PROfile: Rachel Baptista, 2019 Austin Half Marathon Elite Athlete Program

Rachel Baptista has overcome injuries and is ready to race the Austin Half Marathon

Rachel Baptista has been accepted to the Austin Half Marathon’s Elite Athlete Program. She will compete against other top runners for a prize purse that totals $26,000 on Feb. 17, 2019. Baptista gives some insight as to who she is below. Run with her on race day, cheer her on, or watch the FloTrack live stream on race day from anywhere in the world.

About Rachel Baptista

Rachel Baptista, Austinite and 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier.

Rachel Baptista, Austinite and 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier.

Half marathon PR (1:12:39)

Born and raised in Austin, so I guess that makes me a unicorn in modern Austin terms! I ran for Austin High School, Go Maroons! After high school, I attended and ran for The University of Colorado and The University of Tulsa. I endured quite a few injuries in college. I’m healthy again and have figured out the right mix of high-level, healthy training. When I’m not running I work at Rogue Running. I enjoy the finer things in life like chips and queso, playing with my bulldog Chunky, hanging out with my homies, and listening to Justin Bieber.

*Earned “B” standard for 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials at 2018 Silo District Half Marathon (1:12:39)

Training tip: Find awesome peeps to run with that will push you and inspire you to go places you didn’t think you could. One thing that helps me get up at 4:45 in the morning is knowing I’ll get to do one of my favorite things with some of my favorite people. #bettertogether

Race day tip: Keep it simple and don’t over complicate it. That is one of the biggest things I have learned about racing. I used to get so nervous and psych myself out. Now I try to stay as relaxed as possible, almost like I am not even about to run a race. I make sure to have friends and good music around me to try and enjoy the moment. In the end, you are just putting one foot in front of the other, no need to overthink it!

Social media: Facebook and Instagram

Meet the Olympic Trials Qualifying ‘B’ Standard Pacing Group

Trio of runners will pace female marathoners to ‘B’ standard qualifying time

High Five Events introduces a pacing team that will lead female elites to an Olympic Trials Qualifying ‘B’ Standard time at the 2019 Austin Marathon presented by Under Armour®.

The trio of Austin runners will reach the finish line in 2:44:59 (“B” Standard time is 2:45:00). The team consists of Bryan Morton (2x “B” Standard pacer), Will Nation (2016, ‘20 Olympic Trials Marathon Qualifier), and Rory Tunningley (2016 Olympic Trials Marathon Qualifier).

Female elites are invited to apply to the Austin Marathon’s Elite Athlete Program. The goal of this pacing group is to guide as many females as possible to an Olympic Marathon Trials qualifying time. The Elite Athlete Program focuses on creating a field of elite male and female runners with a competitive nature and discovering emerging talent, while helping the existing talent pool reach Olympic standards. Allison Macsas qualified for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials at the 2018 Austin Marathon.

“The addition of this pacing trio underscores the goal of the Austin Marathon’s Elite Athlete Program, to help elites reach Olympic standards,” said Jack Murray, co-owner of High Five Events. “Our 2017 – ‘18 female marathon champion Allison Macsas proved you can qualify on the streets of Austin when she qualified for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials on Feb. 18, 2018 (2:43:11).

Rory Tunningley

Rory Tunningley is a member of the "B" standard pacing group at the Austin Marathon.

Rory Tunningley is a member of the “B” standard pacing group at the Austin Marathon.

Tunningley is a 2013 graduate of The University of Texas, serving as cross-country Team Captain his senior year. A three-time All-South Central Region performer, Tunningley helped the UT men win back-to-back regional titles. Tunningley ran an Olympic Marathon Trials qualifying time of 1:04:51 at the 2015 Rock ‘n Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon. He finished a solid 89th at the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials in 2:35:53, his first marathon ever. During his time with the Longhorns, Tunningley recorded personal bests of 29:30.36 in the outdoor 10,000m and 14:15.87 in the indoor 5,000m. His 50th place finish at the 2012 NCAA Cross Country Championships (second among UT runners) helped propel the team to a 9th place finish overall.

“When I qualified for the Olympic Trials in 2016 I had the help of a friend who paced me half way through a half marathon in which I ran a qualifying standard,” said Tunningley. “I look forward to helping others achieve their goal of qualifying for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials.”

Will Nation

Will Nation is a member of the "B" standard pacing group at the Austin Marathon.

Will Nation is a member of the “B” standard pacing group at the Austin Marathon.

Nation is a lifelong Texan who moved to Austin in 2010 to attend The University of Texas. He earned a B.S. in Computer Science and competed on the track and cross country teams. Upon graduating in 2014, Nation began his post-collegiate career with a first-place finish at Austin’s own 3M Half Marathon. Since then, he has qualified for the Olympic Marathon Trials twice (2016 and 2020). His most recent qualifying time coming from the 2017 USATF Marathon Championships (2:16:59). Will currently trains in Austin under the guidance of his longtime coach, Steve Magness. When he’s not running, he works as a web developer for FantasyPros.

“Austin has such an amazing fitness community and it only makes sense to have a marathon that reflects that,” said Nation. “ It’s my hope that I can assist many talented individuals in achieving their goal of hitting an OTQ and demonstrate that the Austin Marathon is a race where you can do just that.”

Bryan Morton

Bryan Morton is a member of the "B" standard pacing group at the Austin Marathon.

Bryan Morton is a member of the “B” standard pacing group at the Austin Marathon.

Morton moved down to Austin in 2010 for his gig with Facebook. He’s been marathon training with Team Rogue ever since. Morton is a marathon veteran with 20+ races on his resume. He set his PB of 2:25 this past February in Tokyo. This is his fifth time pacing at the Austin Marathon and second time pacing the women’s Olympic ‘B’ Standard.

Austin’s endurance community has given me so much over the years, and I wouldn’t be the runner I am today without the support of many in it,” said Morton. “Races like the Austin Marathon afford the opportunity to give back and pay it forward to others with similar goals. It’s my hope that we can shepherd a large pack of women to a 2020 Olympic Trials qualifying time and pave the way for many others to follow in their footsteps.

Applications are still being accepted and elite marathoners can apply on the Austin Marathon’s website. Accepted athletes that meet the program’s standards will be given one comp entry to the Austin Marathon or half marathon. They’re also eligible for travel reimbursement and standards bonuses. Runners not accepted to the program but still invited will receive one comp entry. They’re also eligible to win prize money.

26.2 Reasons You’ll Love the Austin Marathon

The below reasons why you’ll love the Austin Marathon are in no particular order, promise

One reason you'll love the Austin Marathon: Under Armour participant shirts!

Reason #2 you’ll love the Austin Marathon: Under Armour participant shirts!

Finding reasons you’ll love the Austin Marathon presented by Under Armour was easy. Selecting 26.2 reasons for this blog post was the difficult part! Some said we were crazy, others said we couldn’t do it. But we knew deep down we needed to share this intel with you. Join us on February 17, 2019, and experience the best the Austin has to offer. Tacos, murals, live music, Austin Gives Miles, cold beer, and ohhh so much more. Let’s get started!

  1. Austin, Texas – need we say more? Okay, here you go…
  2. Under Armour shirts – you’ll be the envy of those who didn’t run Austin
  3. #DiscoverYourAustin – visit the best Austin has to offer near the Austin Marathon course and try all the tacos (we did all the hard work!) #DiscoverYourAustin - visit the best #Austin has to offer near the #AustinMarathon course and try all the tacos (we did all the hard work!) Click To Tweet
  4. Customized belt buckle finisher medals – when you wear your buckle, it will speak of your accomplishment in Austin, Texas, without saying a word
  5. Austin Marathon 5K benefitting Paramount Theatre – perfect for the entire family, run out and back on South Congress, then enjoy the finish line festival
  6. Support Austin Gives Miles – run on behalf of an AGM charity and make a difference for a Central Texas nonprofit organization
  7. On-course murals – visit them before, during, or after… your choice, just bring your camera

    Reason #7 you'll love the Austin Marathon: murals on course!

    Reason #7 you’ll love the Austin Marathon: murals on course!

  8. Three-block-long finish line festival – post-race massage, recovery, food trucks, 2 Jumbotrons, hours of live music from 2 bands, and more
  9. Expanded beer garden – celebrate your accomplishments with a cold beer
  10. Live music from 15 bands on course – we’re not the Live Music Capital of the World for nothin’
  11. 17 amazing pacer groups – they pace, you race
  12. Manzano Mile presented by Dole on Saturday, Feb.16th – cheer everyone, from families to elites, or stretch out your legs before you run on Sunday
  13. Marathon course showcases all of Austin – north, south, east, and west, drink it all in
  14. Two-day long Health & Fitness Expo – purchase official Austin Marathon Under Armour gear, check out the newest running products, grab any last-minute needs
  15. Top-notch start line and finish line VIP – gear check, delicious food, custom cocktails, private restrooms, and more
  16. Photo finish – the magnificent Texas State Capitol is your finish line backdrop
  17. Spectator-friendly course (never more than 4 miles from downtown) – cheer family and friends from multiple spots on course, including the finish line
  18. Thousands of amazing and supportive volunteers – they’re up early and they stay late, ensuring you have the best experience
  19. Amazing rates at downtown hotels through onPeak – save money when planning your Austin runcation
  20. Austin Marathon Winnie – visit our ‘72 Winnebago (just don’t think you can sleep in it!)
  21. State-of-the-art app – all the info you need in the palm of your hand
  22. FloTrack live broadcast – they follow the elite action, then watch every finisher cross the finish line

    You'll love the Austin Marathon!

    Allison Macsas, 2017/2018 Austin Marathon female champ, qualifies for the Olympic Marathon Trials on Feb. 18, 2018.

  23. Leo Manzano: race ambassador – Austinite and Olympic silver medalist in the 1500m (2012 – London)
  24. USATF-certified course – you won’t run anymore or less than you have to, we double checked
  25. 22 fully-stocked aid stations featuring nuun performance – grab hydration, make a pitstop, or both (don’t forget to thank the volunteers)
  26. “There’s no better city to recover in.” – Mayor Steve Adler – spend time in our phenomenal city before and after Feb. 17th, take in all that Austin has to offer

  26.2. In conclusion – the Austin Marathon begins with a strike of the #RunAustin gong… yeah, you read that right

If that’s not enough, see what country music legend Gary P. Nunn had to say after singing the National Anthem and playing his hits as runners crossed the 2018 start line, “That’s the most fun I’ve had before 9:00 a.m. in a long time.”

Friends have raved about Austin. Running partners can’t stop talking about their experience. Now it’s your turn! Reserve your spot at the 2019 Austin Marathon start line and experience all that Austin has to offer. And if 2019 won’t be your first time, well you’re now on a mission to consume delicious tacos from a new location!