surgery, an athlete gets back to running marathons
 A year and a half ago, Alex Glarakis wrapped up a 19-mile run and headed directly to a party at the Greek church he attends. “We started dancing and dancing and dancing, and before I knew it I was on the floor,” the 64-year-old IT security specialist at IBM said. Glarakis hadn’t bothered to eat after his run, so when he...

Posted: 14 days ago

A year and a half ago, Alex Glarakis wrapped up a 19-mile run and headed directly to a party at the Greek church he attends. “We started dancing and dancing and dancing, and before I knew it I was on the floor,” the 64-year-old IT security specialist at IBM said. Glarakis hadn’t bothered to eat after his run, so when he...
Am I crazy? Maybe – I’m training for Texas Water Safari 2019
 Pam LeBlanc and Sheila Reiter, in canoe, center of photo, paddle on Lady Bird Lake on Thursday, Aug. 2. Photo by Chris LeBlanc   Chalk up Day 1 as a success. A couple of years after I told a friend that I’d never do the Texas Water Safari, a 260-mile canoe race from San Marcos to
            Seadrift, I’m hereby declaring...

Posted: 15 days ago

Pam LeBlanc and Sheila Reiter, in canoe, center of photo, paddle on Lady Bird Lake on Thursday, Aug. 2. Photo by Chris LeBlanc   Chalk up Day 1 as a success. A couple of years after I told a friend that I’d never do the Texas Water Safari, a 260-mile canoe race from San Marcos to Seadrift, I’m hereby declaring...