Austin Marathon Partners with Hotels for Hope

Hotels for Hope booking platform will boost contributions to Austin Gives Miles

The Ascension Seton Austin Marathon simplifies event weekend hotel booking with the addition of the Hotels for Hope platform. The user-friendly technology provides exclusive rates for downtown hotels within walking distance of the start and finish lines. Additionally, Hotels for Hope will donate $2 for every actualized room night to the Austin Marathon’s philanthropic program, Austin Gives Miles presented by Moody Foundation. The 29th annual Austin Marathon, owned and produced by High Five Events, will take place on February 16, 2020.

“Hotels for Hope is based in Austin, so it’s great to work with the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon to highlight our technology and drive awareness and support to the Austin Gives Miles program,” said Neil Goldman, founder and CEO of Hotels for Hope.  “We look forward to a long-term relationship with an event in our own backyard, in which hotel guests benefit from this agreement.”

Stay downtown near the Austin Marathon start and finish lines

Hotels for Hope was founded and still remains in Austin, Texas. Their platform will allow participants to easily book their hotel stay and provide exclusive rates for downtown Austin hotels. When staying downtown, participants and their friends and family don’t have to worry about parking or leaving anything at home. They can sleep well knowing they’re near the Austin Marathon start and finish lines. The start line is located at Congress Avenue and 2nd Street. The finish line is located at Congress Avenue and 9th Street. As a company, they will donate $2 for every actualized room night. Funds raised during Austin Marathon weekend will be given to Austin Gives Miles.

“Annually, Austin Marathon participants come from around the world to run Austin’s streets, enjoy our restaurants, and soak up The Live Music Capital of the World,” said Stacy Keese, co-owner of High Five Events. “Hotels for Hope provides participants with exclusive rates and will ensure they stay near our start and finish lines and all the action of downtown Austin.”

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.

Thankful for Being Given the Opportunity to Run Again

After her injury, Brittany is grateful to have the opportunity to run again

Most of us don’t actually realize how much we love running until it’s gone. Sure we love getting outdoors, making new friends, de-stressing. But imagine for a minute that you can’t run again. Brittany Drennan lived in that world for 18 months. That’s how long her rehab from a terrible hip injury took. Read her edition of My Running Story to understand how grateful she is to have the opportunity to run again and how hard she’s worked to get to the 2020 Austin Half Marathon start line.

Intro to running

Brittany Drennan poses with a half marathon finisher medal. Read her edition of My Running Story to learn how she's been given the opportunity to run again.I have always been an emotional person. It’s just who I am. I cry at sappy movies and symphonies. And I can’t even play an instrument. In 2008, I registered for the Baylor Bearathon (half marathon) and I still don’t know what possessed me to do that. I had never run more than the occasional 5K.

The Bearathon is grueling, with about 5-6 miles of rolling hills. Having only run about 6 miles as my “long run” and never doing hill work, I thought my legs were going to detach from my body after Mile 7. I vividly remember thinking, “Where is the school? Waco is not that big…” But I don’t remember finishing. The next day I cried trying to get out of my bunk bed, my body hurt so badly.

I ran the Bearathon consistently for several years and as I was preparing for the 2015 race, I lunged to catch a patient at work and felt a pop in my left hip. While running the next day, I fell to the ground due to a subluxation of my left hip. As I crawled back to the house, I began to panic, tears streaming down my face. If I can’t walk, how can I run? I forfeited my Bearathon entry that year and was absolutely devastated.

It took about 18 months to rehab my hip. I worked from the ground up; crying tears of frustration when my hip couldn’t even tolerate the recumbent bike. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever endured. Near constant pain with no end in sight. I’d ask myself, “Why am I doing this? What am I trying to prove?”

The opportunity to run again

More than two years later, I lined up for the 2017 Bearathon. I was choking back tears of anxiety and fear. What if my hip goes out? Will everything I’ve done be for not? Two and a half hours later, I crossed the finish line in near hysterics. But finally, FINALLY, my tears were not from pain or frustration or fear. They were tears of joy and gratitude. I had been given the opportunity to run again.

I completed my tenth half this past October. Now when I cross the finish line of every half I weep. I used to be embarrassed. It’s not like I won or anything similar. Now I realize that it’s just my body’s way of saying “thank you.” I can’t wait to cross the Austin Half Marathon finish line!

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, Michael Coffey, Samantha Santos, Tom Hamann, Erica Richart, Angela Clark, Rebecca Galvan, Jeremy Tavares, Axel Reissnecker, and Blair Nagel.

Austin Marathon, 3M Half Marathon Invite Elites to Austin for Final Trials Tune-Up

Elites are invited to run Austin’s streets for their final Olympic Marathon Trials tune-up

The Ascension Seton Austin Marathon presented by Under Armour and 3M Half Marathon presented by Under Armour invite elite runners to Austin for a final Olympic Marathon Trials tune-up. 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials qualifiers are invited to run one of Austin’s two most beloved half marathons, fine-tune race strategy, and finalize hydration/nutrition plans. The 3M Half Marathon takes place on January 19th, that’s 41 days before the Trials. The Austin Half Marathon takes place on February 16th, that’s 13 days before the Olympic Marathon Trials. The Austin Half Marathon offers prize money and FloTrack live-streams coverage of the entire event. High Five Events operates both events.

Austin Half Marathon – February 16th

“Winning the 2019 Austin Marathon was awesome and a moment I will not forget,” said Heather Lieberg, 2019 Austin Marathon female champ (2:42:27). “ I can’t wait to participate in the half marathon as a tune-up race for the Trials in Atlanta. I know it’ll be a confidence builder!”

Runners accepted to the 2020 Austin Marathon/Half Marathon Elite Athlete Program will compete for a $20,000 prize purse. The Austin Marathon prize purse will total $15,000 and award the top five male and female finishers. The Austin Half Marathon purse will total $5,000 and award the top three male and female finishers. Interested athletes can review the program’s standards and submit an application on the website. High Five Events. owns and produces Austin Marathon. James Ngandu (1:04:32) and Caroline Rotich (1:13:24) won the 2019 Austin Half Marathon.

3M Half Marathon – January 19th

“Austin Half Marathon is the perfect final tune-up heading to the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials because it simulates what Olympic hopefuls will run in Atlanta,” said Joey Whelan, 2018-19 Austin Marathon and 2018 3M Half Marathon champ. “3M Half Marathon provides a fast course where elites who might want a longer recovery period can test race-day strategies.”

The 3M Half Marathon, produced by High Five Events, boasts one of the fastest 13.1-mile courses in the country and will celebrate its 26th year running in 2020. Runners will enjoy a point-to-point course that features a 300+ ft. elevation drop from start to finish. There is no official Elite Athlete Program nor is prize money awarded. Elites that wish to run must meet standards set forth by the Austin Marathon and email info@3mhalf.com. Michael “Slim” Morris (1:07:19) and Jessica Harper (1:14:23) won the 2019 3M Half Marathon.