You may think a 6-foot-tall roadrunner might be a little imposing. Scary even. But Trax, the official mascot of the New Mexico Rail Runner Express, is the exact opposite.
“Kids love him. Adults love him. It’s interesting to see how many people want to take selfies with him when he is at an event,” says Allyne Clarke, Marketing Director for the Rio Metro Regional Transit District.
Trax embodies the spirit of Rio Metro – he’s fun, he’s engaging, and he’s approachable.
“When Trax attends events, there’s always one child that just can’t get enough of him,” says Clarke. “They keep coming back because they want another hug.”
What’s in a Name?
A fun, friendly, and approachable persona is exactly what the Rio Metro Marketing Department had in mind when they begun developing a mascot.
“When he was created, we were beginning to do more community outreach,” says Clarke. “To have a mascot attend events was another way to engage the public.”
The first step was holding a naming contest for the new mascot in early 2014. Rio Metro asked the public to submit their suggestions, then took a bracketed approach to narrow down popular names via online voting until a final one was chosen.
Trax made his debut appearance at the Albuquerque Isotopes game in May 2014, where his name was revealed and he threw out the first pitch.
Out and About
In his seven years of existence, Trax has attended hundreds of community events and greeted thousands of people. He is a regular at many recurring events, such as Day of the Tread and Albuquerque Isotopes baseball games. He has attended numerous health and wellness fairs, National Night Outs, and area festivals.
Trax is often asked to help with local fundraisers. The latest one is Rock Your Socks, a virtual 5K benefiting the Ronald McDonald House Charities of New Mexico, which takes place June 12-19, 2022. To help promote the event, Trax donned a pair of knee-high red and white striped socks while jogging and doing push-ups.
While Trax can be spotted at many events in central New Mexico, the idea behind developing the mascot was not just to connect with the community, but also to educate the public about rail safety.
“We’ve developed a full safety presentation, which includes Trax demonstrating some of the elements of rail safety while the presenter is talking about certain things such as how long it takes the train to stop,” says Clarke. “He is incorporated into the presentation so that it’s engaging and educational.”
Do the Twist
Trax enjoys meeting people of all ages. He loves to give high-fives, hugs, fist bumps, and pose for pictures. Another fun fact – Trax loves to dance!
“He has some great dance moves, even with his big feet.” says Clarke. “He’s danced to the YMCA song and Thriller, just to name a few.” The bird’s got some moves.
If you see him at an event, don’t be shy - make sure to come up and say hi!
Find or Schedule an Event
Check out the calendar on the Meet the Mascot page of the Rio Metro website to find out where Trax will be next. He also has a Facebook page.
If you would like to request Trax to appear at your community event, or to schedule a rail safety presentation or storytime, call 505-724-3650 or email email@example.com.
Trax is big and bright, red and yellow – you can’t miss him, just like the Rail Runner. He brings a different level of fun to your event.