Statesman Capitol 10,000 Warm-UP

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A Q&A with Race Director, Jeff Simecek

Race director, Jeff Simecek, and Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, Reenie Collins, executive director. (Rodolfo Gonzalez / for Statesman)

For more than four decades, the Statesman Cap10K has been a much loved annual event in Austin. What began in 1978 with 3,400 participants has grown into the largest 10K race in Texas and the sixth largest in the nation. The Cap10K is among The BibRave 100: A Definitive List of the Best Races In America and was voted “Best Road Race” in AFM’s own 2019 annual “Best of” awards.

The Cap10K, presented by Baylor Scott & White Health, will clock its 43rd start on Sunday, April 5. This year, the race beneficiary is the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM). Runners and walkers of all fitness levels are encouraged to register at cap10K.com.

Before participants take their marks this spring, race director Jeff Simecek sat down with AFM to give a 2020 race preview.

AFM: We love that HAMM is this year’s race beneficiary. Tell us about how the partnership will impact this year’s race.

JS: Music plays an essential part in Austin’s cultural landscape. The annual Cap10K simply would not be the same without the local musicians to kick off the race, keep runners going with live bands along the course and help them cool down with music at the Finish Line Festival on Vic Mathias shores. We’re grateful to live and work among these talented artists, and are honored to help support their health and wellness by supporting HAAM.

AFM: What are you most excited about for this year’s race?

JS: After the weather-related cancellation of the 2019 race on April 7, I’m most excited to see the 2020 race actually happen. Our team started planning the 2020 Cap10K on April 8 and we’ve been hard at work on the details ever since; those details and subtle nuances are what make it special. I believe people know we’re sincere and that our focus is on the best customer experience; we want every single participant to leave feeling great about having accomplished their personal goal and ready to sign-up for the next year.

AFM: Where do you see the race in five years?

JS: As Austin continues to grow, my team and I are committed to two things: making it enjoyable and keeping it local. We want our participants — from elite runners to amateur runners and walkers — and sponsors, to really enjoy the Cap10K experience, which focuses on both fitness and fun. Austin is unique, so we want to keep the race unique and not like any other 10K in the city or state. For example, we love that so many of our participants dress up and make the race their own.

AFM: What inspired you to choose local runner Iram J. Leon as your race ambassador? 

JS: I am absolutely thrilled to be connected with a standout runner, leader and person like Iram. After the weather related cancellation last year and our team started to break the race components down, Iram joined in. Without being asked, he showed up and joined us in our work. He’s a natural, giving leader who loves the running community and will do whatever he can to support local running events. I knew then that he would be the perfect choice for our next Cap10K ambassador.

AFM: Any insider tips for race day? Parking secrets or tricky hills to avoid? Give us the scoop.

JS: Our updated website, cap10K.com, is packed with participant information. We know that for any race with thousands of runners, parking can be a challenge. As always, we encourage our registrants to use public transportation or use our partner, SpotHero, to secure parking ahead of race weekend.  Those who drive are advised to visit cap10K.com, go to the “Race Weekend” tab and drop down to “Parking.” For a course description, map and dynamic virtual course tour, go to the “Participants” tab and drop down to “Course Info & Amenities.” We also have a pro tip for packet pickup during race weekend, April 3-4, at the Cap10K Health & Fitness Expo at Palmer Events Center. It’s very busy during the first hour on Friday and Saturday morning. Come later for shorter lines and a great expo experience! Also, a reminder that packet pickup is not available on race day, Sunday, April 5.

We are really looking forward to a great race in 2020. I hope that you join us!

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