10 Ways to Have a Great 2021 Run Austin Experience

Ensure you have a great 2021 Run Austin experience when you follow our advice

We want y’all to have the best 2021 Run Austin experience possible! As you know, this year’s event will look a bit different. But don’t worry, we’re still planning an amazing in-person experience for all participants. We’ve worked with many different city, county, and state entities to provide a comprehensive Mitigation Plan with specific measures. We need you to follow these guidelines and protocols so every participant can have an amazing 2021 Run Austin experience. 

10 steps everyone needs to follow to Run Austin

1. Approach the start line at your designated time

Female runner smiles as she crosses the 2020 Austin Half Marathon finish line.

Follow these tips to have a memorable 2021 Run Austin experience.

This will be communicated to all participants via email and will be boldly printed on your bib. You can only start when it’s your designated time. This helps reduce on-course density and allows us to maintain the required social distancing measures. 

2. Stay at home if you’re sick or have symptoms of COVID-19

Don’t risk it! If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 stay home. Participants will be required to fill out a health survey before they can pick up their bib. We want to get back to live events as much as you do, but not at the expense of spreading this virus. If you stay home because of this you can either A or B. Email our team ( for more information.

3. Wear your mask

Signage will be placed to designate mask required zones so everyone is aware of where they are. When running, carry your mask with you so you can put it back on once you cross the finish line. Spectators are encouraged to wear masks as well. Masks will also be provided at the finish line.

4. Maintain social distance, even on course

One Texas Longhorn equals roughly six feet.

Keep groups to fewer than 10 people and maintain six feet of social distancing from others. In case you have a hard time visualizing it, six feet roughly equals the length of: 

5. Encourage friends and family to track you online

Spectators are highly discouraged at the start and finish lines. If your crew does come out they must follow all mask and social distancing rules. They should also stick to less dense parts of the course. Do not form groups of 10 or more. You can also have your friends and family use our athlete tracking so they can follow you from anywhere in the world. Just tell them to download the Austin Marathon app!

6. Use hand sanitation stations

Make sure you get all your questions answered before race day.

Keep ‘em clean! There will be plenty of these stations at the start and finish lines and aid stations. Take advantage of them. Our team will ensure specific high-touch areas are regularly cleaned, but it’s strongly recommended that you take advantage of these hand sanitation stations as needed. 

7. Ask questions before race day

We know you’ll have questions and our team works overtime to make sure you have the information you need. To streamline and limit in-person interactions, we’re asking that you ask questions before race day. There’s a ton of helpful information currently on our site. If you do have questions, ask us on social media, use the live chat on our website, or send us an email at

8. Finish and celebrate Austin

You’ve crossed the finish line. CONGRATS! This year we’re asking that you cross the finish line, grab your post-race goodie bag, and safely visit one of the Austin restaurants and bars we’ve partnered with. Since we can’t party in the beer garden and celebrate with live music, this is the next best option! We’re partnering with some awesome businesses to offer deals for runners. Check your pre-race emails for all the details. BONUS – you’ll also have a much-needed impact on the Austin economy and all of our friends in the service industry.

9. Share with us on social

Cross the finish line and celebrate with Austin.

We don’t get to celebrate together like we normally do, but we still want to know about your accomplishments! You’ve put in months of training and finally crossed that finish line. We want to hear about your experience and join the celebration virtually. Make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and tag Austin Marathon when sharing your race-day experience!

10. Read the Mitigation Plan

This one might be obvious, but it’s also important. Countless hours have gone into the creation of this Mitigation Plan. By familiarizing yourself with this information you are helping yourself and your fellow runner have a great 2021 Run Austin experience. 

Ensure you and all the other participants have a memorable 2021 Run Austin experience by following the 10 recommendations and our Mitigation Plan. A successful Austin Half Marathon and 5K can be the blueprint for large-scale endurance events returning.

City of Austin Formally Approves the 2021 Austin Half Marathon and 5K

2021 Austin Half Marathon is officially ready to run Austin

The return to Austin running begins April 25th with the Ascension Seton Austin Half Marathon presented by Under Armour. Formal approval has been issued by the City of Austin through the special event permitting process with Austin Center for Events (ACE) and Austin Public Health and stems from months of continued support and planning. The approved COVID-19 Mitigation Plan will transform the 2021 Austin Half Marathon, one of Austin’s flagship events. It’ll allow for precautions to be in place that exceed COVID-19 guidelines set forth by the City of Austin.

The 2021 Austin Half Marathon marks the return to Austin running.

“The 2021 Austin Half Marathon, an event that represents Austin’s commitment to health, has also shown a commitment to COVID-19 safety,” said Don Hastings, Austin Public Health Assistant Director for Environmental Services. “The Austin Marathon team has worked creatively over several months to re-invent this signature event in a way that emphasizes the health and safety of its participants and our community. To ensure we can safely reopen more of our events in the near future, it’s critical that Austinites continue to wear their masks, socially distance and wash their hands. And to keep the Austin Marathon especially safe in this pandemic year, we ask that friends and family of runners cheer their runners on virtually!” 

Mitigation Plan

High Five Events and their sponsors and partners like Ascension Seton, Austin Public Health, and the City of Austin are all fully committed to the Mitigation Plan. High Five Events owns and produces the Austin Marathon. The full COVID-19 mitigation plan is available to view on our site. Strategies include:

  • Participation capacity reduced by 53%
  • Density reduction by 88%
  • Assigned start times extended over a longer time frame
  • Enhanced sanitation
  • Adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols
  • Elimination of mass gathering activities
  • Discourage spectators from attending to reduce COVID transmission risk

Register now! The events are expected to sell out with the reduced capacity.

“Ascension Seton has closely collaborated with the High Five Events team and the City of Austin to ensure our event medical team provides the safest event possible, including the implementation of safety protocols to ensure social distancing and sanitation procedures are followed,” said Andy Davis, president and CEO of Ascension Texas. “Ascension Seton is excited to continue to be involved in this event that provides a unique experience through the streets of our beautiful city and serves as a way for individuals to remain healthy and active.”

Preparing for April 25th

Online registration is currently available. Both the 2021 Austin Half Marathon and KXAN Simple Health 5K in-person and virtual events have a maximum capacity set in the Mitigation Plan. The event has already surpassed 57% of the capacity based on current registrations. The event is expected to sell out.

“The trust instilled by the City of Austin and their continued support will allow us to set the standard for producing large-scale, socially-distanced endurance events across the country,” said Jack Murray, co-owner of High Five Events. “Our team is ready for this responsibility and excited to bring this event back, after having canceled all of our events since last March. We are pleased to welcome all those who have taken up running this past year and look forward to seeing the running community continue to grow.”

Participants are encouraged to fundraise on behalf of one of the amazing 26 Central Texas nonprofits as part of the Austin Marathon Gives charity program which has a goal of raising more than $700,000. The event will also launch new initiatives to help local businesses by providing opportunities for them to take part in the event at no cost. Interested businesses should fill out this form.

Boyer Helped Fundraise Thousands, Cruised Through Austin Marathon

Boyer helped fundraise more than $21,000 for Dell Children’s Heart Program

On Saturday morning, Feb. 13, Nate Boyer toed the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon start line ready to take on his first 26.2-miler. He was joined on that sub-freezing morning by Austin Marathon staff on bikes and the Ascension Seton support truck. Despite the Austin Marathon’s original February date being postponed until April 25th, Boyer remained committed to his goal of completing his first marathon and fundraising for Dell Children’s Heart Program. Boyer’s official time was 3:12:37. To date, he has helped fundraise $21,091 thanks to a generous matching grant from Moody Foundation, presenting partner of Austin Marathon Gives

“When things got tough, I ran with my heart knowing the money I helped fundraise will give kids the opportunity to follow their heart later in life,” said Boyer, former Green Beret, Texas Longhorn, and Seattle Seahawk. “I can’t thank the High Five Events’ staff and the Ascension Seton professionals enough. They helped keep me safe, reach my goal, and most importantly, stay on course!”

How others pitched in and opened their hearts

Nate Boyer covers his heart with his right hand as the National Anthem played before he ran 26.2 miles on Austin’s streets. Boyer helped fundraise more than $21,000 for Dell Children’s Heart Program.

Boyer and his efforts were supported in several different ways, including the $10,000 matching grant from The Moody Foundation. Individuals donated to his fundraising page, participants signed up to virtually run with Nate, and limited-edition Run Austin Love Austin gear was sold. High Five Events, owners and producers of the Austin Marathon, donated proceeds from registrations and the gear to Nate’s campaign. The limited-edition Run Austin Love Austin gear is still available. Everyone who has registered received a virtual goody bag. The virtual good bag featured exclusive offers from partners like Fleet Feet Austin, SPIbelt, nuun, and GU Energy. Other well-known Austin establishments like Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ, Home Slice, and Hula Hut provided deals too.

“This was a great way to recognize the 30th annual Austin Marathon’s original weekend, support Nate’s efforts, and fundraise for the new Dell Children’s Heart Program,” said Jack Murray, co-owner of High Five Events. “We’re equally as excited for the Austin Half Marathon on April 25th and the participants who will continue to fundraise for Austin Marathon Gives nonprofits.”

The April 25th date will feature the Austin Half Marathon and KXAN SimpleHealth 5K. The start and finish locations are just a few blocks apart. They are within walking distance of many downtown hotels and restaurants. The finish line is in front of the picturesque Texas State Capitol. The Austin Marathon is the perfect running weekend destination. Registration for the in-person event on April 25th is open. Runners can also select from virtual half marathon and 5K options.

Additional photo credits given to Ari Perez and Mike Thompson.

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