Reason #11 Why We Love Austin…

There are lots of reasons why Blairfield Realty (and much of the general population, from the looks of it) thinks Austin is a great place to live. Austin consistently ranks high on various quality of life indices, and in fact, the American College of Sports Medicine ranked it number 11 on this year’s list of America’s fittest cities. What’s more, it seems that a brand new generation of Austinites is poised to carry the torch for years to come.

A large group of fourth through sixth graders at Barton Hills Elementary recently joined the newly established 100-mile Running Club. Designed to challenge and inspire young athletes, the purpose of the club is simple: to use running to help young people stay active and work toward setting and achieving goals. During recess and scheduled training sessions, students meet and run, keeping track of their mileage with the purpose of staying fit and ultimately logging 100 miles on the track.

IMG_5025This week, they were lucky enough to have a celebrity in their midst. Gilbert Tuhabonye, owner/founder of Gilbert’s Gazelles, one of Austin’s largest training groups, spoke to the students about the joy of running and the friendships that he forged as a young runner with his classmates in Burundi, Africa. There’s a lot more to his story, which he wrote about in his book, This Voice in My Heart: A Genocide Survivor’s Story of Escape, Faith, and Forgiveness (HarperCollins Publishing, 2006), but suffice it to say that he knows about suffering, and he is dedicated to giving back. The Gazelle Foundation not only helps people in Burundi by building clean water systems in the country, but it also empowers Central Texas youth through water education. One of the foundation’s major fundraisers, the Run for the Water race, is taking place on Sunday, October 27.

Did we mention another thing we like about Austin? The community spirit of its residents. To thank Gilbert for sharing his inspirational message with them, kids from the Barton Hills 100-mile Running Club organized a “penny drive” to benefit the Gazelle Foundation. They presented the coins they collected in water jugs to symbolize the work Gilbert is doing both in Austin and halfway across the world.

For more information about the upcoming Race for the Water, visit http://www.gazellefoundation.com/runforthewater/.