Over 950 runners gathered at the starting line at Victory Plaza, near American Airlines stadium, to race around downtown Dallas for the 5th annual Mavs Foundation Run This Town 5k on September 13.
“It’s been raining so I think everyone’s ready to get out. It’s a perfect day for a race,” the Mavs personal DJ Poison said. “There’s children, older people, everyone literally. It’s probably one of the most diverse crowds.”
Ivy Awino, who goes by DJ Poison, entertained at this event for the last three years. People from all corners of Texas gather at this event every year, but Awino noted this year’s event as one of the most diverse groups he’s seen yet.
“This is my first 5k ever, so I’m definitely excited,” race participant Julio Delgado said. “I heard about this through my friends, they posted it on Twitter and challenged me saying ‘bet you won’t do it’ so I was like I guess I will.”
The Mavs Foundation, established in October 1996, is a private charity associated with the Dallas Mavericks professional basketball team. All of the money raised from the race goes into bettering communities in Texas.
“The Mavs Foundation supports women, children, and youth in North Texas. We do that through grants each year,” foundation team member Hannah Sherertz said. “We also build basketball courts and reading and learning centers for nonprofit organizations.”
The first year of the 5k proved successful by the amount of money raised, thanks to the Mavs impressive season. However, in recent years, the Mavs Foundation has not seen the same turnout.
“There’s a strict correlation between how the teams doing and how fans are reacting,” race director Rosenbaum said. “As ours have gone down, we have been able to maintain around $35,000 each year to the foundation. We are very fortunate for that.”
Rosenbaum started off as assistant race director in 2013 and became the race director two years later.
“It’s been wonderful. It’s a lot of work; any event takes a lot of work. Events like this when you’re required to work with the city is a lot,” Rosenbaum said. “We close down so many streets so it’s kind of a grind. It’s still a fun event, and you get to meet so many people across the city.”
While the goal of the event is to raise money for the foundation, it also acts as a pump-up party for the start of the new Mav’s season.
“This year is the first year we have done a theme. Typically it’s always Mavs Blue, Mavs Everywhere, but this year it’s throwback,” Sherertz said. “For the 5th year we are doing something different. That’s why we have the ’90s clothes with neon colors.”
Runners made their way to Victory Plaza again to conclude the event with the popular afterparty.
“You just worked out so you know, work hard play hard,” Poison said.
Organizers say the Mavs Foundation plans to one-up their number of participants in the years to come by advertising the event better.
“We love doing it, it’s super fun to kind of do something different than basketball and have these fun events for the community that everybody can participate in if they want to,” Sherertz said.