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Cap10 Countdown: Some fun facts

Staff Writer
Austin 360

There are seven weeks left until the Statesman Capitol 10,000 on March 25. If you'd like to impress your running buddies with some fast facts about the race's rich 35-year history, read on.

This week: Fun facts

1.The first race sounded its starting horn on March 12, 1978, with 3,400 runners.

2.The largest race was 28,341 strong on March 29, 1987.

3.There are 39 people who have participated in the race since 1978.

4. The race mascot is the armadillo, which was drawn by Pulitzer Prize winner Ben Sargent.

5. The fastest woman to ever run the race is Natalie Nalepa, finishing in 33:43.

6. The fastest man to ever run the race is Nicodemus Malakwen, finishing in 29:42.

7. The race has committed $2.5 million to local Austin charities. This year's beneficiary is Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas.

8. Favorite race costumes include the American-Statesman newspaper, Luke Skywalker with Yoda on his back, an armadillo and the University of Texas Tower.

9. While local celebrities run the race annually, we can boast that a former United States president has been a participant. Former President George W. Bush ran it while serving as governor of Texas.

10. Sidney Smith was the oldest participant to cross the finish line. He began running the race in 1982 at the age of 72 and completed it each year until 98. He passed away one month short of his 101st birthday in 2011.

Look for more Capitol 10,000 facts and tips every week in Venture Out. Register today at cap10k.com.

— Mercedes E. Orten, event coordinator