That’s me, posing with an unidentified runner, at the 2018 Moonlight Margarita Run. This year’s race is going virtual. Photo from 2018 race by Chris LeBlanc

The Trail Foundation’s biggest fund-raiser of the year, the Maudie’s Moonlight Margarita Run, is going virtual.

That means you can run the 5K race on your own time, wherever you want. The party half of the event will take place in October, and everyone who registers and runs the virtual race now will get a couple of free drinks then.
“Apart but together we can still celebrate the Trail while keeping our city safe,” said Heidi Anderson, director of The Trail Foundation, a non-profit organization that works to maintain and improve the beloved 10-mile Butler Hike and Bike Trail around Lady Bird Lake. “The Trail Foundation is grateful to everyone who is registering and supporting our efforts to ensure the Trail is in the best condition possible, even during these unprecedented times.”
These unprecedented times, in case you haven’t heard, have meant a temporary conversion of the Butler Trail to a one-way route. People are discouraged from using the trail at all right now, because it’s difficult to maintain a 6-foot social distance on narrow stretches of the pathway, but asked to travel clockwise if they choose to do so.
“The trail, at the Austin Parks and Recreation Department’s direction, will remain one-way at least through the end of May, and then they will re-evaluate,” Anderson said. “Our counters actually show that the majority of folks are complying. Depending on the day, between 75 and 85 percent of folks are moving clockwise.”
In the meantime, the one-way signs that were put up a few weeks ago are still disappearing. Another round of signs to replace them will go up today and Thursday. (Seriously, folks. Leave the signs alone. It’s a waste for the foundation to use its donations to keep replacing signs torn down, thrown away or swiped as souvenirs.)
As for the race, once you register online at, the foundation will send you links to create a virtual bib and submit your results. Everyone who signs up gets a T-shirt, and the first 700 will get a $10 Maudie’s Tex-Mex gift card.
You can run or walk any route you choose – on road, trail, treadmill or track – as many times as you want between June 4 (that’s the day after Global Running Day) and July 4. Send in your best time to compete against other virtual participants.
I try to do the race every year. I love the combination of fun and food, and the festive, outdoor atmosphere. I hope to see you at the October party.

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