AUSTIN - The running community is rallying around RunTex.
RunTex celebrated 25 years in business on Monday but Thursday an eviction notice was stuck on their door. And since that news broke, owner Paul Carrozza says his phone hasn't stopped ringing.
"Today has actually been a little more of a roller coaster emotionally," Carrozza said. "It just reaches up and grabs you occasionally."
Carrozza says the store has marked this corner for 17 years.
"When I started RunTex back in '88, it was a continuation of our lifestyle which was you get up and train, you either go to school or go to work, train again, and on the weekend you show up for a race," he said.
So what better way to fundraise at least $80,000 that he owes on this property than with a race of his own.
"Sort of a celebration of 25 years and hopefully the next 25," Carrozza said.
Details of the "Run for RunTex" are still being worked out but Carrozza says the community is already going above and beyond to help him plan it.
"We've had venue offers for where to have the run, where to have a silent auction, where to have a dinner," he said. "I've had people ask me if I want to move my store into their space."
"I know that Paul is so much more than a shoe store," said local investor Bill LaRosa.
LaRosa is one of many who is offering a hand.
"What he's done for the Austin community, what he's done for health awareness, fitness awareness, is much more pervasive than a shoe," LaRosa said.
RunTex is known for shoes, gear, training groups, and coaches but above all, Carrozza says, the brand is a sense of community. A community that he says won't leave him behind.
"Every two minutes you get a text from someone that's saying 'hang in there, you're going to get through this,'" Carrozza said.
Carrozza is confident he will get through it and he has high hopes that in no time, RunTex will be back up and...well, running.
Carrozza says he has a good relationship with the landlord and is meeting with him again on Monday.
As for the Run for RunTex, he says there are a few big races already on the calendar the next few weeks so that will give them time to plan their own and pick a date.