Posts

History Made at the 2017 Austin Marathon

Kayleigh Williamson made history on February 19th at the 2017 Austin Marathon® presented by NXP. She became the first female participant with Down syndrome to complete the Austin half marathon. Despite warmer than normal temperatures, Williamson finished the 13.1-mile course in six hours and 23 minutes. All throughout the course, Kayleigh had thousands of cheering supporters, including a race official and a local police K-9 unit. She approached the finish line in a dead sprint surrounded by her mother, amazing friends, and her RunLab coaches.

Williamson and race official Rod Newlin. Credit RunLab.

“I loved the race and that I was able to race with all of my friends and inspire others,” said Williamson.

Roughly 125,000 participants, spectators, and volunteers enjoyed the 26th annual Austin Marathon, produced by High Five Events. Former Austinite Joe Thorne (2:32:05) and Austinite Allison Macsas (2:48:16) both won the marathon; while South Africa’s Sphamandla Nyembe (1:11:36) and former Austinite Allison Mendez (1:21:42) won the half marathon. FloTrack provided live coverage of the marathon and captured everyone as they crossed the finish line.

Coming back to Austin was wonderful because it holds a special place in my heart,” said Thorne. “Being able to race and win the championship is amazing.”

Second and third place in the marathon for the men went to Daniel Bishop of Salt Lake City (2:33:02) and former Austinite Jared Carson (2:35:11). Central Park Track Club’s Caroline Veltri (2:58:36) and Austinite Jennifer Harney (3:07:26) finished the marathon second and third respectively.

Post-race Congress Ave.

Although I’ve been involved in the Austin Marathon as a pacer for years, nothing could have prepared me for what a special experience it would be to race it for the first time,” said Allison Macsas, female marathon champ. “The local support out on the course and behind the scenes (thanks FloTrack!) was incredible, and played a huge part in carrying me through some very tough spots to the first marathon win of my life – a win made even more special by the fact that it was here at home!

Adam Waldum of Cedar Park (1:12:33) and Nicholas Sterghos of Colorado Springs (1:16:05) finished second and third in Sunday’s half marathon. The second and third place females in the half marathon were Beth Panke (1:24:48) and Tracie Akerhielm (1:26:10).

FloTrack’s world-class coverage followed the men’s and women’s elite field throughout the race and watched as every participant crossed the line. At times they had a trio of announcers highlighting the Austin Marathon and interviewing staff, sponsors, and the winners live. Participants and spectators were both able to enjoy the enhanced finish line festival that included a beer garden, TriggerPoint Recovery Zone, two Jumbotrons that displayed FloTrack’s live coverage, and several local food trucks.

Macsas, Manzano, and Thorne. Credit – Manzano

Official Race Ambassador and two-time Olympian Leo Manzano pumped up the runners before they began their race. He was also the inspiration for the Manzano Mile, which was the final marathon, half marathon, and 5K. Manzano is known for his signature kick, which helped him win the silver medal at the London Games in 2012. Every participant kicked for their last mile and finished with the heart of a lion.

To cap off the amazing day Chikage Windler, CBS Austin Chief Meteorologist and Austin Gives Miles Charity Chaser, started the marathon in last place. As the Charity Chaser, she ran on behalf of Camp Kesem – University of Texas and raised $1.25 for every marathoner she passed. She finished in 926th place and raised $3671.25.

The weather didn’t do us any favors, but I was humbled to run on behalf Camp Kesem UT,” said Windler. “And I’m already looking forward to next year!

Mr. Clemmer, Jack Murray, and Mayor Adler

Participants can see their results on the website and continue to share their amazing experiences on the Austin Marathon’s social media channels. For those planning ahead to February 18, 2018, next year’s registration is open and set at the low price of $90 (marathon) and $70 (half marathon). This amazing deal will be available until January 25th. Runners can find their race day photos on Marathonfoto.com. Search for ‘Austin Marathon 2017’ and enter your last name or bib number.

The Austin Marathon would like to thank the volunteers, sponsors, spectators and participants They would also like to thank NXP CEO Richard Clemmer, Mayor Steve Adler, silver medalist Leo Manzano, and former race directors John and Stacey Conley for their race day support.

2017 Austin Marathon Announces Balega as the Official Sock

High Five Events is proud to introduce Balega as the Official Sock of the 2017 Austin Marathon® presented by NXP. In addition to being the Official Sock, Balega will sponsor promotions and giveaways leading up to race day and offer discounted product at the Austin Marathon Health & Fitness Expo.

“You can go to any race and hear people talking about their Balega socks,” said Jack Murray, co-owner of High Five Events. “Austin is a well-known running town and we’re glad we can showcase Balega and their technically advanced socks to this running community.”

Balega, a leading performance sock brand in the run and outdoor specialty market, is known for their technical excellence, superior fit and unbelievable comfort. The company provides foot solutions to help runners perform at their personal peak. Balega’s socks are known around the world, but on February 17-18 they can be found at the Austin Convention Center during the Austin Marathon Health & Fitness Expo. Balega’s socks are manufactured at both their state-of-the-art facility in Cape Town, South Africa and in Hickory, North Carolina.

“We are thrilled to be supporting the Austin Marathon this year,” said Tanya Pictor, VP of marketing of Implus Specialty. “We are honored to support such a premier running event and get Balega in front of and on the feet of the active Austin community.”

The Austin Marathon will celebrate its 26th year running in the capital of Texas. Austin’s flagship running event annually attracts runners from all 50 states and 20+ countries around the world. With start and finish locations just a few blocks apart, and within walking distance of many downtown hotels and restaurants, the Austin Marathon is the perfect running weekend destination. Participants can register for the marathon, half marathon, or 5K.

Moody Foundation to Match Austin Gives Miles Donations

High Five Events is proud to announce that Austin Gives Miles, the Official Charity Program of the Austin Marathon® presented by NXP, has been selected for a Moody Foundation grant for the second year in a row. The grant will match dollars raised by each of the 27 Austin Gives Miles Official Charities, up to $10,000 per organization.  

“The Moody Foundation is pleased to support Austin Gives Miles,” said Elle Moody, Moody Foundation Trustee. “This program gives runners the opportunity to make their miles meaningful by raising funds for a great cause and the grant helps them leverage their donation by matching the funds. We are happy to provide this support for a program that is building a stronger Central Texas community with every step and every mile.”

The Moody Foundation, based in Galveston, Texas, has funded projects and programs that better communities throughout Texas. The grant that will match Austin Gives Miles donations will have a positive impact on the Central Texas organizations and their specific causes by matching their funds raised (up to $10,000). One of the Moody Foundation’s areas of support, community development, directly aligns with the goal of the Austin Marathon: to better Central Texas. Austin Gives Miles is proud to receive this grant and knows the positive effects will be far-reaching.

“We’re both grateful and excited to receive this Moody Foundation grant,” said Carly Samuelson, Austin Gives Miles Charity Manager. “The official charities are working harder than ever to enhance their respective organizations and this grant will push that effort to the next level. This grant will make it possible for Austin Gives Miles to raise more than $600,000 this year, bringing the four year total for the program to more than $1 million.”

This is the fourth year that Austin Gives Miles is the Official Charity Program for the Austin Marathon. Last year, Austin Gives Miles contributed more than $446,000 to the Central Texas community through its fundraising efforts. In addition to the funds and awareness raised, last year’s Austin Gives Miles Official Charities recruited more than 750 runners and provided more than 1500 volunteers.

The Austin Marathon will celebrate its 26th year running in the capital of Texas. Austin’s flagship running event annually attracts runners from all 50 states and 20+ countries around the world. With start and finish locations just a few blocks apart, and within walking distance of many downtown hotels and restaurants, the Austin Marathon is the perfect running weekend destination. Participants can still register for the marathon, half marathon, or 5K.