Last year, Sandy and I ran the 4oth Anniversary Statesman Cap10k. Taking part in the race and festivities during an anniversary year was extra cool… which left us wondering, how would we top that at the 41st Statesman Cap 10k this year? Well, the Cap 10k helped us out by offering finisher medals to us (and 23,000+ of our closest running buddies) for the first time in the 41 year history ofthe race! You’ve set the bar pretty high for next year, Cap 10k.
The Statesman Capitol 10,000 is the largest 10K race in Texas and one of the top 10 (6thtobe precise) in the nation. The 41st running did not fail to impress, although as you will read below, there were a couple hiccups. As always, most everything about this race was top-notch.
The pre-race expo was as expected, very well themed with plenty of free swag! We didn’t even take everything that was offered, and still came home with large bags ‘o’ stuff. Packet pickup was efficient, well laid out and quick (no surprises here). What was a little surprising was the race t-shirt. Sandy and I ordered the same size shirts as last year, knowing that the same brand and shirt style was being used. We are both smaller than we were last year, so we figured worst case the shirt might be a little large. Sadly, we were mistaken. Both shirts were very snug, and compared to last years’ were at least 2″ smaller (laid flat) across the chest and waist. I understand that the race management is not responsible for shirt sizing, but they may want to rethink their vendor choice next year.
As for the race itself, the start was much more orderly this time (of course we were a corral ahead of where we were last year, so I can’t speak to how that went for the corrals behind us). The course is awesome and challenging, but not daunting. My favorite part is running up Congress Ave., beneath the giant American flag, toward the Capitol building… makes me proud to be a part of this tradition. I also love the “King & Queen of The Hill Challenge”, although my reign still awaits. Not that I would be fast enough to win the challenge on a clear course, but being in one of the later corrals pretty much squashes my dream of the throne. This year I had to dodge several people, and even had a few STOP right in front of me (we’ll discuss race etiquette in a future post).
Sadly, I didn’t notice quite as many, or as elaborate costumes this year. Again, this could be due to our corral placement. I did like the guy with the construction crane costume, labeled as “Official Bird of Austin”. If you live in or around Austin you will get it.
I also noticed quite a few more kids doing this race, including a couple large groups from a local school. Kudos to getting these young’ uns involved in some physical activity. I applaud the chaperones who were trying their best to keep them all headed in the right direction. Herding cats comes to mind. Some of the water stops were a little hectic! I’m thinking they will probably do a little pre-race instruction next year. Yikes!
The on-course music seemed to be better planned, or more plentiful this year. I noticed many more of the acts along the course. Maybe they just got tired and left before we passed them last year. Ha!
Photos? Ugh! I got about 4 pics, all from the finish line, and Sandy was once again invisible to the photographers. Our post-race photos had the “finisher” backdrop cut off. I can excuse errors on action shots, but posed still photos? Come on man! Marathon-Photos once again did a less than satisfactory job with this race. You would think with an event of this size, a better choice could be made for race photography. We’ve had much better results at other events, both larger and smaller than this one.
The finish line “funnel” that I spoke of last year, was handled much more effectively this year. There was a wide finish line area, that y’ed into two separate finish gates. This made for a much smoother finish for everyone (but did make it a little difficult to reconnoiter with your running partner… at least for those of us who have trouble with right and left. lol)
The post-race party was a little better experience for us this year. Again, it may have been the fact that we finished quite a bit ahead of where we did last year. Something for slower runners/walkers to keep in mind, the post-race experience will change as it gets later.
This year we did make it in to get our snack (a mysteriously warm banana and chips). We skipped the complimentary sports massage but did partake in the Dronie Experience provided by Drone Dispatch. Fun!
Again this year, we skipped the adult beverage and food truck area. The line to get in was way too long. I believe the issue here is with ID check. I’ve been to other races where adult beverages were offered, and they pre-checked ID’s at the expo. Of-age folks were given a wristband to identify them on race day. This made the process MUCH quicker and took the responsibility out of the hands of the server (who is trying to keep things moving). Just an idea.
It was a solid race for both Sandy and I, with course PR’s all around. Would I do it again? Heck yeah! Lots of runners refer to an Alma-Mater race. I guess if Sandy and I were to have one, this would be it. At least it’s the only race we have done more than once! FYI, next year’s event is on April 7, 2019. See you there!
And don’t forget about the social running group “Austin 10K’r“. This is a great group of folks, and they offer many fun, free, open to the public social runs/walks on great courses in Austin. Some of the runs are targeted to training for particular Austin events (like the Cap 10k) others are totally social… but ALL are fun! Sandy and I ran with this group on Global Running Day last year, and it was great fun (and came with free post-run pizza!). GRD is on June 6 this year. Sadly, we may not get to participate, as we will be on the road back from Dam to Dam in Des Moines, Iowa. You should definitely check out what these awesome folks have going on. Visit their website for more info and a schedule of their upcoming runs.