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2020 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon Opens Elite Athlete Program

$26,000 Elite Athlete Program prize purse includes Austin Marathon, Austin Half Marathon, and Manzano Mile

High Five Events is accepting applications from elite runners for the 2020 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon presented by Under Armour’s Elite Athlete Program. Returning for its fourth year in a row, the Elite Athlete Program creates a competitive field of elite male and female runners while discovering emerging talent, pushing the entire talent pool to reach Olympic standards. Several Olympic Marathon Trials qualifiers have expressed interest in running the Austin Half Marathon as a tune-up for the Trials.

Heather Lieberg, 2019 Austin Marathon female champ, was a member of the Elite Athlete Program.

Heather Lieberg, 2019 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon female champ!

“After winning the Austin Marathon last year and being embraced by the Austin community, I can’t wait to come back and compete in the half marathon this year,” said Heather Lieberg, who was the 2019 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon female champ (2:42:27) with an Olympic Marathon Trials qualifying time. “The Austin Half Marathon will be my tune-up race for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials!”

2020 field

Runners accepted to the 2020 Austin Marathon/Half Marathon Elite Athlete Program will compete for a $20,000 prize purse. The Austin Marathon prize purse will total $15,000 and award the top five male and female finishers. The Austin Half Marathon purse will total $5,000 and award the top three male and female finishers. An additional $6,000 is up for grabs for elite milers in the Manzano Mile presented by Dole®. Athlete’s applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until December 31, 2019.

“We had a specific vision for the Elite Athlete Program when we re-launched it four years ago,” said Jack Murray, co-owner of High Five Events. “Since then we’ve seen the competition grow, overall times get faster, Olympic Marathon Trials qualifiers, and emerging talent like Joey Whelan truly shine when given a chance to showcase their talents on Austin’s streets.”

Olympic Trials Qualifiers

Joey Whelan, the 2x (2018-19) Ascension Seton Austin Marathon champ!

Joey Whelan (2:17:03) won the 2019 Austin Marathon for the second year in a row. He also hit the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials B Standard. James Ngandu (1:04:32) and Caroline Rotich (1:13:24) won the Austin Half Marathon. Allison Macsas, 2017-18 Austin Marathon female champ, ran an Olympic Marathon Trials B standard qualifying time (2:43:11) in 2018.

Athletes accepted into the Elite Athlete Program must meet the program’s standards. Those that meet standards will receive a comped entry, standards bonuses, and comped entry to the 3M Half Marathon. They’re also eligible for hotel and transportation reimbursement up to $350. Runners who fall within a 10-15 minute window of Program standards could still be accepted into the Elite Field. Those runners will only receive a comped entry.

Athletes must be accepted into the Elite Athlete Program and start the race to be eligible for prize money and reimbursement. All athletes are subject to random drug testing pre- and post-race. Read more about program details, including eligibility standards, here. Interested athletes and coaches with questions can contact elites@youraustinmarathon.com.

2020 will mark the Austin Marathon’s 29th year running in the capital of Texas. 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. Participants can register for the Austin Marathon website.

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!

Manzano Mile Returns to 2019 Austin Marathon Race Weekend

 Manzano Mile celebrates milers of all speeds and abilities, from elites to children

The Manzano Mile presented by DOLE® will take place on Saturday, February 16th, during Austin Marathon weekend. Dole Packaged Foods’ return marks the second year of the $6,000 prize purse, continued race-day support, and increased involvement with the popular mile-long race.

Registration opens Monday, July 30, 2018. Participants can register for the timed mile for $30. It will cost $10 for the Future Milers of America (9 and under). Current Austin Marathon and half marathon registrants will receive a 50% discount when they add the Manzano Mile during their registration. Participants can register, read Manzano Mile details, and review prize purse breakdown on the Mazano Mile webpage.

“On behalf of Dole Packaged Foods, we are proud to support Leo and his efforts to encourage others to lead a healthy and active lifestyle,” said Matt Ingram, Director of Sales for Dole Packaged Foods. “We look forward to supporting Manzano Mile participants of all ages and abilities on February 16, 2019!”

The event will begin at 11:00 a.m. and take place entirely on Riverside Dr. The course is next to the Health and Fitness Expo at Palmer Events Center. Participants will receive a bib and a Manzano Mile race shirt. Packet pick up will take place on-site and begin Saturday at 9 a.m.

“I’m thrilled that Dole Packaged Foods will continue their support of Manzano Mile and be involved during the popular Austin Marathon weekend,” said Leo Manzano, Austinite and two-time Olympian. “Manzano Mile highlights athletes of all abilities, including elites, up-and-coming runners, families, and the next generation of milers!”

Photo finish

Last year’s male elite field created a buzz with their photo finish. Daniel Herrera (4:11.35) crossed first. Yasunari Kusu (4:11.69) and Dylan Blankenbaker (4:11.84) took second and third. Dana Mecke (4:47.08) finished as the first elite female. Austinites Jennifer Hall (4:51.72) and Mary Beth Hamilton (4:56.67) rounded out the elite female field.

The Austin Marathon will celebrate its 28th year running in the capital of Texas on February 17, 2019. 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. Participants can register for the Austin Marathon, Austin Half Marathon, Austin Marathon 5K, Manzano Mile, or the Austin Marathon VIP Experience.

Manzano is a highly decorated track star, four-time USATF National Champion, seven-time Team USA member, two-time Olympian, and silver medalist in the 1500m at the 2012 Olympic Games. He was the first American to medal for USA in the 1500m since 1968. Manzano attended Marble Falls High School where he was a nine-time Texas 4A State champion in track and cross country. Manzano was accepted to The University of Texas and won five NCAA National Championships and was a nine-time All-American.