High Five Events announces the first round of accepted elite runners for the 2018 Austin Marathon®. Runners not accepted into 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 marathon talent, and help the existing talent pool reach Olympic standards. The Program’s Year Two prize purse totals $20K with $15K for the marathon and $5K for the half marathon.
The first round of 2018 marathoners include:
- Joe Thorne – Elite Athlete Program (2017 Austin Marathon Champion – 2:32:05)
- Matt Daniels – Elite Athlete Program (2016 Olympic Trials Marathon Qualifier)
- Joseph Whelan – Elite Athlete Program (led Syracuse Orange to 2015 ACC Cross Country Championship)
- Matt McCurdy – Elite Field (5th place 2017 Austin Marathon – 2:44:29)
- Brandon Jauregui – Elite Field (2015 Santa Clarita Marathon Champ – 2:35:18 [marathon debut while undergoing chemotherapy; eventually defeated leukemia])
- Patrick Aucoin – Elite Field (marathon debut, 1:11:30 half marathon PR)
The first round of 2018 half marathoners include:
- Ryan Miller – Elite Athlete Program (2016 Olympic Trials Marathon Qualifier)
- Jared Carson – Elite Field (3rd place 2017 Austin Marathon – 2:35:11)
“I’m really looking forward to being back in Austin for the 2018 Austin Marathon,” said defending champion Thorne. “High Five Events did a phenomenal job with the event in 2017 and I’m interested to see what they have in store for everyone this year.”
Applications are arriving daily and more than 50 have already been submitted. The second round of athletes will be announced in a few weeks. Applications are still being accepted and elite marathoners 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.
“Re-launching the Elite Athlete Program added another layer of excitement on February 19, 2017,” said Jack Murray, co-owner of High Five Events. “The continued growth of this program is a focus of ours and doubling the prize purse and the new course will attract even more runners for 2018.”