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Austin Marathon Provides Lasting Memories for Thousands

Thousands celebrate their Austin Marathon accomplishments at massive finish line festival

The Ascension Seton Austin Marathon was the epicenter of the running world on Sunday, February 17th, showcasing one of the world’s top marathons. More than 16,000 participants registered for the Austin Marathon, Austin Half Marathon, and 5K. They traveled to Austin from all 50 states and 38 countries. Tens of thousands of spectators lined the Austin streets cheering on runners, waving hilarious signs, and providing endless energy. Joey Whelan (2:17:03) successfully defended his title as Austin Marathon champion. Austin Marathon female champion Heather Lieberg, who has already qualified for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials, ran a B standard qualifying 2:42:27.

“I’m grateful I was able to run the Austin Marathon and earn my second victory in as many years,” said Whelan, who bested his 2018 Austin Marathon winning time by four minutes and 34 seconds. “I appreciate the people of Austin for remembering me from last year and cheering for me and the other thousands of runners.”

FloTrack’s live coverage followed the champions and the men’s and women’s elite fields for the marathon and half marathon. Jameson Mora (2:20:21) and Will Christian (2:22:59) rounded out the men’s marathon field. The male half marathoners finishing in the top three consisted of James Ngandu (1:04:32), Gonzalo Parra Perez (1:05:36), and Austinite Mike Lowe (1:06:36).

“The Austin Marathon was all I thought it was going to be and more,” said Lieberg. “Such a friendly and supportive atmosphere, and despite a few personal hurdles, I was able to pull off a win;  thank you Austin!”

Anita Perez of San Antonio (2:47:56) and Khrystyna Bohomiahkova of Ukraine (2:49:05) finished the marathon second and third respectively. The top three female half marathon finishers were Caroline Rotich (1:13:24), Nicole Roberts (1:16:16), and Sarah Pease (1:16:24).

Aid stations hydrated runners with nuun performance, Gatorade handed out gels and chews at two fuel zones, and runners celebrated with friends and family at the three-block-long finish line festival. When runners crossed the finish line, they were treated to a huge party that consisted of the Under Armour recovery zone, Oskar Blues Austin beer garden featuring Tito’s Handmade Vodka, food trucks, Jumbotron displaying FloTrack live coverage, and hours of live music.

Sunday was a picturesque day in Austin, helping thousands of runners achieve their goals and earn PRs. Participants consisted of first-timers and veterans pushing towards their respective finish lines.

“Crossing that finish line came with a whirlwind of emotions, ranging from excitement, pride, relief, and exhaustion as I was laughing and crying all at the same time,” said Carly Bormann, who finished in 4:18:02, earning an 80 minute and 49 second PR. “It was a moment that I was just grateful to share with so many amazing people who helped get me to that point.”

Lance Armstrong, Austin Gives Miles Charity Chaser, was the final participant to cross the Austin Marathon start line. He earned money for 28 Central Texas nonprofits for every marathoner he passed. Armstrong began 22 minutes after the ringing of the start gong. He finished in 3:02:13 and passed all but 59 marathoners. Armstrong’s efforts have pushed Austin Gives Miles past their $1 million fundraising goal. Contributions can be made through the end of February.

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.

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, Camp Gladiator, Hilton of Austin, nuun hydration, Fleet Feet Austin, Oskar Blues Brewery, KXAN, woom bikes USA, SPIbelt, Dole, Z’Tejas, H-E-B, Gatorade, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Carvana, Life by Spot, Goodwill Central Texas, Alvies Boots, FloTrack, FinisherPix, Austin Massage Company, Boy Scout Troop 49, the City of Austin, Austin Police Department, Department of Public Safety, CapMetro, and Travis County EMS.

26.2 Reasons You’ll Love the Austin Marathon

The below reasons why you’ll love the Austin Marathon are in no particular order, promise

One reason you'll love the Austin Marathon: Under Armour participant shirts!

Reason #2 you’ll love the Austin Marathon: Under Armour participant shirts!

Finding reasons you’ll love the Austin Marathon presented by Under Armour was easy. Selecting 26.2 reasons for this blog post was the difficult part! Some said we were crazy, others said we couldn’t do it. But we knew deep down we needed to share this intel with you. Join us on February 17, 2019, and experience the best the Austin has to offer. Tacos, murals, live music, Austin Gives Miles, cold beer, and ohhh so much more. Let’s get started!

  1. Austin, Texas – need we say more? Okay, here you go…
  2. Under Armour shirts – you’ll be the envy of those who didn’t run Austin
  3. #DiscoverYourAustin – visit the best Austin has to offer near the Austin Marathon course and try all the tacos (we did all the hard work!) #DiscoverYourAustin - visit the best #Austin has to offer near the #AustinMarathon course and try all the tacos (we did all the hard work!) Click To Tweet
  4. Customized belt buckle finisher medals – when you wear your buckle, it will speak of your accomplishment in Austin, Texas, without saying a word
  5. Austin Marathon 5K benefitting Paramount Theatre – perfect for the entire family, run out and back on South Congress, then enjoy the finish line festival
  6. Support Austin Gives Miles – run on behalf of an AGM charity and make a difference for a Central Texas nonprofit organization
  7. On-course murals – visit them before, during, or after… your choice, just bring your camera

    Reason #7 you'll love the Austin Marathon: murals on course!

    Reason #7 you’ll love the Austin Marathon: murals on course!

  8. Three-block-long finish line festival – post-race massage, recovery, food trucks, 2 Jumbotrons, hours of live music from 2 bands, and more
  9. Expanded beer garden – celebrate your accomplishments with a cold beer
  10. Live music from 15 bands on course – we’re not the Live Music Capital of the World for nothin’
  11. 17 amazing pacer groups – they pace, you race
  12. Manzano Mile presented by Dole on Saturday, Feb.16th – cheer everyone, from families to elites, or stretch out your legs before you run on Sunday
  13. Marathon course showcases all of Austin – north, south, east, and west, drink it all in
  14. Two-day long Health & Fitness Expo – purchase official Austin Marathon Under Armour gear, check out the newest running products, grab any last-minute needs
  15. Top-notch start line and finish line VIP – gear check, delicious food, custom cocktails, private restrooms, and more
  16. Photo finish – the magnificent Texas State Capitol is your finish line backdrop
  17. Spectator-friendly course (never more than 4 miles from downtown) – cheer family and friends from multiple spots on course, including the finish line
  18. Thousands of amazing and supportive volunteers – they’re up early and they stay late, ensuring you have the best experience
  19. Amazing rates at downtown hotels through onPeak – save money when planning your Austin runcation
  20. Austin Marathon Winnie – visit our ‘72 Winnebago (just don’t think you can sleep in it!)
  21. State-of-the-art app – all the info you need in the palm of your hand
  22. FloTrack live broadcast – they follow the elite action, then watch every finisher cross the finish line

    You'll love the Austin Marathon!

    Allison Macsas, 2017/2018 Austin Marathon female champ, qualifies for the Olympic Marathon Trials on Feb. 18, 2018.

  23. Leo Manzano: race ambassador – Austinite and Olympic silver medalist in the 1500m (2012 – London)
  24. USATF-certified course – you won’t run anymore or less than you have to, we double checked
  25. 22 fully-stocked aid stations featuring nuun performance – grab hydration, make a pitstop, or both (don’t forget to thank the volunteers)
  26. “There’s no better city to recover in.” – Mayor Steve Adler – spend time in our phenomenal city before and after Feb. 17th, take in all that Austin has to offer

  26.2. In conclusion – the Austin Marathon begins with a strike of the #RunAustin gong… yeah, you read that right

If that’s not enough, see what country music legend Gary P. Nunn had to say after singing the National Anthem and playing his hits as runners crossed the 2018 start line, “That’s the most fun I’ve had before 9:00 a.m. in a long time.”

Friends have raved about Austin. Running partners can’t stop talking about their experience. Now it’s your turn! Reserve your spot at the 2019 Austin Marathon start line and experience all that Austin has to offer. And if 2019 won’t be your first time, well you’re now on a mission to consume delicious tacos from a new location!