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 in to 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 a temperamental climate and been blessed with rolling hills. The new route, with new neighborhoods, is really going to make this race even better than in 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 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.