Building an Unbreakable Bond through Running

Running hundreds of miles has created an unbreakable bond between Samantha and her daughter

It’s no secret, running brings people together. They meet at a run club, on the roads, or at the Austin Half Marathon. Whether runners become fast friends or fall in love, it’s obvious running can build an unbreakable bond. Read Samantha’s edition of My Running Story to learn how running helped her and her daughter create their unbreakable bond. They’ve accomplished a lot and Samantha has her eyes set on a major goal on Austin’s streets on February 16, 2020!

Samantha's daughter loves running, it helps build their unbreakable bond.

The contagious smile of Samantha’s daughter when they’re running.

Never thought I would be a runner

I never thought I would be a runner, but my daughter changed all of that. I vividly remember our first run together. Lacing up a beat-up pair of sneakers, getting her little arms and legs inside her snowsuit (spring in Wisconsin), and slogging down the street just trying to sneak in one, maybe two miles. And why did I think that running with a stroller would be easy? Momentum or something? I was so wrong. I was also five months postpartum and had only ever gone for one intentional run before. 

Sure, I ran here and there, but never had I set a mileage or pace goal. That morning in March 2017 was the start of it all. That April we ran our first 5K together and somehow snagged first in our age group. That June we ran our second 5K in our new home: California. Then the miles just kept adding up. We have seen so many miles of California coastline, the Midwest, and New York City strictly by stroller and street. We have completed 5Ks, 10Ks, and a half marathon together. For others, she has waited for me at the finish line.

Her smile is contagious

She has been my biggest cheerleader and coach. Her smile is contagious when she’s taking in the sights on a training run or amidst other runners in the middle of a race or listening to the cheering at the finish line. Running has brought so much joy to both of us. I am forever grateful for my daughter and the unexpected gift she has given to me with running.

Now here I am one month postpartum with our baby boy. We are moving to Austin soon. A new baby, a new home, and a new jogging stroller. There truly is no better way to see a city than by running through its streets. So much adventure, challenge, and joy lie ahead as we get ready to discover the streets of Austin by stroller and street. And what better goal to have than to run the Austin Half (or perhaps I will finally check that full marathon off my bucket list!). Update – Samantha has committed to the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon!

My Running Story is a series of blog submissions from runners just like yourself. They submitted their inspirational running stories as part of a contest to win an entry of their choice to the 2020 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon. Their stories range from crossing their first finish line to drastic lifestyle change due to running. Everyone’s story is different and unique, impacting them in a specific way. While each story is specific to the author, everyone can resonate in some form or fashion because of the power of running. Other My Running Story submissions include Kayleigh Williamson, Kirsten Pasha, and Michael Coffey.

KXAN Simple Health Named Title Sponsor of Austin Marathon 5K

Austin Marathon KXAN Simple Health 5K will continue to benefit Paramount Theatre

The Austin Marathon KXAN Simple Health 5K will take place on February 16, 2020.

Runners take off at the 2019 Austin Marathon 5K.

High Five Events introduces KXAN Simple Health as the title sponsor of the 2020 Austin Marathon 5K. The partnership includes amplification of the Simple Health initiative, race weekend activations, and year-round media opportunities. The Austin Marathon KXAN Simple Health 5K benefitting Paramount Theatre will take place on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020.

“We’re proud to support the Austin Marathon through our station-wide initiative, Simple Health,” said Eric Lassberg, Vice President and General Manager of KXAN. “By highlighting all events during Austin Marathon weekend, including the Austin Marathon KXAN 5K, we hope to raise awareness for Central Texans on fun ways to be active within their community.”

Bettering Central Texans

KXAN’s Simple Health is a public service initiative focused on providing its viewers with healthy living and wellness tips across all KXAN platforms. KXAN has partnered with The American Heart Association and focuses on their four tenants; eat smart, add color, move more, be well. The Austin Marathon was recently on KXAN’s Studio 512 to discuss summer training tips as part of KXAN’s fitness focus. KXAN is the Austin, Texas, NBC affiliate. They’re committed to providing Central Texans valuable and local news coverage through its in-depth, investigative brand.

“The growth of our partnership with KXAN has been tremendous and we know the Austin Marathon KXAN 5K will benefit from that growth,” Jack Murray, co-owner of High Five Events. “Their Simple Health initiative aligns with one of our main goals: to get people moving and living healthier lives.”

Austin Marathon KXAN 5K

The Austin Marathon KXAN 5K will begin at 7:30 a.m. Runners will take off 30 minutes after the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon and Austin Half Marathon. It still benefits Paramount Theatre, Austin’s original performing arts venue since 1915. Participants will participate in the only Austin 5K that runs on historic Congress Avenue. The stroller-friendly course is perfect for the entire family. All participants receive an Under Armour participant shirt and a commemorative finisher medal. The current price, $39, will increase to $49 on Tuesday, September 10th. More than 2300 participants registered for the 2019 Austin Marathon 5K.

The Austin Marathon will celebrate its 29th year running in the capital of Texas in 2020. Austin’s flagship running event annually attracts runners from all 50 states and 30+ 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 currently open.

6 Must-Try Austin Restaurants Along the Austin Marathon Course

Get a preview of the Austin Marathon’s west segment and eat at these amazing Austin restaurants

Austin is jam-packed with delicious places to eat. From breakfast to a midnight snack, Austin restaurants can answer any grumbling stomach. We’ve got you covered if you’re looking for a new place to eat or have friends and family in town. Below are six of our favorite restaurants that can be found along miles 6-13 of the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon course. 

ATX Cocina (Mile 6.5)

ATX Cocina, one of the Austin Marathon's favorite Austin restaurants on the course.

Picking your drink at ATX Cocina is easier than choosing what tequila you want! Credit – ATX Cocina

Austin has no shortage of Mexican food, but ATX Cocina (110 San Antonio St. Suite 170) takes their cuisine to another level. Corn, the foundation of their kitchen, is grown by small family farms in Mexico. Take a crowd so everyone can enjoy their tapas-style dishes. Happy hour is every day from 4:30 p.m. – 6:30. Don’t sleep on the Margarita de la Casa. All you have to do is decide what tequila you want!

68 Degrees Kitchen (Mile 8)

When you first sit down at 68 Degrees Kitchen (2401 Lake Austin Blvd.) start pouring over their extensive Italian wine list. The selection is pretty impressive. Their Mac & Cheese Balls are equally as impressive. Order some for the table or for yourself. We recommend the Penne with Spicy HouseMade Lamb Sausage. Get the half order so you can save room for dessert!

Magnolia Cafe (Mile 8)

Pancakes at Magnolia Cafe, one of the Austin Marathon's favorite Austin restaurants on the course.

Magnolia Cafe’s pancakes are the perfect pre-Austin Marathon meal. Credit – Magnolia Cafe

This Austin original is celebrating their 40th anniversary during 2019. Breakfast is served anytime at Magnolia Cafe (2304 Lake Austin Blvd.), but their bread and butter is literally bread and butter, PANCAKES! They’re open 24 hours a day, perfect for spectators watching loved ones run Austin’s streets on February 16th. Order the Kitchen Sink Burger if you find yourself looking over the Late Night Menu, trust us. It’s smothered in their famous queso. Pro tip – they also have a location near Mile 1.5.

Hula Hut (Mile 9)

Hula Hut has overlooked Lake Austin since 1993 (3825 Lake Austin Blvd.). Their Tex-Mex food has a Hawaiian twist and their island vibe pairs perfectly when you sit near the water. If you’re ordering for two, get the Hawaiian Fajitas. If you’re not, get the Grilled Fresh Fish Tacos. Whatever you decide, save room for Manual’s Fried Ice Cream! 

Texas Chili Parlor (Mile 12.5)

Walk through the door at 1409 Lavaca St. and you’ll step back in time while your senses are overwhelmed with the scent of chili and booze. Texas Chili Parlor has been mostly lit with neon signs since 1976. The menu is littered with delicious options, but we recommend you keep it simple. Order a Chili Dog or Frito Pie. Or both! Pro tip – don’t drink mad dog margaritas and eat chili the night before the Austin Marathon.

Clay Pit (Mile 12.5)

Inside of Clay Pit, one of the Austin Marathon's favorite Austin restaurants on the course.

Clay Pit has called the Bertram House home since 1998. Credit – Clay Pit

Clay Pit (1601 Guadalupe St.) has called the Bertram House their home since 1998. They offer exquisite Indian food in the two-story stone building that was built in 1853 as a trading post on the outskirts of Austin. They make the best Chicken Tikka Masala you’ll ever eat. Make sure you save room for dessert. Their Mango Cheesecake was featured in Bon Appetit magazine!

There are many delicious places to eat along miles 6-13 of the Austin Marathon course. Did we miss your favorite Austin restaurant? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter. If you find yourself in East Austin, check out these restaurants and places to visit!