H-Town Run Tourist

New Year. Volunteer with Hermann Park!

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Jovan Abernathy is an international marathoner and owner of Houston Tourism Gym. To claim your free tour, contact her at info@tourismgymhtx.com. Follow her on Twitter @jovanabernathy. Instagram @TourismGymHtx. Facebook @TourismGymHtx

The beginning of the year is the time that everyone is more open to trying new experiences and doing the right thing. As the H-Town Run Tourist, I am always on the look out for these opportunities. Recently, I ran into one that you may want to add to your goal list. When I was researching for my article for Hermann Park, I learned that Hermann Park has many ways that you can volunteer. Which one will you try first?

If you have not been to Hermann Park recently, I suggest you take a stroll through the Japanese Gardens and the McGovern Centennial Gardens. Enjoy the beautiful foliage and take lots of pictures. Do you ever wonder how those gardens are kept up? By the wonderful volunteers that offer their helping hands to keep the park clean. Hermann Park needs you to assist the resident gardeners with weeding, trimming, planting, harvesting, trail maintenance, and dead-heading roses bushes. What a sneaky way to learn how to garden. Volunteer days are from 9am-12pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

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Annual Kite Festival

On March 29 2020, people will flock to the hill at Miller Outdoor Theatre with the same goal in mind. Let's go fly a kite. During this outdoor event that is free for all ages, inner loopers, tourists, and people from all parts of Houston and surrounding areas bring their best looking kites. This event draws thousands of people. As you can tell, it needs your help to set up tents and tables for the vendors, help people find their way around the park. assist in the many activities, help people actually fly their kites, be a stage hand, and of course cleanup and breakdown.

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Hermann Park Run

Every year, Hermann Park hosts the Park Run which is a 10K, 5K, and 1K Kid's Run throughout the park. This year's run will be held in October. Hermann Park needs you to help with setup, booths, and give directions to runners and their family and friends. There will be lots of new runners that need extra cheering and kids that need to see funny signs and be handed gummy bears.

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Park to Port Bike Ride

Ride. Party. Ride. This annual 20 mile bike ride gives riders a unique view of Houston. It starts in the early morning from Bayou Parkland, goes along Brays Bayou Greenway Trail to the Port of Houston. Once there, its party-party with music snacks, and drinks before the ride back. This event is for all ages and skill levels. This event will be happening in November 2020. Hermann Park needs you to help setup the event, booths and hand out water and of course, cheer riders.

Don't be suprised if you see me there or hopefully, we can volunteer together this year. If you want to do your own shift or organize your own group, please contact the Program and Events Coordinator, Emily Chambers at EChambers@HermannPark.org. If you can not volunteer, I'm sure they accept yo' dolla dolla bills ya'll!

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Up next: The Aggies face Mississippi State. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

Two weeks after the season seemed like it had come to an ugly end only in week two for the Aggies, they are right back in the thick of things. Now I already know what you’re thinking as you read that last sentence. As much as A&M fans would like to forget the Appalachian State loss, myself included, it's not going anywhere. Even though Texas A&M has defeated back-to-back top 15 nationally ranked opponents, the easy and well-deserved knock on this squad is, “they lost to App State”. An App State team that is a Hail Mary away from being only 2-2 might I add. However, these past two weeks for the Ags have shown that positive things can come from your biggest disappointments.

Jimbo Fisher and the Aggies had two options after that App State loss. One, admit that they just didn't have it this year in week two, settle for another 8-4 or worse year and try again next season. Or, take a long look in the mirror, realize some uncomfortable decisions had to be made and try to make a statement moving forward. I believe they chose option two because the Aggies have rattled off wins against #13 Miami and #10 Arkansas in back-to-back weeks. Now I’m willing to admit Miami probably didn’t deserve that ranking after falling to Middle Tennessee State. But the weight of that game was felt by all Aggies, especially Head Coach Jimbo Fisher.

This past week the Maroon and White were able to knock out a really good and really experienced Arkansas Razorback team. After starting slow and sloppy, which has unfortunately become a trend for this Texas A&M team, the Aggies found some rhythm on offense after an explosive Devon Achane 63-yard run. The defense was solid once again showing the bend don't break mentality, best exemplified when Chris Russell Jr. knocked the ball out of KJ Jefferson’s hands at the goal line. Tyreek Chappell and Demani Richardson then turned that fumble recovery into six points on a wacky scoop and score. The Hogs didn't go away quietly though, as they found themselves lining up for a game-winning field goal with 90 seconds left on the clock. What followed is what will forever be known by the Aggies as the “Oink Doink” as Texas A&M got their season back on track.

The next 2 games will make or break A&M’s season, however, as they will travel to Starkville for the first true road game of the year against Mississippi State. Then to Tuscaloosa to face off against Alabama for possibly the most anticipated SEC matchup of the season. If the Ags can somehow manage to go 2-0 in this stretch they will without a doubt find themselves back in the top 10 and in the playoff conversation once again. This Saturday's afternoon matchup with the Bulldogs will be the toughest test yet for Jimbo and his Aggies. Quarterback Will Rogers can sling it and the defense is very experienced throughout. Max Johnson has been solid for the Ags but hasn't lit up the stat sheet by any means, so it will be interesting to see if Mississippi State turns this into a shootout, or if A&M keep this a defensive battle like most of their games have been so far. My feeling is the Aggies have a breakout offensive performance and win this one 30-24, to set up a huge showdown with Alabama and Nick Saban in week six.

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