Posts tagged ‘5K’

August 3, 2010

Drinking for a Cause: Moonlight Margarita Run

At 8:00 on Thursday evening, August 5, approximately 1,000 people will get together in the gathering dusk to run 3.2 miles along Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin. With the sticky air searing their lungs and scorching asphalt blistering their feet, they’ll line up for this 5k dash with one goal in mind: an ice cold margarita greeting them at the finish line.

That seems like a lot of work for a margarita. Of course there is more to it. This 5k raises money for The Trail Foundation, the venerable organization whose mission is to protect and enhance the Trail at Lady Bird Lake. In particular, the Moonlight Margarita Run will raise money to improve the popular gathering spot known as The Rock, under the MoPac bridge adjacent to Austin High School. Now that’s worth a run on a hot summer night.

The slogan: “There are plenty of chances to run on the Trail, but only one chance to run for it.”

Following the run, there will be a swanky gala under the stars on the great lawn of the American Legion Hall. Maudie’s Tex Mex will provide the food and requisite margaritas. Luke Olson will entertain the runners with his Texas-styled songs. Amy’s Ice Cream will debut a new flavor to commemorate the opening of Maudie’s sixth restaurant in the Hill Country. Now its starting to sound like its worth the silly run in the heat for all of this.

This is the sixth year for the event and organizers hope to raise $60,000 through event fees and sponsorship. Trail Foundation Executive Director, Susan Rankin, tells me that event sponsors make the Moonlight Margarita Run a success. Long-term sponsors like Freescale, Roger Beasley Mazda, LRCA, HEB, Run Tex and Whole Foods get behind it because they see the value of the Trail at Lady Bird Lake to Austin and to their employees. While many of us see the trail as the city’s living room and its athletic training center, some sponsors see it as a lure to recruit top talent to Austin.

Maudie’s Tex Mex has been the title sponsor for five years now. Maudie’s owner, Joe Draker, thinks of his time on the trail as a way to connect with the city and to keep values in check. A walk along the lake reinforces a conscious lifestyle, a connectedness with the environment and the passion to preserve it. He sees the Moonlight Margarita Run as an excellent way to help maintain this jewel of Austin. Joe was a long-time family friend of Roberta Crenshaw, the Austin philanthropist responsible for donating much of the land surrounding Lady Bird Lake. Lady Bird Johnson helped raise awareness and funds to beautify the like, but it was Crenshaw that established the trail and spearheaded the construction of the pedestrian bridge at The Rock. That relationship and Joe’s experiences on the trail running and walking his dogs over the years have cemented a deep passion for it.

Susan Rankin and Race Director, Katie Moran, graciously took a little time away from a registration happy hour to talk with me. Here is what they had to say.

There are a lot of experiences in life that go well with a cold drink. I can’t think of a better way to spend my Thursday night than running with 1,000 friends to support The Trail Foundation. And, yeah, having a margarita or two. Come out and join me.