Registration is open for the Austin community’s annual 5K run/walk, scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 25.
This year’s event, the first in two years because the 2020 race was canceled due to COVID, will put the spotlight on breast cancer by honoring Austin resident Kim Strongs, a mother of two who was married to her high school sweetheart. She died just six months after being diagnosed.
Her family and friends will be participating in the 3.1-mile run/walk, which starts at Chicago and Mayfield avenues. Organizers hope to register more than the 600-some people who took part in the 2019 5K. A mobile truck will be available on race day for on-site mammograms.
Volunteers are needed to help plan next month’s event as well as assist on the day of. Weekly hour-long meetings are being held at 10 a.m. on Wednesdays in the 15th Police District community room, 5701 W. Madison St.
“That day is a lot of work, but it’s a lot of love,” said Malcolm Crawford, executive director of the Austin African American Business Networking Association, who’s led planning of the race since it launched in 2015.
“This 5K gives us a chance to change the narrative of our community, he said.
Crawford’s best memories in Austin are associated with the Austin P.O.W.E.R. 5K. He remembers the first year one woman in her 80s started the walk late but was determined to finish, saying, “I just want to walk for my community.” The community was waiting for her at the end, Crawford said.
The 15th District’s Tim Brown said the 5K “has really created a platform for people in the community – particularly organizations in the community – to work together who typically haven’t worked together.”
And that’s helped police working in areas like Austin that are prone to violence, he said.
“The 5K brings us together and takes down walls.”
Steve Epting, senior pastor at Hope Community Church, urges residents to organize teams to participate, noting, “You don’t have to run. You can walk it. … Bring your organization, bring your block club.”
Past participants have included then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me! host Peter Sagal and state Rep. La Shawn Ford.
Registration is $35 per person and includes a finisher’s medal and T-shirt. Register here.