Moody Foundation Awards Matching Grant to Austin Gives Miles

Austin Gives Miles has raised more than $1.3 million through the Austin Marathon

High Five Events announces Austin Gives Miles, the Official Charity Program of the Austin Marathon®, has been selected for a Moody Foundation grant for the third year in a row. The grant will match dollars raised by each of the 29 Austin Gives Miles Official Charities, up to $10,000 per organization, and help Austin Gives Miles reach its $750,000 fundraising goal.

“For the third year in a row, the Moody Foundation is pleased to support Austin Gives Miles,” said Elle Moody, Moody Foundation Trustee. “We are happy to continue supporting this initiative that allows runners the opportunity to make their miles meaningful by raising funds for Central Texas causes that are near and dear their hearts.”

The Moody Foundation, based in Galveston, Texas, has funded projects and programs that better communities throughout Texas. The grant that will match Austin Gives Miles donations will have a positive impact on the Central Texas organizations and their specific causes by matching their funds raised (up to $10,000 per organization). One of the Moody Foundation’s areas of support, community development, directly aligns with the goal of the Austin Marathon: to better Central Texas. Austin Gives Miles is proud to receive this grant and knows the positive effects will be far-reaching.

“We are beyond grateful to have the continued support of the Moody Foundation for the 2018 Austin Gives Miles program,” said Carly Samuelson, Austin Gives Miles Charity Manager. “The matching funds received make it possible for our Official Charities to raise a great amount of money through the Austin Gives Miles platform, allowing their missions and the great work they do to permeate throughout our Central Texas communities.”

This is the fifth year that Austin Gives Miles is the Official Charity Program for the Austin Marathon. Last year, Austin Gives Miles contributed more than $637,000 to the Central Texas community through its fundraising efforts, bringing the five-year fundraising total to more than $1.3 million. In addition to the funds and awareness raised, last year’s Austin Gives Miles Official Charities recruited more than 500 runners and provided more than 1200 volunteers.

The 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. Having start and finish locations just a few blocks apart, being within walking distance of many downtown hotels and restaurants, and finishing in front of the picturesque Texas State Capitol makes the Austin Marathon the perfect running weekend destination. Registration is still available for the marathon, half marathon, and 5K.

Austin Marathon Announces Fourth Round of Accepted Elite Runners

High Five Events introduces the fourth round of accepted athletes for the 2018 Austin Marathon®. Runners who do not qualify for the Elite Athlete Program are still invited to run in the Elite Field. The Elite Athlete Program’s focus is to provide a clean and competitive environment, discover emerging talent, and help the existing talent pool reach Olympic standards. The Program’s Year Two prize purse totals $20,000, with $15,000 for the marathon and $5,000 for the half marathon.

The fourth round of 2018 marathoners include:

fourth round

Becki Spellman, 2008, 2012, 2016 Olympic Trials Marathon Qualifier.

  • Ruairi Moynihan – Elite Field (ran 2:39:38 at 2017 Grandma’s Marathon)
  • Jamie Stroffolino – Elite Field (ran 2:37:38 at 2017 NYC Marathon)
  • Mollie Turner – Elite Field (7th place 2017 Hartford Marathon – 2:53:32)
  • Cecile Daurat-Thompson – Elite Field (ran 2:59:50 at 2016 Philadelphia Marathon)

The fourth round of 2018 half marathoners include:

  • Becki Spellman – Elite Athlete Program (2008, 2012, 2016 Olympic Trials Marathon Qualifier)
  • Ryan Root – Elite Athlete Program (5th place 2017 Indianapolis Marathon – 2:19:51)
  • Jocelyn Todd – Elite Athlete Program (ran 2:48:23 at 2017 Chicago Marathon)
  • Gabe Gonzalez – Elite Athlete Program (6th place at 2016 Big Sur Half Marathon)
  • Fernanda Bau – Elite Field (ran 1:28:25 at 2017 Austin Half Marathon)
  • Karen Bertasso – Elite Field (ran 2:49:08 at 2017 Berlin Marathon)
  • Cole Toepfer – Elite Field (ran 1:11:30 at 2016 Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon)
  • Randi Burnett – Elite Field (ran 2:53 at 2017 NYC Marathon)
  • Sarah Lancaster – Elite Field (ran 1:25:32 at 2016 Austin Half Marathon)
  • Nicholas Spector – Elite Field (3rd place at 2017 OC Half Marathon – 1:09:19)

“After running my first marathon in Austin 2008 and qualifying for the Olympic Trials, this race has a special place in my heart,” said Spellman. “I’m very excited to be back in Austin this February; I can’t wait to race!”

Read about the first, second, and third rounds of accepted elite runners. Including today’s announcement, the marathon has accepted a total of eight runners into the Elite Athlete Program and 15 have been invited to participate in the Elite Field. The half marathon has accepted eight runners into the Elite Athlete Program and 14 have been invited to participate in the Elite Field. Applications are arriving daily and more than 100 have already been submitted. The fifth round of athletes will be announced next week. Applications are still being accepted and elite runners can apply on the Austin Marathon’s website. Athletes that meet the program’s standards and are accepted will be given one comp entry to the 2018 Austin Marathon or half marathon, reimbursement eligibility, and standards bonuses.

Austin Marathon Welcomes Elite Japanese Runners

Elite runner exchange is a result of the Austin-Oita Sister City relationship

High Five Events announces the continuation of the Austin-Oita Sister City Committee (AOSCC) elite runner exchange for the 2018 Austin Marathon®. Daichi Tanaka and Junko Sakamoto will represent Japan and compete in the Austin Marathon on Feb. 18, 2018.

“I am both excited and honored to run in the 2018 Austin Marathon as a symbol of friendship between the sister cities of Oita and Austin,” said Tanaka.

Austin-Oita Sister City

2016 Austin Marathon Champion Hayato Sonoda (2:23:07).

Tanaka and Sakamoto both competed in the 2017 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon, finishing in 2:32:13 and 3:07:29 respectively. As a part of the sister city exchange, two Austin runners, Erik Stanley and Hannah Steffan, participated in the 2017 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon. Stanley completed the marathon in 2:31:38 and Steffan finished in 3:02:51. Hayato Sonoda (2:23:07) won the 2016 Austin Marathon and Yuki Kojina (2:30:06) finished in second place.

“Running is truly a global sport and we’ll continue to highlight that as this partnership grows,” said Jack Murray, co-owner of High Five Events. “We look forward to Junko and Daichi running a competitive race with the rest of the Elite Field.”

The Austin-Oita Sister City Committee was founded in 1990. It is a non-profit, volunteer organization that seeks to promote and heighten public interest in and appreciation of the culture, people, languages, business, and products of the greater Austin, Texas, area and the city of Oita, Japan, and its surrounding areas.

The 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. Having start and finish locations just a few blocks apart, being within walking distance of many downtown hotels and restaurants, and finishing in front of the picturesque Texas State Capitol makes the Austin Marathon the perfect running weekend destination. Participants can register for the marathon, half marathon, or 5K.