April 6, 2014

By Lisa Ogle
Statesman Content Marketing

Only a few dozen people have finished the Statesman Capitol 10,000 every year since the inaugural race in 1978, which drew a mere 3,400 participants. And Austinite Gerre Boardman is one of only two women in that select group.
“At first, I didn’t know anyone else who had done the race every year,” she said. “I knew there had to be others, but I didn’t have any way of finding them. I think it was the 25th year when the newspaper helped us all find each other. We’ve had a website since then and can communicate easily.”
She’s now in touch with Debbie Norman, the other female “Never Missed” group member, but it’s been a personal triumph to continue the tradition each year of doing the Capitol 10,000, the largest such race in Texas and one of the top 10 in the nation. The 37th annual Capitol 10,000 will take place April 6 in downtown Austin, with registration and details available at www.cap10k.com.

“I started running in 1969. I ran one or two miles, several times a week,” Boardman said. “The advertisement in the newspaper about the first Capitol 10,000 inspired me to try to run 6.2 miles. I only ran five miles in training runs before the first Cap 10. I was so happy and thrilled after that first race that I have continued the tradition every year since.”
A few new things have been added for this year’s Cap 10K, which has been organized to be more of a race weekend experience. Palmer Events Center is the hub, and it’s easier than ever for families to join in the fun. You can park at Palmer on Saturday, April 5, take the kids to Butler Park for the Cap Kids one-mile challenge, return to Palmer to explore the Health & Fitness Expo and pick up your race packet, and then come back Sunday for the race. Also new this year is the Finish Line Festival, which will include live music, free massages, freebies, food and the awards ceremony.

The Cap 10K was Boardman’s first race, and her previous running experience had been around the Crockett High School track and her neighborhood of Cherry Creek in Southwest Austin.
“That first morning of the Capitol 10,000, runners were everywhere,” she said. “I had never seen anything like it. The excitement of streaming down Congress Avenue and then around the (Lady Bird Lake) hike-and-bike trail – a place I’d never run before – was just incredible. So I’ve been pretty much wanting to be there every year since.”
She doesn’t really change up her training before the race, but her usual routine involves running four times a week, with a longer run at the lake on Saturday mornings.
“This time of year, I add a little distance to my longer runs,” she said. “This year, however, I decided to try something new. Every other week, I’ve been running the Capitol 10,000 course.”
And with all that experience, she offers some advice for first-timers: “Start slow. The first miles have lots of hills. Congress Avenue looks flat, but it isn’t – it’s going up. Try to stay steady through that part, and I think you will feel better later. Drink plenty of water, but (don’t) overdo.” Boardman said GU energy packets seem to help, too.
“I never use them any other time, but I think they may help maintain your energy level,” she said. “I plan on having one packet right before the race starts and then another about halfway through.”

And while you’re in town, Boardman suggests checking out the Sweetish Hill Bakery & Cafe on West Sixth Street. “I go there every Saturday morning after my run for coffee, eggs and a sweet roll,” she said. “The hike-and-bike trail and Sweetish Hill Bakery are longtime favorites of mine.”