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This One is for You Dad: Running to End Pancreatic Cancer

Tom began running after his father’s pancreatic cancer diagnosis

Tom and his wife, Laura, after running a race for Project Purple, a nonprofit whose mission is to find a cure for pancreatic cancer.

Tom and his wife, Laura, after running a race for Project Purple.

Everyone runs for a reason. Sometimes you run for yourself, sometimes you run for others, sometimes you run for a cause. Like many runners, Tom Hamann does all three. Tom runs to improve his health. He runs to honor his father’s memory. And he runs to end the disease that took his father (TBird), pancreatic cancer. Read Tom’s edition of My Running Story and learn why he lends his legs and his miles to a cause that’s near to his heart. Lend your legs and miles during your Austin Marathon training when you run on behalf of an official Austin Gives Miles charity.

Running to honor his father’s memory

In 2016, my dad – who I always referred to by his nickname “TBird” – was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I started running soon after. It helps keep me positive and healthy. Last February, I planned to visit TBird in Austin with my wife Laura and our boys Max and Joe. We live in Michigan. I thought this might be our last visit with my dad. I signed up to run the Austin Marathon 5K during our visit. My boys were registered for the Manzano Mile

Tom's father, TBird, with his two grandsons before he lost his battle with pancreatic cancer.

Tom’s father, TBird, with his two grandsons.

My dad didn’t make it that long. He declined rapidly the weekend before the race. Laura and I flew down right away to be with TBird. We were with him when he died on February 14, 2019. Worst Valentine’s Day ever. I decided to run as many events as I can to help raise money for pancreatic cancer charities. I’m doing this in my dad’s name and to help others suffering from this terrible disease. In May 2019, I did my first half marathon in Chicago, running for Project Purple.

Returning to Austin

My family is coming back to Austin to honor my dad on the first anniversary of his passing – Friday, February 14th. Max and Joe are going to do the Manzano Mile on February 15. I will run the Austin Half Marathon on February 16th. We’re excited for this trip back to Austin; I just wish my dad were still here to join in the fun. 

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, and Samantha Santos.

KXAN Simple Health Named Title Sponsor of Austin Marathon 5K

Austin Marathon KXAN Simple Health 5K will continue to benefit Paramount Theatre

The Austin Marathon KXAN Simple Health 5K will take place on February 16, 2020.

Runners take off at the 2019 Austin Marathon 5K.

High Five Events introduces KXAN Simple Health as the title sponsor of the 2020 Austin Marathon 5K. The partnership includes amplification of the Simple Health initiative, race weekend activations, and year-round media opportunities. The Austin Marathon KXAN Simple Health 5K benefitting Paramount Theatre will take place on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020.

“We’re proud to support the Austin Marathon through our station-wide initiative, Simple Health,” said Eric Lassberg, Vice President and General Manager of KXAN. “By highlighting all events during Austin Marathon weekend, including the Austin Marathon KXAN 5K, we hope to raise awareness for Central Texans on fun ways to be active within their community.”

Bettering Central Texans

KXAN’s Simple Health is a public service initiative focused on providing its viewers with healthy living and wellness tips across all KXAN platforms. KXAN has partnered with The American Heart Association and focuses on their four tenants; eat smart, add color, move more, be well. The Austin Marathon was recently on KXAN’s Studio 512 to discuss summer training tips as part of KXAN’s fitness focus. KXAN is the Austin, Texas, NBC affiliate. They’re committed to providing Central Texans valuable and local news coverage through its in-depth, investigative brand.

“The growth of our partnership with KXAN has been tremendous and we know the Austin Marathon KXAN 5K will benefit from that growth,” Jack Murray, co-owner of High Five Events. “Their Simple Health initiative aligns with one of our main goals: to get people moving and living healthier lives.”

Austin Marathon KXAN 5K

The Austin Marathon KXAN 5K will begin at 7:30 a.m. Runners will take off 30 minutes after the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon and Austin Half Marathon. It still benefits Paramount Theatre, Austin’s original performing arts venue since 1915. Participants will participate in the only Austin 5K that runs on historic Congress Avenue. The stroller-friendly course is perfect for the entire family. All participants receive an Under Armour participant shirt and a commemorative finisher medal. The current price, $39, will increase to $49 on Tuesday, September 10th. More than 2300 participants registered for the 2019 Austin Marathon 5K.

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.

Explore these 7 East Austin Highlights Near the Austin Marathon Course

Explore some of our favorite East Austin highlights and learn about their rich history

There are numerous legendary, significant, and beautiful locations in East Austin. From Huston-Tillotson University, Austin’s first institution of higher learning, to the many green spaces, parks and trails, East Austin is brimming with places you should visit. We whittled down our favorite East Austin highlights to those that are in close proximity to the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon course. We’re proud that the course runs through historic East Austin once again. On Feb. 16th, runners from around the world have a chance to soak in all that East Austin has to offer. That’s something we enjoy on a daily basis. Check out our list of the seven East Austin locations you must visit!

Huston-Tillotson University

Huston-Tillotson University's beautiful campus makes it one of the Austin Marathon's favorite East Austin highlights.

Huston-Tillotson University is Austin’s first institution of higher learning.

Established in 1875, Huston–Tillotson University was the first institution of higher learning in Austin. It is a private, historically black university. The university’s history resides with two schools,  Tillotson College and Samuel Huston College, which merged in 1952. During Labor Day Weekend, the university plays host to Six Square’s The District Cultural Arts Festival. It’s an exciting celebration that honors the rich legacy and cultural contributions of Central Texas’ Black community and provides a gathering place for everyone to enjoy Austin’s unique black arts, music, history, and culture. Photo credit: Huston-Tillotson University Facebook page.

Yellow Jacket Stadium

Yellow Jacket Track is a stone’s throw from the Boggy Creek Trail. This track is a haven for the East Austin community and those doing speedwork during their Austin Marathon training. It was restored by L.C. Anderson High alum Thomas “Hollywood” Henderson The former Dallas Cowboys linebacker is heavily invested in the track, fundraising twice to improve the track, and East Austin.

Rosewood Neighborhood Park

Near Mile 19.5, Rosewood Neighborhood Park offers numerous amenities when you visit. This East Austin highlight offers plenty of open space for a picnic, a couple of baseball fields for a pick-up game, and a splash pad.

Six Square

The Peterson Brothers headlined Six Square's Blues Music Showcase, a true East Austin highlight.

The Peterson Brothers headlined the 2018 Austin Marathon’s finish line festival.

Six Square’s mission is to preserve and celebrate the cultural legacy of the African American community that once thrived in Central East Austin through cultural arts, education, economic development, and historic preservation. They have a gallery that highlights up-and-coming artists. Six Square provides historical tours, hosts The District Culture Arts Fest, and showcases Austin’s best musicians during Black Music Month with blues, R&B, hip-hop, and jazz showcases. The Peterson Brothers headlined the 2019 Blues Music Showcase. They also headlined the 2018 Austin Marathon finish line festival!

Boggy Creek Trail

Want a short recovery run while training for the Austin Marathon? Leave Rosewood Park, walk across the railroad tracks, and hop on the Boggy Creek Trail. This out-and-back trail is ideal for stretching your legs on Sunday after your Saturday long run.

George Washington Carver Complex

Front-facing view of one of the Austin Marathon's favorite East Austin highlights, the George Washington Carver Complex.

We’re fortunate to have the Carver Complex and its dedication to the past, present, and future in Austin.

Known as the “Drumbeat of the Black Community,” the Carver Complex is an institution that is dedicated to the collection, preservation, research, interpretation, and exhibition of historical and cultural materials reflecting all dimensions of experiences of persons of African descent living in Austin, Travis County, and in the United States. The 36,000-square foot facility is also a key source of information on the history and celebration of Juneteenth. Visit this East Austin highlight and explore the George Washington Carver Museum, Carver Branch Library, and Carver Genealogy Center. Photo credit: George Washington Carver Complex Facebook page.

Texas State Cemetery

Establishment of the Texas State Cemetery (909 Navasota St.) began in 1851. The 18-acre site is just three blocks from the final mile of the Austin Marathon course. The Texas State Cemetery is the final resting place of many influential individuals, including former governors, Senators, and people instrumental with Texas gaining its independence. It has a meditation area and features monuments honoring Texans who have served the United States of America. If you’re a history buff or want to pay your respects, the cemetery is open seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Was the above list of East Austin locations not enough? Visit these Google Maps of our favorite murals and other places we love around Austin!