The serious runners coming to compete in Austin include Kenyans Sammy Ng'eno, Naomi Wangui, David Njuguna, Grace Njoki, Ben Kapsoiya, Simon Sawe, Sammy Nyamongo, Vincent Temu, Paul Mwangi, Kibet Cherop, and Simon Karori; American Laura Baker; Burundian Gilbert Tuhabonye; and Moroccan Elarbi Khattabi.
Marking the Twentieth Schlotzsky's® Deli Coca-Cola® Bun Run® 5K and Family Fun Run is a new, faster race course and the race's biggest prize purse for competitive runners ever—cash prizes and speed incentives totaling $20,000. Two new prize categories have just been added for Austin runners: The top local male and top local female finishers will each receive $1,000.
The serious runners will be sharing the roadways with fun runners, walkers, and the families with strollers and pets that have made the Bun Run 5K their own springtime tradition. For this year's race, sixteen visually impaired runners will partner with sighted runners of Running Eyes for the Blind, a support network of volunteers who act as guides for a variety of athletic events. The group chose this race as its first public event.
``Schlotzsky's hopes that their joining the Bun Run brings the Austin community and other cities an awareness of this new program and the new opportunities it promises for blind and visually impaired runners,'' said John C. Wooley, president and CEO of Schlotzsky's Inc.
In addition to a special edition of the long-sleeve white race T-shirt for participants that has become a Bun Run signature, a short-sleeve tie-dye T-shirt (available in limited supply) was created to further commemorate the occasion.
While the design of the race T-shirt changes annually, the Bun Run's beneficiary remains the same. Since it began in 1982, Austin Sunshine Camps, a program of the Young Men's Business League, has received more than $1 million. Last year, almost 5,000 Bun Run entrants helped generate more than $55,000 to fund year-round scholarship, adventure, leadership and team-building programs.
This year's Bun Run Expo at Butler Shores, the southwest corner of South Lamar and Riverside Drive adjacent to the Schlotzsky's® Deli flagship restaurant and the race's start/finish, will feature a race registration area, vendor booths, free food, giveaways and live music by Micky and The Motorcars, the Tony Harrison Band, Cosmic Dust Devils, Lucky Strikes, Master T & the Funky Jam, Shelley King, FarCry, among others. The Expo will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, April 19 and 20. Austin singer-songwriter and multiple Grammy Award winner Shawn Colvin will sing the national anthem before the race on Sunday and serve as celebrity starter. In addition to the cash prizes for competitive runners, Bun Run 5K winners in age-group, wheelchair, K-9, and Clydesdale and Athena divisions will receive awards. Pets on leashes will get limited-edition bandanas. Children in the Kids 1K Fun Run (which starts at 9 a.m.) will receive official race numbers and finisher ribbons.