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2021 Austin Half Marathon Signals Austin’s Successful Return to Running

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. 

Credit: Scott Flathouse.

“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.

Credit: Scott Flathouse.

“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.

Credit: Jordan Vonderhaar.

“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.

Credit: Jordan Vonderhaar.

“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.

2021 Austin Half Marathon Marks the Return to Running in Austin

Excitement is brewing for Austin’s return to running

The Ascension Seton Austin Half Marathon presented by Under Armour is putting the final touches on Austin’s return to running. This year’s event was postponed from its original date of February 14th. Formal approval was issued by the City of Austin on March 23rd for the Austin Half Marathon and KXAN Simple Health 5K benefitting Paramount Theatre. Austin’s return to running will feature more than 5300 runners, overflowing goodie bags, live music, and a Mitigation Plan. The Austin Half Marathon, owned and produced by High Five Events, will take place on April 25, 2021.

“The return of the Ascension Seton Austin Half Marathon and 5K is extremely important to our city and a great start to bringing back large-scale sports events,” said Drew Hays, Director of the Austin Sports Commission. “The Austin Marathon was one of the last events held in 2020 and now one of the first to return in 2021 and we are excited to welcome athletes to Austin.”

Austin Half Marathon perks

The Austin Half Marathon course will feature 12 local bands who will perform live music on the 13.1-mile course, giving participants a taste of The Live Music Capital of the World. In-person participant goodie bags will feature custom swag including an Under Armour shirt, pint glass, bandana, sunglasses, and more. In addition, each participant will be emailed a virtual goodie bag. It will include exclusive deals from sponsors, partners, and local Austin businesses. 

“The Austin Marathon has positively impacted Austin in so many different ways for many years,” said Jack Murray, co-owner of High Five Events. “We’ve worked tirelessly to bring this year’s event to life and we’re excited to produce the Austin Half Marathon and 5K alongside our many partners, sponsors, and the City of Austin.”

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. The full COVID-19 Mitigation Plan is available to view and includes:

  • 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

Participants have been fundraising 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. 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.

Race Weekend Creates Lifelong Memories for Thousands of Participants

Race weekend saw two proposals, two new world records, and thousands of goals met and PRs set

On Sunday, Feb. 16th, the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon demonstrated why it is considered one of the world’s top running events. More than 16,000 participants registered for the Austin Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5K. They traveled to Austin from all 50 states and 36 countries. Tens of thousands of spectators lined the Austin streets cheering on runners, waving hilarious signs, and providing endless energy. Everyone celebrated the day at the three-block-long finish line festival that showcased live music, beer garden, and local food trucks. The race weekend celebration continued well into the night at five Official Austin Marathon after-parties.

“Having the ring with me gave me an immense sense of purpose when pushing through the difficult moments in the race,” said Mark Pinales, who carried his now fiancée’s engagement ring with him for 26.2 miles. “I was scared of losing it but determined to finish as quickly as I could!”

World-class live broadcast

FloTrack’s live coverage followed the champions and the men’s and women’s elite fields for the marathon and half marathon. William Bertrand is the Austin Marathon champion (2:28:11). Kyle Allen (2:36:16) and Ryan Normand (2:37:45) rounded out the men’s marathon field. The male half marathoners finishing in the top three consisted of James Ngandu (1:04:26), Kevin Kochei (1:05:10), and Allen Sumrall (1:06:32).

Sarah Jackson is the Austin Marathon female champion (2:55:16). Elena Oslund (2:59:53) and Sara Striegel (3:08:51) finished the marathon second and third respectively. The top three female half marathon finishers were Allie Kieffer (1:14:29), Kathryn Fluehr (1:16:42), and Maura Tyrrell (1:20:39).

“After moving to Austin a year ago, I immediately knew I wanted to stay for a long time. Hearing so many friends cheer my name on the course yesterday, it felt like home,” said Kieffer, who ran the Austin Half Marathon as her final tune-up before the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials. “ I’m thrilled to win and excited to represent Austin at the Olympic Marathon Trials!”

Two new world records

Vicar David Peters, of Pflugerville, Texas, ran the world’s fastest marathon in a cassock. He completed the marathon in 4:06:49. Peters beat the previous record of four hours and 16 minutes. The next world-record was set by Drake Muyinza. He ran the world’s longest fashion runway on the streets of Austin and changed outfits every four miles. The previous record was two miles. Both Guinness World Records are awaiting official verification. The 2020 course was designed to provide a better participant and spectator experience and allow enhanced traffic flow along the course. Participants finish with the picturesque Texas State Capitol as their backdrop. Tens of thousands of spectators cheered along Austin streets. Race-course highlights include two GU Energy Labs Energy Zones, live music, 22 aid stations with nuun performance.

“I commend the runners for the work they accomplished and I’m so thankful to all the volunteers and people who came out to support us,” said Muyinza, who crossed the finish line in 6:18:04. “It may not have been my PR, but in the end, we set our world record and successfully pulled off seven unique looks in 26.2 miles. I hope everyone enjoyed the show!”

Another successful race weekend

Fleet Feet Austin began race weekend with the Austin Marathon Shakeout Run on Friday, Feb. 14th. At the Austin Marathon Health and Fitness Expo, participants tested the industry’s latest products and chatted with the Austin Marathon Pacers. They purchased Official Under Armour + Austin Marathon gear at the Fleet Feet Store, including the limited-edition Austin UA HOVR Machina. The two-day Austin Marathon expo took place on Friday, Feb. 14th, and Saturday, Feb. 15th. Hundreds of children, families, and elites participated in the Manzano Mile presented by Dole Packaged Foods on Saturday, Feb. 15th. Thousands participated in the family-friendly Austin Marathon KXAN Simple Health 5K. It began after the Austin Marathon and Austin Half Marathon.

“Sunday was such an amazing day, from beginning to end,” said Sarah Escobedo, who finished her second marathon in 3:50:13. “I loved the energy from all the spectators and cheer zones along the way and continuing the celebration at one of the Official Austin Marathon after-parties.”

30th anniversary – Feb. 14, 2021

Registration is open for the Austin Marathon’s 30th anniversary, scheduled for Feb. 14, 2021. Special pricing is set at $99 for the marathon, $80 for the half marathon, and $35 for the KXAN Simple Health 5K. This amazing deal will be available until Thursday, Feb. 20th. Don’t miss your chance to Run Austin, the #1 city in America. 2020 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 race weekend so special. They would also like to thank title sponsor Ascension Seton, Under Armour, The Moody Foundation, Camp Gladiator, GU Energy Labs, AfterShokz, Hilton of Austin, Fleet Feet Austin, Oskar Blues Brewery, KXAN, SPIbelt, Dole Packaged Foods, H-E-B, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Goodwill Central Texas, Alvies Boots, FloTrack, FinisherPix, Chameleon Cold-Brew, Austin Massage Company, Boy Scout Troop 49, nuun, the City of Austin, Austin Police Department, Department of Public Safety, CapMetro, and Travis County EMS.

Austin Marathon Prepares for One of the Largest Event Weekends

Event weekend will see two world record attempts, numerous events, and thousands of runners

The Ascension Seton Austin Marathon presented by Under Armour is making final preparations for one of the largest event weekends in its 29 years. Highlights of this world-class event include four events for participants of all speed and abilities, two Guinness World Record attempts, and one 3-block-long finish line festival. The return of the FloSports live broadcast will highlight the elite field competition. The broadcast will showcase several elites in their final tune-up before the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials. More than 16,000 runners from all 50 states and 35 countries will run Austin’s streets. The 29th annual Austin Marathon, owned and produced by High Five Events, will take place on February 16, 2020.

“It’s amazing to see the growth of the Austin Marathon and I’m proud that the city of Austin continues to embrace and support Austin Marathon weekend,” said Leo Manzano, Olympic silver medalist and Austin Marathon Race Ambassador. “Everyone loves Austin Marathon weekend, from runners who travel from around the world to Austin families who complete the Manzano Mile together.”

Austin Marathon Shakeout Run will kick-off event weekend

Fleet Feet Austin will kick off Austin Marathon weekend by hosting the Austin Marathon Shakeout Run on Friday, Feb. 14th. At the Austin Marathon Health and Fitness Expo, visitors can test the industry’s latest products. Participants can chat with the Austin Marathon Pacers. They can also purchase Official Under Armour + Austin Marathon gear at the Fleet Feet Store. Available gear includes the limited-edition Austin UA HOVR Machina.

The two-day Austin Marathon expo will take place on Friday, Feb. 14th, and Saturday, Feb. 15th. Children, families, and elites will participate in the Manzano Mile presented by Dole Packaged Foods on Saturday, Feb. 15th. The family-friendly Austin Marathon KXAN Simple Health 5K will begin at 7:45 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 16th, 45 minutes after the Austin Marathon and Austin Half Marathon. Registration is still open.

Event weekend will see two Guinness World Record attempts

The first world-record attempt is by Drake Muyinza. He will attempt to run the world’s longest fashion runway by running 26.2 miles and changing outfits every four miles. The current record is two miles. The second world-record attempt is by Vicar David Peters. He will attempt to run the fastest marathon in a cassock, beating four hours and 16 minutes. Both Guinness World Record applications are still pending. The 2020 course was designed to provide a better participant and spectator experience and allow enhanced traffic flow along the course. Participants will still finish with the picturesque Texas State Capitol as their backdrop. Tens of thousands of spectators will cheer along Austin streets. Race-course highlights include two GU Energy Labs Energy Zones, live music, 22 aid stations with nuun performance.

“We are so excited to finally reveal this six-month project and highlight all the great Austin vintage sellers and artisans,” said Drake Muyinza, REB Vintage Stylist. “The looks have been styled and perfected, I’ve put in the training miles, and we’re pumped to put on an awesome show at the Austin Marathon for both the spectators and my fellow marathoners who have worked so hard for this day!”

Numerous ways for participants to celebrate their accomplishments

Sunday’s participants can enjoy the 3-block-long finish line festival. It will feature the Under Armour recovery zone. Participants will celebrate event weekend at the Oskar Blues Austin beer garden, Tito’s Handmade Vodka Shack Bar, and several local food trucks. Austin’s own Delivery Service and Fusion ATX will keep the finish line festival rocking for several hours. To cap off event weekend later in the afternoon, locations like Mean Eyed Cat, Cheer Up Charlies, and Hen House will host Official Austin Marathon after parties.

“The Ascension Seton Austin Marathon continues to grow along with the city and our growth indicates that the Austin Marathon is one of the top running destinations in the world,” said Stacy Keese, co-owner of High Five Events. “Our partnerships, love of Austin and running, and desire to produce a world-class event are all invested in our participant’s experience.”

FloTrack live broadcast

FloTrack, a sports media based in Austin, Texas, will highlight the Austin Marathon and Half Marathon’s Elite Athlete Program. Their race-day broadcast trio will consist of running connoisseurs Toni Reavis, Ryan Fenton, and Paras Shah. They will also have a camera capturing finishers as they cross the finish line. The following is a sample of the athletes in the Elite Field competing for the $20,000 prize purse: Keri McEntee (2020 Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier), Anita Perez (2x Olympic Trials Marathon Qualifier), James Ngandu (2019 Austin Half Marathon champ), Becki Spellman (4x Olympic Trials Marathon qualifier), Taylor Dare (2020 Olympic Trials Marathon qualifier), Rory Tunningley (2020 Olympic Trials Marathon Qualifier), Igor Olefirenko (2019 London Marathon – 2:11:55).