AUSTIN (KXAN) — Avid runners have a knack for discovering the best nature paths and scenic city streets Austin has to offer. This weekend runners of all skill levels can get both at the Trail of Lights Fun Run.
One of the groups hitting the two-mile trail are middle school students from the Boneshaker Project, a non-profit organization that launches run clubs in Austin middle schools. Twice a week, Boneshaker coaches teach more than 300 students how to run long and short courses, said Alex Ecenia, the program’s spokeswoman.
“We definitely are trying to instill it as a way of life, rather than an after school program,” Ecenia said. “It’s not just about running it’s about conditioning your body for a healthy lifestyle.”
One of the students in the program is Rayven Hatch, an eighth-grader at Bertha Sadler Means Young Women’s Leadership Academy in Austin. She joined a few months ago.
“When I’m on the field, everything is let out and I have nothing else to worry about,” Rayven said.
Over the school year, Boneshaker coaches teach students how to complete a 10K, which is a six-mile run. The group decided to take on the Fun Run on Saturday to introduce the Zilker Park trail to students.
“It’s at night. It’s super different. It’s a new way to expose kids to Zilker Park,” Ecenia said. “Getting kids excited about running is number one.”
Ecenia also said the program brings more exercise to middle schoolers at a time when many of them are not active enough. And, Boneshaker coaches say running courses in a group allows for more motivation.
“I like it when they cheer us on and they’re all screaming,” said Bertha Means Sadler sixth-grader Jimena Jimenez, who has completed a few races so far.
This is Fun Run’s sixth year. And, Wave One, which begins at 6:30 p.m., is sold out. Tickets are still available for Wave Two.
KXAN is a proud sponsor of the Trail of Lights.