Austin Gives Miles Smashes Fundraising Goal

The Austin Marathon® presented by NXP is proud to announce that the 2017 Austin Gives Miles program, its Official Charity Program, raised more than $637,000, far surpassing its $500,000 fundraising goal. The 26 Central Texas nonprofit organizations accepted into the program worked tirelessly to exceed the program’s fundraising goal while increasing awareness for their organization and recruiting race day volunteers. Hope4Minds, an organization that supports children with an acquired brain injury, was the highest fundraiser, raising more than $41,000.

“We were honored and thankful to be a part of the 2017 Austin Gives Miles Program,” said Ronda Johnson, Hope4Minds Executive Director. “The money we raised through the program and received from the Moody Foundation will transform the lives of the individuals and families we serve here in Central Texas.”

The money raised significantly impacts Central Texas and the communities the charities serve. For the second year in a row, Austin Gives Miles was the beneficiary of a Moody Foundation grant that matched donations for each organization, up to $10,000. You can review the 2017 Austin Gives Miles charities and their fundraising efforts on the Austin Marathon website.The 2018 Austin Gives Miles application process will open on June 1.

“2017 was a banner year for Austin Gives Miles as we surpassed our fundraising goals, saw new and returning runners committing to their favorite causes, and increased awareness for the AGM program,” said Carly Samuelson, Austin Gives Miles Charity Manager. “I’m excited for 2018 and beyond as we continue to show the running community how we positively impact Central Texas.”

The 2018 Austin Marathon will celebrate its 27th year running in the capital of Texas on February 18, 2018. Austin’s flagship running event annually attracts runners from all 50 states and 20+ countries around the world. With start and finish locations just a few blocks apart, and within walking distance of many downtown hotels and restaurants, the Austin Marathon is the perfect running weekend destination. Participants can register for the marathon, half marathon, or 5K starting on June 1st.

Austin Marathon Makes Donation to Camp Kesem – UT

The Austin Marathon® presented by NXP is proud to present Camp Kesem – University of Texas with a donation of $3,671.25. Camp Kesem is receiving this donation because they won a month-long Austin Gives Miles social media contest that determined Chikage Windler, CBS Austin Chief Meteorologist, would run the marathon on behalf of their organization. Austin Gives Miles is the Official Charity Program of the Austin Marathon. The check presentation will take place on Monday, March 27th, at 10:30 a.m. in front of the Texas State Capitol, near the Austin Marathon finish line.

On February 19, Windler was the final marathoner to begin the Austin Marathon and finished in 926th place. Despite warmer than normal temperatures, the avid runner finished in 4:26:39 and earned $1.25 for every marathoner she passed. Windler was the first female Charity Chaser and was exceptional in her role, lending her platform within the Austin community and increasing awareness for Austin Gives Miles’ efforts.

It’s one thing to run for yourself, but there’s a whole other level of determination when you know every person you pass gets Camp Kesem more money for its programs that help kids deal with a parent’s cancer,” said Windler. “It was hot and it was hilly and the crowd support was fantastic. I am so proud to have #runlikethewindler as the Austin Marathon’s Charity Chaser!”

Camp Kesem at University of Texas at Austin was founded in 2011. They support children affected by a parent’s cancer in the Austin community by providing a week-long summer camp experience and year-round peer support. Camp Kesem at University of Texas at Austin is operated by 75 student volunteers and serves 150 campers aged 6-16. They also offer a CIT (Counselor In Training) program in which campers aged 16-17 can apply for and prepare to become a counselor.

Having Chikage as our Charity Chaser was an amazing experience,” said Carly Samuelson, Austin Gives Miles Program Coordinator. “She took what it means to be a Charity Chaser to the next level not only for Camp Kesem – UT, but for all of Austin Gives Miles.

The 2018 Austin Marathon will celebrate its 27th year running in the capital of Texas on February 18, 2018. Austin’s flagship running event annually attracts runners from all 50 states and 20+ countries around the world. With start and finish locations just a few blocks apart, and within walking distance of many downtown hotels and restaurants, the Austin Marathon is the perfect running weekend destination. Participants can register for the marathon, half marathon, or 5K starting on June 1st.

History Made at the 2017 Austin Marathon

Kayleigh Williamson made history on February 19th at the 2017 Austin Marathon® presented by NXP. She became the first female participant with Down syndrome to complete the Austin half marathon. Despite warmer than normal temperatures, Williamson finished the 13.1-mile course in six hours and 23 minutes. All throughout the course, Kayleigh had thousands of cheering supporters, including a race official and a local police K-9 unit. She approached the finish line in a dead sprint surrounded by her mother, amazing friends, and her RunLab coaches.

Williamson and race official Rod Newlin. Credit RunLab.

“I loved the race and that I was able to race with all of my friends and inspire others,” said Williamson.

Roughly 125,000 participants, spectators, and volunteers enjoyed the 26th annual Austin Marathon, produced by High Five Events. Former Austinite Joe Thorne (2:32:05) and Austinite Allison Macsas (2:48:16) both won the marathon; while South Africa’s Sphamandla Nyembe (1:11:36) and former Austinite Allison Mendez (1:21:42) won the half marathon. FloTrack provided live coverage of the marathon and captured everyone as they crossed the finish line.

Coming back to Austin was wonderful because it holds a special place in my heart,” said Thorne. “Being able to race and win the championship is amazing.”

Second and third place in the marathon for the men went to Daniel Bishop of Salt Lake City (2:33:02) and former Austinite Jared Carson (2:35:11). Central Park Track Club’s Caroline Veltri (2:58:36) and Austinite Jennifer Harney (3:07:26) finished the marathon second and third respectively.

Post-race Congress Ave.

Although I’ve been involved in the Austin Marathon as a pacer for years, nothing could have prepared me for what a special experience it would be to race it for the first time,” said Allison Macsas, female marathon champ. “The local support out on the course and behind the scenes (thanks FloTrack!) was incredible, and played a huge part in carrying me through some very tough spots to the first marathon win of my life – a win made even more special by the fact that it was here at home!

Adam Waldum of Cedar Park (1:12:33) and Nicholas Sterghos of Colorado Springs (1:16:05) finished second and third in Sunday’s half marathon. The second and third place females in the half marathon were Beth Panke (1:24:48) and Tracie Akerhielm (1:26:10).

FloTrack’s world-class coverage followed the men’s and women’s elite field throughout the race and watched as every participant crossed the line. At times they had a trio of announcers highlighting the Austin Marathon and interviewing staff, sponsors, and the winners live. Participants and spectators were both able to enjoy the enhanced finish line festival that included a beer garden, TriggerPoint Recovery Zone, two Jumbotrons that displayed FloTrack’s live coverage, and several local food trucks.

Macsas, Manzano, and Thorne. Credit – Manzano

Official Race Ambassador and two-time Olympian Leo Manzano pumped up the runners before they began their race. He was also the inspiration for the Manzano Mile, which was the final marathon, half marathon, and 5K. Manzano is known for his signature kick, which helped him win the silver medal at the London Games in 2012. Every participant kicked for their last mile and finished with the heart of a lion.

To cap off the amazing day Chikage Windler, CBS Austin Chief Meteorologist and Austin Gives Miles Charity Chaser, started the marathon in last place. As the Charity Chaser, she ran on behalf of Camp Kesem – University of Texas and raised $1.25 for every marathoner she passed. She finished in 926th place and raised $3671.25.

The weather didn’t do us any favors, but I was humbled to run on behalf Camp Kesem UT,” said Windler. “And I’m already looking forward to next year!

Mr. Clemmer, Jack Murray, and Mayor Adler

Participants can see their results on the website and continue to share their amazing experiences on the Austin Marathon’s social media channels. For those planning ahead to February 18, 2018, next year’s registration is open and set at the low price of $90 (marathon) and $70 (half marathon). This amazing deal will be available until January 25th. Runners can find their race day photos on Marathonfoto.com. Search for ‘Austin Marathon 2017’ and enter your last name or bib number.

The Austin Marathon would like to thank the volunteers, sponsors, spectators and participants They would also like to thank NXP CEO Richard Clemmer, Mayor Steve Adler, silver medalist Leo Manzano, and former race directors John and Stacey Conley for their race day support.