Keep Austin Weird Celebrates Austin’s Unique Character

Posted by Crystal Olenbush on Friday, July 11th, 2008 at 8:48pm.

The sixth annual Keep Austin Weird 5k recently took place, and it was certainly a grand celebration and tribute to the weirdness of the city that was enjoyed by many.  In fact, according to, 3,000 runners participated in the mini-marathon and they were decked out in a wide variety of fun, interesting and, well, weird costumes.

Despite the 100 degree heat, the runners came out to Auditorium Shores to let loose and have a little fun.  Of course, there were some serious competitors as well. One of these was this year’s winner, Derek Yorek, who wore nothing but a race bib and a green Speedo.

Yorek, whose best 5k time is 14:22, was on his way to completing the run at under 15 minutes once again until a spectator got in his way.

"This lady jumped out right on the course, and I just about ran right into her," Yorek said. "I came to a complete stop. Sure, I wanted to pop a fast one today, but when that happened ... I didn't need to push any more. I mean, it's 100 degrees."

He still managed to finish with a 15:01 time and the win.  Yorek is also a triathlete, but had to temporarily stop swimming after breaking a collarbone this spring in a bicycle accident.  He plans to also compete in the Peachtree 10k in Atlanta where he will make the weird citizens of Austin proud.

Of course, there were plenty of participants that were more interested in the weird aspect of the 5k than the competitive side.  As a result, spectators were treated to seeing one runner on stilts as well as a number of other interesting costumes.  Even one local band that performed at the event, Feeding 5000, included one band member dressed in a Viking costume, one in a pink and purple striped dress, and another in a white dress reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe.

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