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.