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Experience an Olympian’s First Sub-Four-Minute Mile

Run stride-for-stride with an Olympian as he runs his first sub-four-minute mile

Leo Manzano won the silver medal in the 1500m at the 2012 Olympics, running 3:34.79 in London. He was the first U.S. athlete to medal in the 1500m since Jim Ryun won silver at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. Since 2017, Manzano, two-time Olympian and Austinite, has been the race ambassador of the Austin Marathon. Even though he recently retired, he is a fixture in the Austin community and can often be found running on the trail around Town Lake. His namesake event, Manzano Mile, takes place the day before the Austin Marathon and features athletes of all abilities. Get ready to run stride for stride with Leo “The Lion” as he takes you back to his first sub-four-minute mile!

Leo Manzano, Austin Marathon Race Ambassador, poses with his Olympic silver medal. Manzano takes you back to his first sub-four-minute mile in this blog post.

Leo Manzano, Austin Marathon Race Ambassador, poses with his Olympic silver medal.

by: Leo Manzano, Olympic silver medalist and Austin Marathon Race Ambassador

Many have compared running a sub-four-minute mile to climbing Mt. Everest. Your heart and lungs feel as if they are going to explode, all while you push your limits to see how far you can go. Before anyone ran a sub-four-minute mile it was presumed that if anyone did their heart would explode, causing instant death. In 1954, Sir Roger Banister proved that theory wrong when he ran a sub-four-minute mile in three minutes 59.4 seconds. 

A mile is exactly 1.609344 kilometers, or 5,280 feet. To run an actual mile on the track, you have to back up 9.344 meters from the finish line. Many people run the 1600m and call it a mile, but this is not the true mile. The true mile is 1,609.344 meters. To run a sub-four-minute mile you have to run at an average speed of 15 miles an hour per lap, or less than 60 seconds per 400 meters. 

Running a sub-four-minute mile

Running a sub-four-minute mile is easier said than done. The first lap is always easy. You get into the rhythm of the pace, the legs usually feel good, and all you focus on is hitting the pace of 59 or 60 seconds. The start of the second lap and you still seem to be in it. So you press just a little bit to make sure you’re on pace. You know the third lap is coming and you start feeling fatigued. You’re not even halfway done yet you might hit 1:59 at the end of this second lap. You’re still on pace.

The hardest lap

Things start to happen on the third lap of the mile. Your legs start feeling heavy and a burning sensation creeps in. Now you know you’re really starting to work. Pain sets in and intensifies with every step you take. The third lap is always the hardest as though stricken with a mental block of heavy bricks in your legs. You hit the 1209.344-meter mark and know you only have 400 meters left. As soon as you realize that, something in your mind clicks, “I’m almost done, only 400 meters to go! Let’s go!” Although you still have that burning sensation, your knees start to lift. Perhaps it’s from all the hard work you’ve put in and the willingness to push yourself as you see the clock hit 2:58, 2:59. 400m to go! 300m to go! As every hundred meters goes by you’re still fighting, but you don’t even think about the pain. The only thought in your mind is running a sub-four-minute mile.

The kick

As you pass the last 200-meter mark, the clock hits three minutes 29 seconds. You keep telling yourself, “Push! Push! All I have to do is run 30 seconds the last 200m”. It seems like you can’t go any faster. You’ve already maxed out. Your lungs are burning, legs are on fire. Maybe even a blood vessel in your head feels like it might burst. But you push! 100m to go, 50m to go, 30m to go – DONE!!!! 3:59.86. This was my experience running my first sub-four-minute mile. And now it is yours.

The mile, like the marathon, has always been a prestigious race, the perfect race, a true sport. There are no time outs, no halftimes, no substitutions, the clock never lies. The mile tests our wills, our strengths, our weaknesses, and our inner selves to see how much we really want it. The best of all? It doesn’t matter if you are a sub-four-minute miler. It doesn’t matter who is watching, what they think. In the end, all that matters is that you’re competing against yourself, even if you’re competing against others. The mile is like life, sometimes you win, sometimes lose. The mile hurts, you have to fight for position, you may fall, you may crawl, it’s painful. Just remember that no matter what happens, you’ll be more proud of yourself once you’re done than if you’d never started at all.

2020 Austin Marathon Seeks Official Sponsorship Opportunities

Secure your official sponsorships with a world-class event 

Birds eye view of the 2019 Austin Marathon start line from a drone. Brands can partner with this world-class event with their official sponsorship.

2019 Austin Marathon group photo. Credit – Pat Wong.

The Ascension Seton Austin Marathon is seeking official sponsorships with companies wanting to associate themselves with one of the sports’ top events in the #1 city in America. The 2019 Austin Marathon had an estimated combined total of 125,000 participants, volunteers, and race-day spectators, an economic impact of $48.5 million for the City of Austin, and online impressions that soared into the millions. Official sponsorships with the Austin Marathon are ideal for companies looking to increase their brand recognition and strengthen their brand loyalty within the local and global health and fitness community. High Five Events owns and produce the Austin Marathon.

“The Austin Marathon has become one of Austin’s premier events due to their economic impact, global footprint, and ability to showcase Austin as the amazing city that it is,” said Austin Sports Commission’s Drew Hays. “Their continued growth in 2019 and trajectory for 2020 showcases the opportunity businesses have to increase their brand recognition in Austin and within the global endurance community.”

Official sponsors can utilize corporate social responsibility benefits like large-scale volunteer opportunities. This includes increased employee health and wellness through event participation and enhanced community engagement both pre-race and race weekend.

Sponsor perks

Runners show off their Austin Marathon finisher medals at the Oskar Blues Austin beer garden in the Austin Marathon's 3-block-long finish line festival.

Runners show off their Austin Marathon finisher medals at the Oskar Blues Austin beer garden. Credit – Ed Sparks.

Official sponsors of the Austin Marathon can benefit from being associated with – 

  • FloTrack’s world-class live broadcast of the Austin Marathon 
  • Olympic silver medalist Leo Manzano, Official Race Ambassador
  • Raising more than $1 million for nonprofits in 2019
  • An exciting Elite Athlete Program focused on showcasing the sport’s top athletes
  • The support of Mayor Steve Adler and the Austin Sports Commission
  • Austin, Texas – The Live Music Capital of the World
  • Participants from all 50 states and 38 countries
  • A 3-block-long finish line festival complete with beer garden, recovery tent, live music, and more

“The Austin Marathon’s growth and community support have increased along with the uptick in sponsorship involvement,” said Jack Murray, co-owner of High Five Events. “Brands utilize this opportunity to engage with their audience and align with a world-class event whose reach expands beyond race day.”

The 29th annual Austin Marathon will take place on Sunday, February 16, 2020, in Austin, Texas. Earlier this year, Austin’s premier running event featured more than 16,000 participants from all 50 states and 38 countries. Sponsorship and partnership inquiries can be sent directly to Jack Murray at sponsorship@highfiveevents.com.

26.2 Reasons Why Y’all Will Love the Austin Marathon

Experience the #1 City in America

Finding reasons you’ll love the Ascension Seton 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. Visit The Live Music Capital of the World and experience the best Austin has to offer. Tacos, murals, live music, Austin Gives Miles, cold beer, and ohhh so much more.

We think that country music legend Gary P. Nunn, who played the National Anthem in 2018, said it best “That’s the most fun I’ve had before 9:00 a.m. in a long time.”

Reason #2 you'll love the Austin Marathon: Under Armour participant shirts!

Reason #2 you’ll love the Austin Marathon: Under Armour participant shirts!

The below reasons why you’ll love the Austin Marathon are in no particular order, promise.

  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 KXAN Simple Health 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– 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 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. Unbeatable rates at downtown hotels – 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. Mobile App – all the info you need in the palm of your handRunners take off at the start of the 2019 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon. Austin's flagship running event contributed $48.5 million to the Austin economy.
  22. FloTrack live broadcast – they follow the elite action, then watch every finisher cross the finish line
  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. 16th, 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

 

Friends have raved about Austin. Running partners can’t stop talking about their experience. Now it’s your turn! Reserve your spot at the Austin Marathon start line and experience all that Austin has to offer.

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.