An Athlete’s Perspective – Issue 7

An Athlete’s Perspective is a blog series of event and/or training experiences written firsthand by the athletes themselves. An Athlete’s Perspective is a completely unscripted and raw look into the mind and daily life of an athlete as they prepare for their next race. Readers will discover training regimens, eating tips, gear recommendations, and an uncut perspective into the lives of people like you and me.

New Course Insight from the Professionals

By: Erik Stanley and David Fuentes

Athlete's Perspective

AUSTIN

Erik Stanley: After a week of seeing Austin runners debating whether or not they liked the new Austin Marathon course, I decided to get together with our Trail Roots roadrunners on Sunday (9/17) to test it out. I also called up my buddy David Fuentes to join as well.

David Fuentes: The times they are a-changing. The Austin Marathon has done something that we all wanted, they expanded Austin’s pride and joy race to more of Austin. On Sept. 17, myself and Erik, with Trailroots, set out to preview the course just a couple of days after it went live to the public. To my knowledge, we are the first (that we know of, and non-High Five Events employees) to have run the new second half of the course.

UT Tower

ES: We connected on Enfield near Lamar to make sure we didn’t miss any of the new hills. The Enfield climb was just as tough as normal. Once we hit Guadalupe I got excited. I could imagine tons of people and college folks out cheering along the drag. I imagine this section will be full of energy and help the marathon runners during the second half of their race. I also like that this route gives runners a great tour of the UT campus, including the UT Tower.

DF: We started out around Mile 10 of Enfield and began the preview of the course. The downhills of Enfield into the light 100 ft. climb once you cross the Lamar bridge is early enough into the race that you will still have enough for the last half marathon. Turning left on Guadalupe you have about 2.25mi to get back into your rhythm and find your pace. The UT Campus section is sure to have screaming crowds out front which will help you find the energy and drive.

ES: Guadalupe north of campus should still be pretty energetic and action-packed. Once runners hit Hyde Park the route is flat and downhill with lots of shade from the huge oak and pecan trees.

DF: Heading right onto 45th street will be a nice steady downhill, with a short jaunt up before turning onto Red River. A right, then a left, and you are on the awesome downhill of Duval. If any momentum was lost before, this is where you need to make it back up.

Til Death Do Us Part

ES: Dean Keeton will be tough no doubt, but each climb is followed by an immediate downhill.

DF: Remember that once you get up Dean Keeton, across Manor, then turn on Chicon, there are no steep hills like the Dean Keeton climb until you get to a mile or two from the finish. Webberville, Tillery, and 5th Street are going to be great, light downhill sections to get back into your rhythm if any was lost.

7th St. bridge over Tillery St.

ES: Running through the eastside brings a new feel. I really like running back down on Cesar Chavez towards Austin. The road narrows a bit closer into town and I imagine the bars and restaurants will all be open with people cheering. This part is super flat and has a great view as you are approaching downtown. Make sure to save just a little bit of energy to get up the 11th st climb. It is steep. I do like that the hills are in a few distinct sections rather than a long slow climb. I can’t say yet if this course will be “faster,” but I do for sure like the energy and excitement that this route will bring to the race.

DF: Cesar Chavez (one of my more favorite sections) is going to be a flat road that will hopefully aid in keeping your pace for the last ~4 miles of the race. Right on Waller, left on 6th Street (short downhill), right on Red River, and then left on the last quick steep hill on 11th St. Once you crest that, it’s an all-out sprint, hobble, walk, or crawl, to the finish.

ES Take Home Notes: Enfield and Dean Keeton are the big hills for the 2nd half. I imagine people will feel energized running through campus, but will be recovering from the Enfield climb. Don’t get too amped up here. Keep your pace steady. Dean Keeton will tear many people down. This is a long, tough climb and is pretty exposed. You still have 8 miles to go as well. Plan on catching people on Dean Keeton. It’s a long straight shot. You can see far ahead in front of you. Use that to your advantage and catch some people. The 11th St. hill climb is tough, but it’s so close to the finish. I wouldn’t forget about it though. Keep it in the back of your mind, so you aren’t surprised when it hits you right before the finish line.

Living the Good Life in Austin, TX

DF Take Home Notes: Looking at the data, the sections of the course, the possible temps, and physically running the course, I really think this could be a great day for a lot of people and the city. Austin has always had temperamental climate and been blessed with rolling hills. The new route, with new neighborhoods, is really going to make this race even better than prior years. There is a mental aspect to running a marathon that most know about, most have heard about, and most have lived through, if you have ever run the race. The thing to remember is to always keep moving forward and train for what you will be racing on. Austin is a city that people want to visit, run in, drink our delicious beer, treat themselves to our tacos, swim in our springs, and stuff their faces with our infamous BBQ. There is no better time for these activities than Austin Marathon weekend. (Beer, tacos, and BBQ after the race of course.)

Erik Stanley and David Fuentes are both highly decorated Austin runners with deep ties to the Austin endurance community.

6th St. view towards Red River

Stanley was the 2015 Cap10K champion, 2014 3M Half Marathon champion, and an All-American and Big XII champion while at the University of Texas (2004-2008). He still competes locally and is the founder of and coach at Trail Roots. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Fuentes is a Skecher’s sponsored athlete and a member of the gold-medal winning team at the 2016 World Mountain Running Championships, a 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier, and three-time winner of the Austin Half Marathon. He still competes and coaches local runners with Durata Training and Austin Running Academy. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Austin Runners Club

Austin Marathon Joins Forces with Austin Runners Club

Partnership will bring together Austin’s most recognized running entities

High Five Events announces a partnership between the Austin Marathon® and the Austin Runners Club. The primary goal of the partnership is to increase the growth of the Austin Runners Club by offering a discounted club membership during the Austin Marathon registration process.

Austin Runners Club

“We want to increase membership, get more Austinites running, and properly train them for the Austin Marathon or half marathon,” said Iram Leon, Austin Runners Club President. “We’ve experienced tremendous growth over the last couple of years and we’re excited to see that trend continue by working with the Austin Marathon.”

Austin Runners Club is a nonprofit organization that has been running in Austin since 1974. Participants registering for the Austin Marathon, half marathon, or 5K can join the Austin Runners Club for $25 during the registration process. The Austin Runners Club’s annual dues are normally $30 and free group-based marathon and half marathon training is included in the annual membership. In addition to the training, members receive various discounts to local running stores, recovery services, and other events. The Austin Distance Challenge, a series of five running events culminating with the Austin Marathon, is hosted by the Austin Runners Club.

“Austin Runners Club has trained Austinites for more than 40 years,” said Jack Murray, co-owner of High Five Events. “We want to highlight their great work preparing runners for the Austin Marathon and half marathon and offer non-ARC members a chance to join and get trained by their reputable coaches.”

The Austin Marathon will celebrate its 27th year running in the capital of Texas on February 18, 2018. Austin’s flagship running event annually attracts runners from all 50 states and 20+ 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. Participants can register for the marathon, half marathon, or 5K.

5 Tips for the Best Austin Runcation

Travel + Leisure recently ranked Austin #8 on their list of Top 15 Cities in the US. This confirms what we’ve known for some time: Austin is an amazing city. This list will give you a headstart on planning the best 2018 Austin Marathon runcation!

Looking west from Mount Bonnell at sunset.

#1 – Mount Bonnell

Grab breakfast or lunch to go and head a few miles west of downtown to Mount Bonnell. There is a 102-stair climb, but when you reach the top you’ll encounter a tremendous view at Austin’s highest point. Enjoy your food and the view after your ascent. Then check out the view deck and some of the surrounding trails!

#2 – Breakfast tacos!

This blog isn’t long enough to list all the places to consume deliciously overstuffed breakfast tacos. Just follow these three easy steps: 1) visit taco place(s), 2) purchase taco(s) of choice, 3) consume taco(s). Simple as that.

Staff Favs: Check out Veracruz All Natural, Valentina’s TexMex

Sunrise from atop Hope Outdoor Gallery.

#3 – Hope Outdoor Gallery

Do you like art? Visit Austin’s ever-changing art gallery, Hope Outdoor Gallery (1101 Baylor St.). This multi-storied canvas features some of Austin’s top muralists and street artists. Search for their handle and give them a shout out on social media. Pro tip: a quick climb to the top will provide you with an unencumbered view of downtown.

#4 – Live music

You didn’t think we’d make this list without mentioning live music, did you? Don’t forget: Austin is the Live Music Capital of the World! From walk-in joints to ticketed venues, you can’t throw a guitar pick in this city without live music filling your eardrums. Let this guide discover what tickles your fancy.

Texas State Capitol.

#5 – State Capitol (and Finish Line setup!)

While you’re in town for the Austin Marathon, don’t miss the Texas State Capitol! Built in 1885, the Texas State Capitol is one of the most recognizable buildings in the state. Read about Texas State history in addition to the Capitol’s history. Pro tip: check out the construction of the Austin Marathon’s Finish Line Festival starting Friday evening and visualize crossing the finish line!

 

Now that you have jump started all your fun side activities, don’t forget the main event. Register!

2018 Austin Marathon Opens Team Registration

Start putting together your team today!

Team registration for the 2018 Austin Marathon is now open. The 27th Austin Marathon will take place on Sunday, February 18, 2018, in Austin, Texas. The Early Bird Pricing structure follows: marathon ($100), half marathon ($80), 5K ($35). Team registration will include three different team size options, with perks for each option. The Team Registration deadline is January 5, 2018.

Team sizes range from fewer than 34 participants, 35 – 49 participants, and greater than 50 participants. Teams can be public or private and they can pay individually or in bulk. All groups will have access to the Team Management system, have their Team Name printed on their bib, and have the option for early team packet pick up. Teams of 35+ will have the option to have a 10×10 space at the Finish Line Festival. Teams with more than 50 participants will have the option to have a 10×20 at the Finish Line Festival. Interested team captains can learn more about team registration, perks, and payment on the Team Registration page. Team captains are advised to follow these helpful instructions when setting up their team.

The Austin Marathon will celebrate its 27th year running in the capital of Texas. Austin’s flagship running event annually attracts runners from all 50 states and 20+ countries around the world. With start and finish locations just a few blocks apart, and within walking distance of many downtown hotels and restaurants, the Austin Marathon is the perfect running weekend destination. Participants can register for the marathon, half marathon, or 5K.

2018 Austin Marathon Opens Elite Athlete Program

The 2018 Austin Marathon® Elite Athlete Program application process is now open. In its second year since being reintroduced, the Elite Athlete Program focuses on creating a field of elite male and female runners with a competitive nature and discovering emerging marathon talent while helping the existing talent pool reach Olympic standards.

The 2018 Elite Athlete Program’s $20,000 prize purse is twice as much as last year’s total and will include prize money for the half marathon. The marathon prize purse will total $15,000 and award the top five male and female finishers while the half marathon purse will total $5,000 and award the top three male and female finishers. Athlete’s applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until December 31, 2017.

Former Austinite Joe Thorne (2:32:05) and Austinite Allison Macsas (2:48:16) both won the 2017 Austin Marathon; while South Africa’s Sphamandla Nyembe (1:11:36) and former Austinite Allison Mendez (1:21:42) won the half marathon.

“The Austin Marathon is a world-class event,” said Thorne. “A scenic, yet challenging course through a host city that captivates all who visit is but one of the many reasons I’m looking forward to coming back to take part in the 2018 Austin Marathon. Outstanding staff with wonderful volunteers provide full support from start to finish – which truly places the entire event into a class second to none.”

Athletes accepted into the Elite Athlete Program must meet the program’s standards. Those that meet standards will receive a comped entry, standards bonuses, comped entry to the 3M Half Marathon, and be eligible for hotel and transportation reimbursement up to $350. Runners who fall within a 10-15 minute window of Elite Athlete Program standards could still be accepted into the Elite Field and would receive a comped entry only.

To be eligible for reimbursement athletes must be accepted into the Elite Athlete Program and start the race. All athletes are subject to random drug testing pre- and post-race. Read more about program details, including eligibility standards, here. Interested athletes with questions can contact elites@youraustinmarathon.com.

2017 Austin Marathon Contributes $34.4 Million to Austin Economy

Findings stem from enhanced community collaboration with St. Edward’s University experts

High Five Events is proud to announce that the Austin Marathon® presented by NXP pumped $34.4 million into the Austin economy during race weekend. The Austin Marathon was able to better calculate its economic impact by utilizing the faculty expertise at St. Edward’s University’s Bill Munday School of Business. This year’s economic impact on the City of Austin is an $8.7 million increase from the 2016 event.

“This year’s economic contributions by the Austin Marathon showcase the growth of Austin’s flagship running event, the staggering financial impact it has on the city of Austin, and the idea that Austin is a destination for runners from around the world,” said Stacy Keese, co-owner of High Five Events.

Dr. Ali Dadpay, associate dean, MBA director, and professor of Economics for The Bill Munday School of Business, conducted the research for the 2017 Austin Marathon economic impact report. Dr. Dadpay achieved the report’s primary goal of incorporating more data, including High Five Events’ localized spending, volunteer contributions and jobs created, to measure the direct, indirect and induced economic impact.

“The Austin Marathon is an example of a sports event which vitalizes the local economy and creates significant revenue for the city and the local business community,” said Dr. Dadpay. “We have used estimated spending and estimated averages to aggregate total spending. The multiplier effect for this event is significant, and we can believe it impacts all economic sectors in our region.”

Moving forward, both parties will work to understand spectator contributions and the value generated by the Austin Marathon in social media, digital marketing, and digital brand recognition. This is an understudied aspect of such events, and other cities are looking into ways to measure the true impact of marathon events. The Austin Marathon is excited about the direction of the St. Edward’s University partnership.

“The Bill Munday School of Business focuses on supporting the Austin community with practical research that facilitates economic growth,” said Dr. Nancy Schreiber, school of business dean. “Our partnership with the Austin business ecosystem is a central force to providing relevant 21 st century business education.”

Austin Gives Miles Smashes Fundraising Goal

The Austin Marathon® presented by NXP is proud to announce that the 2017 Austin Gives Miles program, its Official Charity Program, raised more than $637,000, far surpassing its $500,000 fundraising goal. The 26 Central Texas nonprofit organizations accepted into the program worked tirelessly to exceed the program’s fundraising goal while increasing awareness for their organization and recruiting race day volunteers. Hope4Minds, an organization that supports children with an acquired brain injury, was the highest fundraiser, raising more than $41,000.

“We were honored and thankful to be a part of the 2017 Austin Gives Miles Program,” said Ronda Johnson, Hope4Minds Executive Director. “The money we raised through the program and received from the Moody Foundation will transform the lives of the individuals and families we serve here in Central Texas.”

The money raised significantly impacts Central Texas and the communities the charities serve. For the second year in a row, Austin Gives Miles was the beneficiary of a Moody Foundation grant that matched donations for each organization, up to $10,000. You can review the 2017 Austin Gives Miles charities and their fundraising efforts on the Austin Marathon website.The 2018 Austin Gives Miles application process will open on June 1.

“2017 was a banner year for Austin Gives Miles as we surpassed our fundraising goals, saw new and returning runners committing to their favorite causes, and increased awareness for the AGM program,” said Carly Samuelson, Austin Gives Miles Charity Manager. “I’m excited for 2018 and beyond as we continue to show the running community how we positively impact Central Texas.”

The 2018 Austin Marathon will celebrate its 27th year running in the capital of Texas on February 18, 2018. Austin’s flagship running event annually attracts runners from all 50 states and 20+ countries around the world. With start and finish locations just a few blocks apart, and within walking distance of many downtown hotels and restaurants, the Austin Marathon is the perfect running weekend destination. Participants can register for the marathon, half marathon, or 5K starting on June 1st.

Austin Marathon Makes Donation to Camp Kesem – UT

The Austin Marathon® presented by NXP is proud to present Camp Kesem – University of Texas with a donation of $3,671.25. Camp Kesem is receiving this donation because they won a month-long Austin Gives Miles social media contest that determined Chikage Windler, CBS Austin Chief Meteorologist, would run the marathon on behalf of their organization. Austin Gives Miles is the Official Charity Program of the Austin Marathon. The check presentation will take place on Monday, March 27th, at 10:30 a.m. in front of the Texas State Capitol, near the Austin Marathon finish line.

On February 19, Windler was the final marathoner to begin the Austin Marathon and finished in 926th place. Despite warmer than normal temperatures, the avid runner finished in 4:26:39 and earned $1.25 for every marathoner she passed. Windler was the first female Charity Chaser and was exceptional in her role, lending her platform within the Austin community and increasing awareness for Austin Gives Miles’ efforts.

It’s one thing to run for yourself, but there’s a whole other level of determination when you know every person you pass gets Camp Kesem more money for its programs that help kids deal with a parent’s cancer,” said Windler. “It was hot and it was hilly and the crowd support was fantastic. I am so proud to have #runlikethewindler as the Austin Marathon’s Charity Chaser!”

Camp Kesem at University of Texas at Austin was founded in 2011. They support children affected by a parent’s cancer in the Austin community by providing a week-long summer camp experience and year-round peer support. Camp Kesem at University of Texas at Austin is operated by 75 student volunteers and serves 150 campers aged 6-16. They also offer a CIT (Counselor In Training) program in which campers aged 16-17 can apply for and prepare to become a counselor.

Having Chikage as our Charity Chaser was an amazing experience,” said Carly Samuelson, Austin Gives Miles Program Coordinator. “She took what it means to be a Charity Chaser to the next level not only for Camp Kesem – UT, but for all of Austin Gives Miles.

The 2018 Austin Marathon will celebrate its 27th year running in the capital of Texas on February 18, 2018. Austin’s flagship running event annually attracts runners from all 50 states and 20+ countries around the world. With start and finish locations just a few blocks apart, and within walking distance of many downtown hotels and restaurants, the Austin Marathon is the perfect running weekend destination. Participants can register for the marathon, half marathon, or 5K starting on June 1st.

History Made at the 2017 Austin Marathon

Kayleigh Williamson made history on February 19th at the 2017 Austin Marathon® presented by NXP. She became the first female participant with Down syndrome to complete the Austin half marathon. Despite warmer than normal temperatures, Williamson finished the 13.1-mile course in six hours and 23 minutes. All throughout the course, Kayleigh had thousands of cheering supporters, including a race official and a local police K-9 unit. She approached the finish line in a dead sprint surrounded by her mother, amazing friends, and her RunLab coaches.

Williamson and race official Rod Newlin. Credit RunLab.

“I loved the race and that I was able to race with all of my friends and inspire others,” said Williamson.

Roughly 125,000 participants, spectators, and volunteers enjoyed the 26th annual Austin Marathon, produced by High Five Events. Former Austinite Joe Thorne (2:32:05) and Austinite Allison Macsas (2:48:16) both won the marathon; while South Africa’s Sphamandla Nyembe (1:11:36) and former Austinite Allison Mendez (1:21:42) won the half marathon. FloTrack provided live coverage of the marathon and captured everyone as they crossed the finish line.

Coming back to Austin was wonderful because it holds a special place in my heart,” said Thorne. “Being able to race and win the championship is amazing.”

Second and third place in the marathon for the men went to Daniel Bishop of Salt Lake City (2:33:02) and former Austinite Jared Carson (2:35:11). Central Park Track Club’s Caroline Veltri (2:58:36) and Austinite Jennifer Harney (3:07:26) finished the marathon second and third respectively.

Post-race Congress Ave.

Although I’ve been involved in the Austin Marathon as a pacer for years, nothing could have prepared me for what a special experience it would be to race it for the first time,” said Allison Macsas, female marathon champ. “The local support out on the course and behind the scenes (thanks FloTrack!) was incredible, and played a huge part in carrying me through some very tough spots to the first marathon win of my life – a win made even more special by the fact that it was here at home!

Adam Waldum of Cedar Park (1:12:33) and Nicholas Sterghos of Colorado Springs (1:16:05) finished second and third in Sunday’s half marathon. The second and third place females in the half marathon were Beth Panke (1:24:48) and Tracie Akerhielm (1:26:10).

FloTrack’s world-class coverage followed the men’s and women’s elite field throughout the race and watched as every participant crossed the line. At times they had a trio of announcers highlighting the Austin Marathon and interviewing staff, sponsors, and the winners live. Participants and spectators were both able to enjoy the enhanced finish line festival that included a beer garden, TriggerPoint Recovery Zone, two Jumbotrons that displayed FloTrack’s live coverage, and several local food trucks.

Macsas, Manzano, and Thorne. Credit – Manzano

Official Race Ambassador and two-time Olympian Leo Manzano pumped up the runners before they began their race. He was also the inspiration for the Manzano Mile, which was the final marathon, half marathon, and 5K. Manzano is known for his signature kick, which helped him win the silver medal at the London Games in 2012. Every participant kicked for their last mile and finished with the heart of a lion.

To cap off the amazing day Chikage Windler, CBS Austin Chief Meteorologist and Austin Gives Miles Charity Chaser, started the marathon in last place. As the Charity Chaser, she ran on behalf of Camp Kesem – University of Texas and raised $1.25 for every marathoner she passed. She finished in 926th place and raised $3671.25.

The weather didn’t do us any favors, but I was humbled to run on behalf Camp Kesem UT,” said Windler. “And I’m already looking forward to next year!

Mr. Clemmer, Jack Murray, and Mayor Adler

Participants can see their results on the website and continue to share their amazing experiences on the Austin Marathon’s social media channels. For those planning ahead to February 18, 2018, next year’s registration is open and set at the low price of $90 (marathon) and $70 (half marathon). This amazing deal will be available until January 25th. Runners can find their race day photos on Marathonfoto.com. Search for ‘Austin Marathon 2017’ and enter your last name or bib number.

The Austin Marathon would like to thank the volunteers, sponsors, spectators and participants They would also like to thank NXP CEO Richard Clemmer, Mayor Steve Adler, silver medalist Leo Manzano, and former race directors John and Stacey Conley for their race day support.

Austin Marathon Lands Sponsorship with Ben Phillips

Partnership makes Ben Phillips – Engel & Volkers Austin the Official Realtor

High Five Events is proud to introduce Ben Phillips – Engel & Volkers Austin as the Official Realtor of the 2017 Austin Marathon® presented by NXP. As the Official Realtor, Phillips is currently giving away two Austin Marathon VIP passes and will have a space at the expo, complete with photo booth, to talk to you about your housing needs.

“We’re glad to have Ben, an endurance athlete who knows the City of Austin inside and out, as a sponsor for the Austin Marathon” said Jack Murray, co-owner of High Five Events. “He knows the value of living close to where you train and he combines his knowledge and real estate experience to serve all of his clients.”

Ben Phillips – Engel & Volkers Austin knows Austin extensively and is a mainstay in the endurance athlete community. Not only does he sponsor various endurance events around town, he often participates in them as well. Phillips uses his real estate experience and knowledge of Austin to help athletes find homes that are within proximity of where they need to train.

As a member of the endurance and fitness community it is exciting to be the Official Realtor of the Austin Marathon,” said Ben Phillips, Real Estate Advisor Engel & Völkers. “The Austin Marathon is a marquee event for the city and we are proud to play a role in enhancing the event experience for the thousands of participants and spectators.”

The Austin Marathon will celebrate its 26th year running in the capital of Texas. Austin’s flagship running event annually attracts runners from all 50 states and 20+ countries around the world. With start and finish locations just a few blocks apart, and within walking distance of many downtown hotels and restaurants, the Austin Marathon is the perfect running weekend destination. Participants can register for the marathon, half marathon, or 5K.