By Jeff Simecek, Statesman Cap10K Race Director
On March 12, 1978, Jimmy Carter was president, “Night Fever” by the Bee Gees was dancing at No. 1 and the Statesman Capitol 10,000 was warming up for its first race in Austin. On April 23, 2017, the largest 10K in Texas, presented by Baylor Scott & White Health, will be off to the races for the 40th time.
Past and Present: Keeping It Austin
Like its hometown, the Statesman Cap10K has always been an original. For decades, it has drawn a range of participants: from the elite and fitness-focused to families and those who just wanna have fun—that’s all they really want! Each year, the race is known for its array of clever costumes. The race is also known for its beloved mascot, Dash the ‘Dillo.
In 1978, Statesman editorial cartoonist Ben Sargent was asked to create a mascot for the inaugural race. According to Sargent, he decided upon the armadillo because it was by far the most popular symbol of Austin and its progressive-country scene. Since then, the armadillo has been the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist’s most reproduced drawing. In fact, once he and a cartoonist friend of his were walking in San Diego when they encountered a runner sporting—what else—a Cap10K T-shirt!
Giving Back: Austin Parks Foundation
In addition to the fun and games, the Cap10K has always celebrated and supported community. Over the last four decades, the race has donated millions to local non-profit organizations. This year’s beneficiary is Austin Parks Foundation (APF).
APF’s mission is to connect people to resources and partnerships to develop and improve parks in and around Austin. From volunteer workdays and park activation programming to large capital improvement projects, APF has been at the center of promoting park development, maintenance, accessibility and improvements in Austin and Travis County.
In particular, the Cap10K is inspired by APF’s “People Plus Parks” commitment, ensuring that Austin’s 300-plus parks, trails and green spaces are better for everyone. The organization will receive $1 from every race registration.
Shining Bright: Race Ambassador Leo Manzano
At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Leo Manzano represented the United States and brought home a silver medal in the 1,500 meters. This year, the former Longhorn is representing Austin’s iconic race as the 2017 Cap10K Race Ambassador. Manzano invites all to come out for the 40th, share their joy of running or walking and support a race that makes a positive impact in the community.
Make Your Mark: Experience the 40th
Like the Texas Conference for Women, the Cap10K also offers community and connection, motivation and momentum. The race strives to inspire participants in many ways: whether it’s to achieve a first-time fitness goal, strengthen friend and family bonds, express themselves completely or all of the above! More than 20,000 runners are expected to line up at the base of the Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge overlooking Lady Bird Lake on April 23 for the milestone race. Experience this empowering event in person: Register for the 40th Cap10K.