Early Bird Gets the Worm — or a Taco

5K Supports PCMA Education Foundation, Fitness, and Fun


Everyone has heard of a turkey trot, but what about a taco trot? Yesterday morning, as most Convening Leaders attendees were sleeping in after Monday night’s Party With a Purpose, more than 200 people ran the streets of downtown Austin for a good cause and a breakfast taco — one of the city’s staples.

The Taco Trot Fun Run/Walk 5K benefited the PCMA Education Foundation, whose mission is to support PCMA and the business-events community through industry research, education, and scholarships. Over the years, PCMA has selected a new theme to appeal to rookie and returning runners alike.

PCMA partnered with local Austin running retailer Luke’s Locker on the 5K. Participants began at the Radisson Hotel & Suites Austin Downtown and ran or walked part of the Butler Trail along the Colorado River. The early risers got to watch the sun come up as they finished the course while crossing Congress Bridge and rounding the bend back to the Radisson.

Rachel Riggs, sales manager for the Vancouver Convention & Visitors Bureau, helped plan this year’s event and led the pre-run warm-up. She was part of the Health and Wellness Committee for PCMA Convening Leaders 2016, and felt energized to again play a role. “I’m very passionate about health and fitness,” Riggs said. “We have a corporate social responsibility as an industry association to see people healthy, happy, and giving back.”

Attendees didn’t have to lace up too tightly, though, as everyone who participated was pronounced a winner. And instead of medals, it seemed like a natural decision to offer breakfast tacos as a reward.

Runners Jamie Murdock, vice president of sales for Experient, and Christopher Marilley, director of sales for Tourisme Montréal, were among the first runners to finish. Murdock’s motivation was personal: “I do it to see the landscape of the city, and be one of the locals. And it goes to the Foundation, which I like to support.”

“It really is a fun run,” Marilley said. “It’s fun to get up in the morning and see a lot of people you might not see in the conference. There’s always a group of runners that we see every year, and it’s great to catch up — even at 6 a.m.”

If you weren’t able to join in the fun in Austin, look out for other upcoming fitness events. Details will be announced soon for a memorable activity at the 2017 PCMA Education Conference in New York City on June 11–14.