Attention, Austin area Marathon Kids! Did you know you could be building up your miles, earning stamps on your mileage log for run club credit, and even winning cool prizes, just by attending fun weekend social runs? We’re talking about Austin 10K’r events—free social runs hosted by the staff of the Capitol 10,000, held Saturday mornings for the next couple of months leading up to the big race.
The Statesman Capitol 10,000—or as most Austinites dub it, the Cap10K—is the largest 10K race in the state of Texas. Designed to complement Cap10K runners’ race training, the Austin 10K’r runs are free and open to the public. That means you don’t have to be in training for the Cap10K, or any 10K race, to attend an Austin 10K’r event. In fact, you don’t even have to run; all Austin 10K’r events are both run- and walk-friendly.
All you have to do to get the most out of these free events is RSVP beforehand on Eventbrite (so the event hosts can plan their supplies), and then show up, go at your own pace and enjoy the pride of doing something fun that’s also great for your health.
Special Routes and Stamps for Marathon Kids
Runners who are active with Marathon Kids at their school can collect a Cap10K Armadillo participation stamp on their mileage logs for each Austin 10K’r run they participate in, to bring back to their run club coaches for mileage credit. Each Austin 10K’r event will also have a Marathon Kids family one-mile route and map for those who don’t want to cover the full mileage.
A representative from Marathon Kids will be present at each Austin 10K’r event to give high-fives and hand out ’Dillo Stamps. The more events you attend and stamps you collect, the more prizes you can win, including a Marathon Kids training tee shirt, a Marathon Kids drawstring bag, or even a $25 Nike gift card. Wow! (Please note that prizes are not guaranteed; they will be available in limited quantities and awarded on a first-come, first-served basis at the final run at the end of March.)
What’s the Next Austin 10K’r Route and Theme?
The next Austin 10K’r will be the Moonlight Tower Run on Saturday, February 1. Runners will meet at the Austin American-Statesman’s main warehouse, on South Congress Avenue just south of the river, for a pre-run stretch at 7:50 a.m. The group will leave at 8:10 a.m. on a route that passes three of the city’s remaining moonlight towers, which have been a special and beloved part of the local skyline since the 1890s.
Complimentary refreshments will be available before and after the run, including Clif Bars, hot chocolate and Dasani bottled water; participants can also stick around for some post-run group stretches. Be sure to check the Feb. 1 event page for special travel and parking instructions.
Most, but not all, of the Austin 10K’r runs will begin and end at the Statesman offices, and parking for the runs is always free. The runs vary in distance each weekend from three to six miles, and all are self-guided as well as self-paced. Run themes and locations vary from week to week; the Valentine’s-themed run on Saturday, February 8, for example, will meet up at the Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Pflugerville and snake through the Falcon Pointe neighborhood. Check out the full schedule on the Austin 10K’r site, and always be sure to RSVP in advance as well as check the individual event pages for any special instructions regarding road closures or weather advisory information.