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    Meet the Bix 7 Racer

    The Bix 7 is back: One of the Midwest's largest, most prestigious non-marathon running events! The 7-mile dash through downtown Davenport is expected to draw thousands of runners to the area for the weekend of July 24-26, with the race scheduled to start on July 25 at 8 a.m., it’s an ideal way to celebrate the summer, and a great way to get in shape!

    The Bix 7 has been a fixture on the U.S. running calendar since it was first held back in 1975. That was when Iowa resident Jim Hudetz, who had run the Boston Marathon in 1974, decided to bring a big-time running race to the Quad Cities. Only it wasn’t so big at the start, as just 84 runners competed in the first race.

    The game-changer came in 1980, after the U.S. had decided to boycott the summer Olympics in Russia. At that point, Bill Rodgers, a record-breaking distance runner with four Boston titles to his credit, decided to set his sights on Middle America, instead of Moscow, and entered the Bix. The excitement of Rodgers running in the Bix 7 helped catapult the Iowa road race to the upper echelon of running events in this country. This is what helped the Bix race go from 84 runners the first year, to thousands of people expected at the 41st race this year.

    It’s a competitive race because the first place finisher will receive $12,500. The “Beat the Elite” contest, sponsored by us, the Isle® Casino Bettendorf, is also very exciting. Here, one “regular” racer, whose name is drawn at random, has the chance to battle against the best overall runners, but with a small head start. If the contestant does manage to hold off the overall Bix 7 winner, he will win $2,500!

    This year the “Beat the Elite” Runner is Travis Allen, and we have asked him a few questions about running and the Bix race!

    Q) What is your favorite part about running?
    A) My favorite part about running is the physical activity and working up a sweat (and I sweat a lot). It is a great release from the day to day for me to get the blood and adrenaline pumping.

    Q) A lot of runners say once they start running, they get addicted and can’t stop. Has this been true for you? When did this start for you?
    A) I would say there is truth to this for me and my relationship with running. I played spots growing up; lacrosse, football, basketball, swimming, but never did any track or cross country. When I was about 28 years old I started running and have stuck with it since then.

    Q) What makes you most excited about the Bix 7 race?
    A) This is my seventh summer in the Quad Cities since relocating my family here from the Washington DC area for my career. I have run the Bix each year except for one when we were out of town. The Bix is such a great event in the Quad Cities community that really showcases some of the best the Quad Cities has to offer. To think a community of our size has a race that brings in 15,000-20,000 runners, including elites and icons such as Meb and Joan Benoit Samuelson is exciting every year, but certainly for me this year more than ever.

    Q) What is your training like for running? How many miles do you run a week? Do you do other exercises other than running?
    A) I run 3-4 times each week and probably get in 15-20 miles weekly. I started running trails earlier this year with the Quad Cities Trail and Ultra Runners which has been a great experience with a wonderful mix of runners and given some variety to my runs. My family also just adopted a black lab mix puppy named Opal, who is active and I run with a few times each week before work.

    Q) A lot of people don’t realize how quickly runners wear their running shoes out. How many new pairs of running shoes do you get a year?
    A) I probably go through 2-3 pairs of shoes each year. My daughters Avery and Emma usually give me new pairs for my birthday and Father's Day.

    Q) Some people have a hard time motivating themselves to run, or start working out. If you could give someone motivational advise on how to start training, what would it be?
    A) Just get out there and move. Get active. Join a running group in your community-they are very welcoming and supportive. The Quad Cities is a great town for runners with amazing running groups in the Cornbelt Running Club and Quad Cities Trail and Ultra Runners. Find one you like, pick a few weekly runs and work that into your weekly schedule.

    The Isle is the official hotel of the 2015 Bix 7, backed by more than 500 rooms and a full range of gaming, dining and entertainment opportunities. That means you don’t have to pound the pavement to enjoy a winning weekend during the race, but can try your hand at slots, video poker, table games, and more.

    If you’ve worked up a big appetite from the race, you can refuel at one of our great restaurants like, Farraddays’®, Calypso’s® or Tradewinds®! We have a lot of great seafood specials going on because of our Seafood Takeover promotion as well. So run your way to the Isle and enjoy some crab legs!

    It’s all in the mix during the Bix, so check it out!

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