Former Austin Marathon race director John Conley snapped this shot of Natalie talking with Statesman Sports correspondent Brom Hoban after winning a 10K race in 1995. Zilker Relays founder Paul Perrone is at right.

Ever wonder what some of the past Capitol 10,000 winners are up to? How about the official course record holder,  Natalie Nalepa Linam?

Natalie’s been an amazing runner since her high school  days At Madison High in San Antonio, when  she won  the 3200 meters at the UIL State Championship.  She went on to be a track and cross-country star at Baylor University where she blazed new records in cross country, indoor and outdoor track. A five-time NCAA All-American Linam won five Southwest Conference championships in the middle-distance track events: the indoor mile and  3,000 meters, along with the outdoor 1500, 3,000 and 5,000.

 But back to the Cap 10. In1997 Linam sped to a 33:43, course record. If you look at the list of historic Cap 10 winners through the years, you’ll notice an asterisk next to Linam’s name. That’s because she owns the official women’s record for the race. Prior to that year, the course was not certified.

It was chilly but sunny,” recalls Linam, who was 29 at the time. “It was an ideal day. In the year before that race, I was getting ready to run in the 1996 Olympic trials, but I’d had some ongoing heel injuries,” she said. “So the Cap 10 was my first race back. I felt really good and just felt so grateful to be out there running.”

Linam went on to compete internationally and the San Antonio native was inducted into the San Antonio Sports Hall of Fame in 2022. A true good-hearted person, Linam has spent her career in healthcare, first as a long-term care nurse, and later in trauma/orthopedics. She’s currently a neonatal nurse within the Seton Healthcare Network.

Now 54, Linam continues to seek self-improvement,  and is working to earn a master’s degree as a family nurse practitioner, due to be complete in 2025. And while she no longer competes, she still runs a solid 35-40 miles a week.

Upcoming Races: Saturday, March 16 at 9:00 a.m., the Pot of Gold 5K/10K at Southwestern University, Georgetown. Saturday, March 23 at 8:00 a.m., the Chapa 5K at Chapa Middle School.