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June 2007, Volume 5, Number 6
Running for Bats

It’s no secret that Austin, Texas, residents have embraced the bat colony that spends its summers under the downtown Congress Avenue Bridge. The 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats have become a symbol of what makes the city unique and a source of pride for Austinites.
Nowhere is that more evident than in the streets of downtown, where hotels display bat logos, a prominent street sculpture depicts a bat in flight and hundreds of people line up each summer night to witness wildlife in an urban setting as the bridge bats emerge to eat up to 20,000 pounds of pesky insects.
Another big part of Austin’s downtown scene is its runners. Ranked by Men’s Fitness as one of the nation’s Top 25 Fittest Cities in 2006, Austin takes healthy living very seriously. So it’s no surprise that these two beloved downtown fixtures – bats and runners – will come together for their mutual benefit.
The Austin Bat Run Family 5k/1k Walk takes off at 7 p.m. Friday, July 13, at the Radisson Hotel and Suites near the north end of the Congress Avenue Bridge.
Started in 2006 by RunTex and Bat Conservation International, the Bat Run Family 5k is a celebration of – and a benefit for – the bats that call Austin home. Last year, nearly 500 participants, including Texas Governor Rick Perry, ran to support Austin’s furry friends. This year we hope to more than double the number of participants and hope you’ll consider joining us. A portion of the proceeds go to Austin-based Bat Conservation International.
Registration is $20 for adults and $10 for kids. That includes one of the coolest T-shirts you’ll ever own, plus admission to an after-run party at the Radisson hotel with free food, beverages and entertainment by Rotel and the Hot Tomatoes. Register online at www.runtex.com.
Bring friends and family and don’t hesitate to wear that old Batman costume from Halloweens of yore – you won’t be the only caped crusader on the road.
The Bat Run is produced by RunTex and the RunTex Foundation, with generous support from Austin Subaru, Subaru, Larabar, HEB, Coke, Radisson Hotels and Suites, Frost Bank and Bat City Awards. 
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If you’d like to volunteer to help with the Bat Run, please contact Sarah at run@batcon.org

All articles in this issue:
Running for Bats
It’s no secret that Austin, Texas, residents have embraced the bat colony that spends its summers under the downtown Congress ...

Bats in the House
BCI receives more requests for public information about bats that have slipped into homes and other buildings than any other ...

Bats in the News
Most people assume that bats fly much as birds do, by flapping fairly rigid, airplane-style wings. Now, BBC News reports, ...

Unless otherwise noted, all images are copyright ©Merlin D. Tuttle and/or ©Bat Conservation International