Austin Marathon Accepts First Round of Elite Runners

First round of elite runners competing for $26,000 prize purse

The Ascension Seton Austin Marathon presented by Under Armour introduces the first round of elite runners for 2020. This program, in its fourth year, creates a competitive field of elite male and female runners while discovering emerging talent, pushing the entire talent pool to reach Olympic standards. FloTrack’s live coverage highlights the competition amongst the elites, following male and female marathoners and half marathoners. The 29th annual Austin Marathon, owned and produced by High Five Events, will take place on February 16, 2020.

“I’m thrilled to join the Elite Athlete Program at the Austin Marathon,” said Keri McEntee, who ran an Olympic Trials qualifying 2:41:19 at 2019 Grandma’s Marathon. “I’m excited to compete against other elite runners, see the city, and enjoy some warmer weather!”

The first round of 2020 Austin Marathoners include: 

  • Keri McEntee – female Elite Athlete Program (2020 Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier – 2:41:19)
  • Daniel Bishop – male Elite Athlete Program (2018 St. George Marathon – 2:23:37)
  • Sarah Jackson – female Elite Field (2018 Austin Marathon – 2:58:41)
  • Adam Lazrus – male Elite Field (2018 Tunnel Lite Marathon – 2:37:31)
  • Valentyna Poltavska – female Elite Field (2019 Houston Marathon – 2:52:49)
  • Matt McCurdy – male Elite Field (2019 3M Half Marathon – 1:11:55)

The first round of 2020 Austin Half Marathoners include: 

  • Heidi Bock – female Elite Field (2019 Woodlands Half Marathon – 1:23:36)
  • Todd Mickey – male Elite Field (2019 Austin Half Marathon – 1:16:33)
  • Maura Tyrrell – female Elite Field (2nd place female, 2019 Myrtle Beach Half Marathon – 1:22:47)
  • Steve Purugganan – male Elite Field (2018 San Jose Half Marathon – 1:15:52)
  • Adam Moore – male Elite Field (2019 Ohio Cap City Half Marathon – 1:15:23)
  • Carolyn Menard – female Elite Field (2019 Urban Cow Half Marathon – 1:26:13)
  • Rebecca Marrou – female Elite Field (2018 Run the Alamo Half Marathon female champion – 1:24:18)
  • Julia Vegas – female Elite Field (2019 Austin Half Marathon – 1:26:28)

“The investments we’ve made into the Elite Athlete Program are beginning to bear fruit with the overall growth and several elites qualifying for the Olympic Marathon Trials,” said Jack Murray, co-owner of High Five Events. “The competition adds another layer of excitement to an already energetic Austin Marathon weekend.”

The prize purse breakdown follows: $15,000 for the marathon, $5,000 for the half marathon, and $6,000 for the Manzano Mile presented by Dole. Runners not accepted into the Elite Athlete Program are still invited to run in the Elite Field. Runners that are not accepted to the Elite Athlete Program or the Elite Field are not eligible for prize money.

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.

Austin Marathon Brews Another Partnership with Oskar Blues Brewery

Oskar Blues Brewery Austin will be Official Beer sponsor for fourth year in a row

The Ascension Seton Austin Marathon welcomes back Oskar Blues Brewery Austin as the Official Beer sponsor. This partnership is entering its fourth year in a row. The Austin Marathon will feature Oskar Blues signature Austin-brewed beers at the beer garden. Located at the 3-block-long finish line festival, the beer garden is for finishers aged 21 and over. The 29th annual Austin Marathon, owned and produced by High Five Events, will take place on February 16, 2020.

We don’t have to be part of every occasion but the moments of celebration and accomplishment, like at the Austin Marathon, are definitely the ones we want to remember and be part of with the ones we love,” said Leilani Howard, Marketing Manager Oskar Blues Brewery Austin.

Austin beer garden with Austin-brewed beers

Oskar Blues Brewery Austin, the original craft beer in a can, will offer participants and spectators 21 and older their award-winning, Austin-brewed beers on race day. The Austin Marathon’s beer garden will provide runners and their friends and family a place to gather. They can also listen to live music, relax, and celebrate their accomplishments. They’ll enjoy any one of Oskar Blues’ signature craft brews post-race. Available beers include Austin’s own Dale’s Pale Ale, Mama’s Little Yella Pils, and a few other locally-brewed Oskar Blues beers. If runners visit the brewery after race day, the first beer is on the house when runners show their bib.

“Our partnership continues to grow just like the popularity of the Oskar Blues Brewery beer garden on race day,” said Jack Murray, co-owner of High Five Events. “The post-race celebration lasts for hours as friends and family celebrate their Austin Marathon accomplishments on historic Congress Avenue.”

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.

Love for Running Transcends Stage IV Cancer Diagnosis

Not even Stage IV cancer can extinguish Axel’s love for running

Runners often credit running for helping them through tough times. Having a bad day? Go for a run? Stress at work? Log some miles on the trail? Frustrating situation? Visit the track for speed work. Axel Reissnecker’s story is the exact same. His love for running is unquestioned and the foundation upon which he relied after his cancer diagnosis. Read Axel’s edition of My Running Story and learn why he’s returning to an old tradition after defeating Stage IV kidney cancer.

Axel Reissnecker and his family celebrate after finishing the 2007 Cap10K. His love for running helped him defeat Stage IV cancer.

Axel and his family (left to right – son Sven, wife Karin, daughter Anja, son Felix) after Cap10K. Credit – Alex Reissnecker

Love for running turns into a tradition

Hi, I’m Axel Reissnecker. I’ve always had a love for running, though I didn’t start participating in races until I turned 44. After my first 10K in the fall of 1997, I quickly ramped up and ran my first marathon in Austin in 1998. This became a kind of tradition with 10 consecutive Austin Marathons from 1998 until 2007. Another annual tradition for me is running the Cap 10K in a costume. I even won first place twice in the costume contest! Eventually, after years of running road races, I switched to the “dark side,” aka trail running. I started running even longer distances, up to 100 miles.

In 2012, I was diagnosed with kidney cancer, Stage IV, which meant the cancer had already spread. I began chemo after the removal of my left kidney and the secondary tumor in my sinuses. However, this did not stop me from running. Less than four weeks after kidney surgery I was back on the trail and speed-hiking a 50-mile race.

The running tradition returns

Seven years later, at age 66, I am much slower than I used to be. This is also partially due to the side effects of the chemo. I also somewhat cut down on long-distance running. Nevertheless, I still like to run. It clears my mind and keeps me relaxed, balanced, and always in a good mood. Running also comes with a lot of health benefits. For example, it helps keep my blood pressure under control without taking meds. Rain or shine, there is nothing like being outdoors and enjoying a good run.

By the way, in 2017 I decided to return to the annual tradition of running the Austin Marathon. So, when you see an old geezer huffing’ and puffin’ towards the finish line on Congress Avenue on February 16, 2020, that might be yours truly!

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, and Jeremy Tavares.