It’s that time of year again, when thousands of people gather in Austin, TX for the annual Statesman Capitol 10K race that winds through downtown ATX. Being a local Austinite myself, I have run in my fair share of Cap 10Ks. So, I thought it would be fun to give the readers out there a little history on this great festivity; currently the seventh largest 10K in the nation. The first race was held on March 12th, 1978 on the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail. Only 800 people were expected for the race, but 3,400 ended up registering. Ben Sargent, the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist created the iconic “Dillo” mascot that still remains today. In March of 1981, Tracey Wong became the first woman finisher with a time of 36:34. That’s an average pace of six minutes per mile! In 1984, two runners married fifteen minutes before the race at the start line and ran in full wedding attire through the finish line. Governor Bush, who later went on to become President, ran his first Cap 10K in 1996. In 2012 the run celebrated its 35th anniversary and local, Scott MacPherson, won for the second year in a row with a time of 29:51. That’s less than five minutes per mile!! (I don’t know about you, but I’m lucky to get around a 10-15 minute mile, meaning this MacPherson guy could probably run the race twice in the time it takes me to get across the finish line). As the years have passed, the Capitol 10K continues to break records in attendance, and currently brings in over 20,000 participants. Every year they raise money to donate to local charities. In 2009, they donated over $145,000 to Meals on Wheels. But that’s not the only thing that makes this race such a rewarding experience. Gathering with 20,000+ strangers, many of whom are adorned in outrageous outfits for the race’s costume contest, to root each other on to finish a 6.2 mile race is such a fun and vibrant event in itself. Plus, the free food samples and massages at the finish line are great perks too! This Sunday, I will join my lovely mother to run yet another Capitol 10K and I can’t wait! Several of my co-workers will also be there, for some of them this will be their first time. Good luck if you’re running, and if you’re not, get your sneakers ready for next year!
Evan Larsen is a senior sales executive at FreightPros and an original Austinite. As a renowned food junky and lake rat, her days are typically spent wakesurfing on Lake Austin, running Town Lake with her dog Callie, or trying out new restaurants around the city with friends and family.
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