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Austin Marathon Accepts First Round of Elite Runners

First round of elite runners competing for $26,000 prize purse

The Ascension Seton Austin Marathon presented by Under Armour introduces the first round of elite runners for 2020. This program, in its fourth year, creates a competitive field of elite male and female runners while discovering emerging talent, pushing the entire talent pool to reach Olympic standards. FloTrack’s live coverage highlights the competition amongst the elites, following male and female marathoners and half marathoners. The 29th annual Austin Marathon, owned and produced by High Five Events, will take place on February 16, 2020.

“I’m thrilled to join the Elite Athlete Program at the Austin Marathon,” said Keri McEntee, who ran an Olympic Trials qualifying 2:41:19 at 2019 Grandma’s Marathon. “I’m excited to compete against other elite runners, see the city, and enjoy some warmer weather!”

The first round of 2020 Austin Marathoners include: 

  • Keri McEntee – female Elite Athlete Program (2020 Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier – 2:41:19)
  • Daniel Bishop – male Elite Athlete Program (2018 St. George Marathon – 2:23:37)
  • Sarah Jackson – female Elite Field (2018 Austin Marathon – 2:58:41)
  • Adam Lazrus – male Elite Field (2018 Tunnel Lite Marathon – 2:37:31)
  • Valentyna Poltavska – female Elite Field (2019 Houston Marathon – 2:52:49)
  • Matt McCurdy – male Elite Field (2019 3M Half Marathon – 1:11:55)

The first round of 2020 Austin Half Marathoners include: 

  • Heidi Bock – female Elite Field (2019 Woodlands Half Marathon – 1:23:36)
  • Todd Mickey – male Elite Field (2019 Austin Half Marathon – 1:16:33)
  • Maura Tyrrell – female Elite Field (2nd place female, 2019 Myrtle Beach Half Marathon – 1:22:47)
  • Steve Purugganan – male Elite Field (2018 San Jose Half Marathon – 1:15:52)
  • Adam Moore – male Elite Field (2019 Ohio Cap City Half Marathon – 1:15:23)
  • Carolyn Menard – female Elite Field (2019 Urban Cow Half Marathon – 1:26:13)
  • Rebecca Marrou – female Elite Field (2018 Run the Alamo Half Marathon female champion – 1:24:18)
  • Julia Vegas – female Elite Field (2019 Austin Half Marathon – 1:26:28)

“The investments we’ve made into the Elite Athlete Program are beginning to bear fruit with the overall growth and several elites qualifying for the Olympic Marathon Trials,” said Jack Murray, co-owner of High Five Events. “The competition adds another layer of excitement to an already energetic Austin Marathon weekend.”

The prize purse breakdown follows: $15,000 for the marathon, $5,000 for the half marathon, and $6,000 for the Manzano Mile presented by Dole. Runners not accepted into the Elite Athlete Program are still invited to run in the Elite Field. Runners that are not accepted to the Elite Athlete Program or the Elite Field are not eligible for prize money.

The Austin Marathon will celebrate its 29th year running in the capital of Texas in 2020. 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. Registration is currently open.

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.

2019 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon Set for Epic Race Day

The stage is set for Sunday, Feb. 17th, to be an epic race day

High Five Events is putting the final touches on what will be another memorable Ascension Seton Austin Marathon presented by Under Armour®. The world-class event has many highlights, including a 2:45 pace group for female elites to hit the Olympic Marathon Trials B standard, Lance Armstrong as the Austin Gives Miles Charity Chaser, a highly-competitive elite field, and the return of the FloSports livestream. Nearly 16,000 runners from all 50 states and 35 countries will run the 28th annual Austin Marathon on Sunday, Feb. 17th.

“Austin has such an amazing fitness community and we have a marathon that reflects that,” said Will Nation, member of the 2:45 pace group and 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier. “It’s my hope that I can assist talented individuals in achieving their goal of hitting an OTQ and demonstrate that the Austin Marathon is a race where you can do just that.”

The 2019 course is the same as when the Austin Marathon unveiled their new course in 2018. The course is designed to provide a better participant and spectator experience and allow enhanced traffic flow along the course, while still finishing with the picturesque Texas State Capitol as every runner’s backdrop. Race-day highlights include nuun performance at every aid station, two Gatorade nutrition stations, live music on course, athlete tracking, the infamous and energetic RunLab Bridge at Mile 7, and much more.

FloSports, a sports media based in Austin, Texas, will highlight the Austin Marathon and Half Marathon’s Elite Athlete Program by following the men’s and women’s elite leaders throughout the race. They will also have a camera capturing finishers as they cross the finish line. The 3-block-long finish line festival features the Under Armour recovery zone, the Oskar Blues Austin beer garden, live music, and several local food trucks. Austin’s own, Delivery Service, will rock two post-race sets. The two-day Austin Marathon expo will take place on Friday, Feb. 15th, and Saturday, Feb. 16th.

“Unveiling the new Austin Marathon course last year generated a lot of positive buzz, showcased Austin to runners from around the world, and propelled us to new heights in 2019,” said Stacy Keese, co-owner of High Five Events. “Working with amazing sponsors like Ascension Seton and Under Armour has allowed us to further enhance our customer’s experience, making race day one they’ll talk about for some time.”

The following is a sample of the athletes in the Elite Field competing for the $20,000 prize purse: Joey Whelan (2020 Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier), Anita Perez (2x Olympic Trials Marathon Qualifier), Jameson Mora (2x Olympic Trials Marathon Qualifier), Patrick Rizzo (4x Olympic Trials Marathon qualifier), Heather Lieberg (2020 Olympic Trials Marathon qualifier), Jocelyn Todd (2020 Olympic Trials Marathon Qualifier), Ryan Miller (2x Olympic Trials Marathon qualifier), Samantha Calderon (2020 Olympic Trials Marathon Qualifier).

The Austin Marathon will celebrate its 28th year running in the capital of Texas in 2019. Austin’s flagship running event annually attracts runners from all 50 states and 30+ countries around the world. Having start and finish locations in the heart of downtown Austin puts participants and spectators near all the action and within walking distance of restaurants, hotels, and shops. Finishing with the picturesque Texas State Capitol as your backdrop is icing on the cake for the perfect running weekend destination. Registration is open for all distances.