The running community celebrates Austin’s successful return to running
On Sunday, April 25th, the Ascension Seton Austin Half Marathon presented by Under Armour signaled Austin’s successful return to running. Nearly 5400 registered for the Austin Half Marathon or KXAN Simple Health 5K benefitting Paramount Theatre. Austin’s successful return to running was highlighted by first-time runners, costumes, countless smiles, and an energetic atmosphere. Participants have been training for months, including decorated Texas Longhorn athletes Leo Manzano and Nate Boyer. Even though the 3-block-long finish line festival was left out this year due to the Mitigation Plan, finishers were encouraged to celebrate at one of the dozens of Austin restaurants and bars that provided deals and discounts for the virtual goodie bag.
“The Austin Half was my first race in 12 years and I couldn’t have asked for a better event to bring me back into running,” said Jack McBee, who finished in 2:06:32. “The energy was incredible — clearly everyone was ready to get back to running Austin! I’m sure I speak for most runners today when I say kudos to the Austin Marathon team for making this an unforgettable experience!”
Successful return to running
Temperatures began in the mid-50s. The rest of race day was picturesque, without a cloud in the sky. Twelve local bands performed on the 13.1-mile course, giving participants a taste of The Live Music Capital of the World. Social media confirmed participants were blown away by their goodie bags which included a custom Under Armour shirt, pint glass, bandana, sunglasses, and more. Finishers received a virtual goodie bag that includes exclusive deals at more than 30 sponsors, partners, and local Austin businesses.
“After the year we’ve had I’m so grateful I ran with the Austin running community today,” said Andrea Mee, who’s celebrating finishing her third Austin Half Marathon in a row at Star Bar. “The Austin Half Marathon is hands down one of the best races I’ve ever done and I’m so thankful they were able to host it today!”
Jordan West is the Austin Half Marathon champion (1:07:31). Michael “Slim” Morris (1:07:56) and Jared Schatz (1:08:04) crossed the half marathon finish line after him in second and third place. Michelle Murray is the Austin Half Marathon female champion (1:24:21). Carrie Birth-Davis (1:27:45) and Julia Rhie (1:29:25) were the second and third females to cross the half marathon finish line.
“After so many canceled races it felt great to toe the Austin Half Marathon start line,” said Murray, who says she earned her first major victory. “This was an experience I will never forget and I’m thankful that race organizers went above and beyond in making today as safe as possible!”
Austin Marathon Gives
The 26 Central Texas nonprofits that are part of Austin Marathon Gives charity program have raised more than $700,000. Austin Marathon Gives will receive a grant from presenting partner the Moody Foundation for the sixth year in a row. The grant will match donations raised, up to $10,000, for each participating organization. Since 2014, Austin Marathon Gives has raised $3.8 million for numerous worthy Central Texas nonprofits. Through their grants, the Moody Foundation has given $1.2 million to the program since 2016.
“This was an absolutely incredible day and experience, especially considering I nearly beat my friend and Olympic silver medalist Leo Manzano,” said Nate Boyer, who helped raise more than $20,000 for Dell Children’s. “I’ll never forget how the running community came together at the Austin Half Marathon to mark Austin’s successful return to running. Training begins to get my revenge against Leo in 2022!”
Extended 30th anniversary
Registration is open for the Austin Marathon’s extended 30th anniversary, scheduled for February 20, 2022. Special pricing is set at $119 for the marathon, $99 for the half marathon, and $49 for the KXAN Simple Health 5K. These amazing deals will be available for a limited time only. Don’t miss your chance to Run Austin, the #1 city in America. 2021 participants can see their results on the Austin Marathon website and continue to share their memorable experiences on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Runners can expect their FinisherPix race day photos to be ready in 24-48 hours after the race.
“I just know that Austin’s successful return to running today is going to springboard into an even more amazing experience at the Austin Marathon’s 30th anniversary in 2022,” said Manzano, Austin Marathon Celebrity Race Ambassador. “The running community is a special one, and to see them come together and support one another, local businesses, and nonprofits after months of training truly exemplifies how amazing this community is.”
The Austin Marathon would like to thank the volunteers, spectators, and participants who made the race so special. They would also like to thank title sponsor Ascension Seton, Under Armour, The Moody Foundation, Super Coffee, Camp Gladiator, GU Energy Labs, Nuun Hydration, Tacodeli, Siete Foods, Fleet Feet Austin, KXAN, Paramount Theatre, SPIbelt, Dole Packaged Foods, H-E-B, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Goodwill Central Texas, FloTrack, FinisherPix, Life Time, Boy Scout Troop 49, the City of Austin, Austin Police Department, Department of Public Safety, CapMetro, Austin Public Health, and Travis County EMS.