In 2019, the Statesman Cap10K had to call off its event due to inclement weather. Then, in 2020, COVID-19 forced the event to once again call off the in-person event and go virtual — then again in 2021. Now, after three years of bad luck, the Cap10K is planning to celebrate the 45th anniversary with an in-person event designed to get Austinites moving together again.
To hear more about the history of the race and what to expect in 2022’s race, AFM sat down with Jeffery Simecek, who has been the race director for the past five years.
JS: The race has evolved a lot over the past 45 years. Each year we try to tackle something that makes the entire event better. A huge focus for us is making sure each runner knows they are part of a larger Cap10K community.
Our goal is simple: put on a great race and post-race festival so that each Cap10K runner, sponsor and partner goes home ready to register for the next year. Little tweaks since I’ve joined include women’s shirts, finisher medals, more race sponsors and partnerships. For 2022, a new version of our Race Ambassador program managed by Chris Thibert, the Cap10K events manager. The Cap10K is really a community-driven event, and we want to make sure we grow it responsibly.
JS: The Cap10K is unique to Austin in that it’s a true community event, a race for everyone — and that includes our elite runners and those who choose to walk. As Austin grows and changes, our focus is to keep the race as local as possible, and I believe that’s a part of its charm. Our mascot has been an armadillo for the past 45 years — what’s more local than that?
On race day, there’s high energy, lots of positivity and, most importantly, competitive fun. Whether a runner’s goal is to win the race, beat a personal best, compete with a team or just cross the finish line, our Cap10K team is there to cheer you on all the way. We’re as proud of the last finisher as we are the race winner.
JS: Beyond! There’s something very special about our Cap10K running community and the support they give to each other and to us. Our team is grateful for that feedback and it challenges us to make sure each and every thing we do is thought-out and well intentioned. The entire team is 300% focused on success.
JS: We launched registration on Cap10K.com on October 1st just like in past years. We know our runners are ready to come back and we’re ready to put on a great race and finish line festival. We hope that on April 10, 2022, we’ll all be in a different place regarding the pandemic. But we’re also planning scenarios and work-around solutions to make sure we keep our runners as safe as possible. And of course that means a safety plan that we’ll submit to the City of Austin that outlines our safety plans and protocol.
We’re in the process now of planning and focusing on the details for 2022 including the race and field layout of the finish line festival. We’re excited for 2022; it’s the first time in the race’s history that we will offer a prize purse for the top three winners in the men’s and women’s category. That also includes a new Winner’s Circle area where all runners can celebrate their finish.
JS: Watch for new training and social runs to be announced this fall, including our popular Cap10K Coffee House series. Our Race Ambassadors are going to help socialize the race in Central Texas. They are all local runners and have a passion for helping others succeed. They’ve committed to making sure the Cap10K retains its largest 10K in Texas rank.
JS: The Austin American-Statesman believes in giving back to the community and that is a fundamental core belief we practice each day. The Statesman Cap10K is no different. We believe in supporting local efforts to improve the quality of life for all of us who live here.
The Cap10K team is incredibly proud to name The Mike & Sherry Project as the 2022 race beneficiary. The good work they do to support workers in the restaurant, beverage and hospitality industry will strengthen the physical and mental health and wellness of our community. We’re privileged to do our part to help make a difference.