Team FX makes Austin Marathon a giving event

Written by Antwon R. Martin

People are literally racing to give to Austin Children’s Shelter. The Austin Marathon and Half Marathon are nearly six months away, but Team FX is already gearing up for the Feb. 19 run.

The Team FX training group is currently in their regular registration period for the 2017 races. If you’d like to sign up, act now! Regular registration ends Aug. 27.

About Team FX

Since volunteer Coach Gary Walker started Team FX in fall of 2005, the group has raised more than $300,000 for ACS and has seen 248 team members join the cause. This year, Walker was awarded the 2016 David Doolittle Memorial Cup – the marathon’s highest honor.

Although Team FX has been around nearly 11 years, the idea really started more than three decades ago with the life and work of Walker’s relative, Eve Nixon. At the age of 23, Nixon parented a foster home with her husband, Lewis. The couple raised two of their own kids while, at times, caring for as many as five foster children – many harboring tragic stories of abuse and neglect.

Nixon drowned during a family outing in 1983 and the foster home was shuttered not long after.

Ahead of the 2006 Austin Marathon, Walker, who at the time owned the Austin visual effects studio TexFX, set out to assemble a team of like-minded colleagues in the local film community to train. Walker chose ACS as the recipient of funds raised.

During that first year, they raised $8,900 for the children’s shelter. Walker started out by training 13 people, seven of whom finished the marathon. In 2016, everyone who trained with Team FX completed their races.

The training group offers a couch to race training program designed to get runners and walkers at any level ready to finish the Austin Marathon and Half Marathon.  At the same time, the group generates awareness and raises funds to help end the cycle of child abuse and neglect in our community.

Severity of Child Abuse in Texas

Texas Department of Family & Protective Services tells us that last year alone, Texas saw:

  • 66,721 confirmed victims of child abuse and neglect.
  • 8,127 confirmed victims of child abuse and neglect in Region 7, Austin.
  • 171 confirmed child deaths caused by abuse and neglect, 20 more than in 2014.

On top of that, about 80% of young adults who were abused as children met the criteria for at least one psychiatric disorder at age 21, the according to the Child Welfare Information Gateway. Disorders include depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and suicide attempts.

These are the exact statistics SAFE and ACS are working to remedy. Through an involved community, and with the help of organizations and advocates like Team FX, we can stop abuse for everyone.

Joining Team FX

Runners who join Team FX commit to raising $750 ($1,200 for couples). Proceeds go to ACS.

Through the training group, regular registration for the full marathon is $245 and $210 for the half marathon. If you miss regular registration, late registration continues to September 10. The full marathon for late sign ups is $275 and $240 for the half marathon. Click here to sign up today.

This isn’t just a chance to improve yourself – it’s a chance to improve the world around you.