Posts

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).

Austin Marathon Announces Fourth Round of Accepted Elite Runners

Fourth round of elite runners competing for $23,200 prize purse

The Ascension Seton Austin Marathon presented by Under Armour introduces the fourth round of accepted athletes 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. Elites are listed below along with their qualifying time. The 29th annual Austin Marathon, owned and produced by High Five Events, will take place on February 16, 2020.

“I’m pumped to run the Austin Half Marathon as my final big workout leading into the Olympic Marathon Trials,” said Rory Tunningley, two-time Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier (2016 and ‘20). “In  Austin, I can simulate racing on the hills that are in my own backyard and know I’m ready for the rolling hills in Atlanta.”

The fourth round of 2020 Austin Marathoners include: 

  • Hannah Steffan – female Elite Athlete Program (2019 CIM – 2:55:20)

The fourth round of 2020 Austin Half Marathoners include: 

  • Rory Tunningley – male Elite Athlete Program (2019 Grandma’s Marathon – 2:16:25)
  • Igor Olefirenko – male Elite Athlete Program (2019 London Marathon- 2:11:55)
  • Bijan Mazaheri – male Elite Athlete Program (2019 Chicago Marathon – 2:15:26)
  • Neringa Kaulinaite – female Elite Athlete Program (2020 Houston Marathon – 2:47:45)
  • Kevin Kochei – male Elite Athlete Program (2019 Mercedes Half Marathon champ – 1:05:41)
  • Dominic Korir– male Elite Athlete Program (2020 Houston Half Marathon – 1:01:45)
  • Ezekiel Chebotibin – male Elite Athlete Program (2019 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon – 2:09:58)
  • Becky Hendee – female Elite Field (2016 Autumn Color Run Half Marathon – 1:21:13)
  • Crystal Kent – female Elite Field (2017 Outer Banks Half Marathon – 1:24:36)
  • Yahia Elsayed – male Elite Field (2019 Philadelphia Half Marathon – 1:09:39)
  • John Ross – male Elite Field (2020 3M Half Marathon – 1:11:58)

The fourth round of 2020 Manzano Milers include:

  • Nicholas Romanow – male Elite Field (2018 Schrader Mile – 4:26.33)
  • Tyler Smith – male Elite Field (2018 Black and Gold Invitational (1500m) – 4:01.73)

The prize purse breakdown follows: $15,000 for the marathon, $5,000 for the half marathon, and $3,200 for the Manzano Mile presented by Dole Packaged Foods. 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. Read about the first, second, and third round of accepted elite runners.

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. The start and finish locations are just a few blocks apart. They are within walking distance of many downtown hotels and restaurants. The finish line is in front of the picturesque Texas State Capitol. Austin Marathon is the perfect running weekend destination. Registration is currently open.

Meet the Olympic Trials Qualifying ‘B’ Standard Pacing Group

Trio of runners will pace female marathoners to ‘B’ standard qualifying time

High Five Events introduces a pacing team that will lead female elites to an Olympic Trials Qualifying ‘B’ Standard time at the 2019 Austin Marathon presented by Under Armour®.

The trio of Austin runners will reach the finish line in 2:44:59 (“B” Standard time is 2:45:00). The team consists of Bryan Morton (2x “B” Standard pacer), Will Nation (2016, ‘20 Olympic Trials Marathon Qualifier), and Rory Tunningley (2016 Olympic Trials Marathon Qualifier).

Female elites are invited to apply to the Austin Marathon’s Elite Athlete Program. The goal of this pacing group is to guide as many females as possible to an Olympic Marathon Trials qualifying time. The Elite Athlete Program focuses on creating a field of elite male and female runners with a competitive nature and discovering emerging talent, while helping the existing talent pool reach Olympic standards. Allison Macsas qualified for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials at the 2018 Austin Marathon.

“The addition of this pacing trio underscores the goal of the Austin Marathon’s Elite Athlete Program, to help elites reach Olympic standards,” said Jack Murray, co-owner of High Five Events. “Our 2017 – ‘18 female marathon champion Allison Macsas proved you can qualify on the streets of Austin when she qualified for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials on Feb. 18, 2018 (2:43:11).

Rory Tunningley

Rory Tunningley is a member of the "B" standard pacing group at the Austin Marathon.

Rory Tunningley is a member of the “B” standard pacing group at the Austin Marathon.

Tunningley is a 2013 graduate of The University of Texas, serving as cross-country Team Captain his senior year. A three-time All-South Central Region performer, Tunningley helped the UT men win back-to-back regional titles. Tunningley ran an Olympic Marathon Trials qualifying time of 1:04:51 at the 2015 Rock ‘n Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon. He finished a solid 89th at the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials in 2:35:53, his first marathon ever. During his time with the Longhorns, Tunningley recorded personal bests of 29:30.36 in the outdoor 10,000m and 14:15.87 in the indoor 5,000m. His 50th place finish at the 2012 NCAA Cross Country Championships (second among UT runners) helped propel the team to a 9th place finish overall.

“When I qualified for the Olympic Trials in 2016 I had the help of a friend who paced me half way through a half marathon in which I ran a qualifying standard,” said Tunningley. “I look forward to helping others achieve their goal of qualifying for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials.”

Will Nation

Will Nation is a member of the "B" standard pacing group at the Austin Marathon.

Will Nation is a member of the “B” standard pacing group at the Austin Marathon.

Nation is a lifelong Texan who moved to Austin in 2010 to attend The University of Texas. He earned a B.S. in Computer Science and competed on the track and cross country teams. Upon graduating in 2014, Nation began his post-collegiate career with a first-place finish at Austin’s own 3M Half Marathon. Since then, he has qualified for the Olympic Marathon Trials twice (2016 and 2020). His most recent qualifying time coming from the 2017 USATF Marathon Championships (2:16:59). Will currently trains in Austin under the guidance of his longtime coach, Steve Magness. When he’s not running, he works as a web developer for FantasyPros.

“Austin has such an amazing fitness community and it only makes sense to have a marathon that reflects that,” said Nation. “ It’s my hope that I can assist many 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.”

Bryan Morton

Bryan Morton is a member of the "B" standard pacing group at the Austin Marathon.

Bryan Morton is a member of the “B” standard pacing group at the Austin Marathon.

Morton moved down to Austin in 2010 for his gig with Facebook. He’s been marathon training with Team Rogue ever since. Morton is a marathon veteran with 20+ races on his resume. He set his PB of 2:25 this past February in Tokyo. This is his fifth time pacing at the Austin Marathon and second time pacing the women’s Olympic ‘B’ Standard.

Austin’s endurance community has given me so much over the years, and I wouldn’t be the runner I am today without the support of many in it,” said Morton. “Races like the Austin Marathon afford the opportunity to give back and pay it forward to others with similar goals. It’s my hope that we can shepherd a large pack of women to a 2020 Olympic Trials qualifying time and pave the way for many others to follow in their footsteps.

Applications are still being accepted and elite marathoners can apply on the Austin Marathon’s website. Accepted athletes that meet the program’s standards will be given one comp entry to the Austin Marathon or half marathon. They’re also eligible for travel reimbursement and standards bonuses. Runners not accepted to the program but still invited will receive one comp entry. They’re also eligible to win prize money.