Thank you to the 150 runners that showed up at the Task Force meeting yesterday

It was pretty amazing to see the room packed. When I got there at 4:30 the city had put out 40 chairs, that didn’t last very long as the room filled up and a whole new section was created. Notes about what was discussed as well as a couple of interviews from people in attendance are on

The meeting in two weeks will be interesting. Some of the task force members brought up a few times that they needed to inform more neighborhood associations so they can voice their concerns. Here are a few of mine from yesterday:

  1. The task force members said this is about events and not just running but I heard “races” 5 to 10 times more than I heard “event” … draw your own conclusion
  2. One of the task force members said “I want to get ahead of it so the presumption the event will go ahead isn’t there”. That didn’t come off to me about working on a solution together but seemed more about trying to prevent events.
  3. The assistant city manager clearly stated that there has been NO direction from anybody in the city that events or races should be reduced. I think that’s good but policies can lead to that even if that isn’t the intent. Case and point, the Go for the Gold 10k, the costs have gone from 10k to 24k for the barricading and coning. How is somebody supposed to deal with that so this time around there was no Go for the Gold. And this is without any regulation change, just how people have all of a sudden decided to “enforce” things.
  4. One of the people presenting (a consultant for events) made a comment that “small event planner” are the issue since they don’t know what’s going on. I differe on that account, the Go for the Gold has been held before, they seemed to just get screwed by stupid rules.
  5. There were also comments that small events may not belong downtown. So that means the Cap10k, the Human Race, etc can go on but the small races for charities can’t occur in the downtown or East Austin area?

I have a lot more notes but this is what I remember off the top of my head. What concerned me wasn’t what was said but the undertone of some of the comments. It was after most people left and the break that this really came out. We need to make sure we keep informing people about the real issues and concerns and that this process doesn’t just cater to a handful for interests.

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