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Austin Marathon and 3M Half Marathon Introduce Run Austin Virtual Series

All six events in the Run Austin Virtual Series will have a unique distance and an Austin theme

The Ascension Seton Austin Marathon presented by Under Armour and 3M Half Marathon presented by Under Armour joined forces to create the Run Austin Virtual Series. Everyone is invited to participate in the 6-month-long virtual series. The Run Austin Virtual Series begins this month with the Wildflower 1 Mile. The series will continue in August with the Armadillo 5K and build up to a 10-miler in December.

Image of female runner during the 2020 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon. Image announces the Run Austin Virtual Series, a 6-event series where the events increase in distance every month.“The Run Austin Virtual Series is a great way for all runners to hold themselves accountable as they prepare to run Austin’s streets in 2021,” said Leo Manzano, Olympic silver medalist and Austin Marathon Celebrity Ambassador. “Even those who aren’t registered can participate and use the monthly events as goals. Plus, they’re starting with my favorite distance!”

Run Austin perks

Participants of the Run Austin Virtual Series will receive themed downloadable personalized bibs, digital finisher medals, and finisher certificates. Participants will also enjoy fun extras like an online finisher photo booth and virtual reality filters for social media. Registration is open for each of the events for $18. Free entry to the entire six-event series, a $108 value,  is available to participants of the 2021 3M Half Marathon or the 2021 Austin Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5K. New distances will be launched at the beginning of the month. Limited-edition merchandise customized for each event will be available for purchase throughout the series.

“We’re excited to launch the Run Austin Virtual Series and introduce this virtual opportunity to the running community,” said Stacy Keese, co-owner of High Five Events. “The six events are milestones in the runner’s journey to their ultimate goals, the Austin Marathon or 3M Half Marathon finish lines.”

Austin’s flagship running event, the Austin Marathon, will celebrate its 30th anniversary on February 14th. It annually attracts runners from all 50 states and 35+ 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. The Austin Marathon is the perfect running weekend destination. Registration is currently open.

The 3M Half Marathon boasts one of the fastest 13.1-mile courses in the country. It will celebrate its 27th year running on January 17th. Runners will enjoy a point-to-point course with mostly downhill running. The 13.1-mile course showcases some of Austin’s finest locations. Participants start in north Austin and finish near the Texas State Capitol. Many participants set their 13.1-mile PR because of the 300’ net elevation drop. Registration is currently open.

Run the Tangent: Fastest Way to the Austin Marathon Finish Line

Complete the shortest distance possible when you run the tangent

You’re at the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon and Austin Half Marathon start line. The start line gong is struck. You cross the start line and begin chasing your goals. But what’s the quickest way to one of those goals: the finish line? Run the shortest distance possible aka run the tangent! You won’t run any further than you have to when you run the tangent. Learn what it means to run the tangent and utilize our tips. BONUS: run the tangent and you’ll get to the 3-block-long finish line festival that much faster!

What is tangent? Oxford Dictionary defines tangent as “a straight line or plane that touches a curve or curved surface at a point.” Most road courses are created with turns and curves along the way in order to get to the proper distance. When we are running, our natural tendency is to follow the natural curve of the road. There is a shorter way: run the tangent!

The shortest distance between two points

The Austin Marathon and Austin Half Marathon courses are USATF-certified. That means the Austin Marathon is exactly 26.2 miles. The Austin Half Marathon is exactly 13.1 miles. When the course is certified by the USA Track & Field, the course measurers are instructed to measure the shortest course possible. What does this mean? The measurer will measure the course using the straightest line possible. That person will run the tangent. As the saying goes, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. The diagram below from the USATF Course Measure Manual illustrates this point.

Infographic informing runners how to run the tangent during the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon and what it means.

So it would make sense that we should run the same course that the course measurer measured. On your next training run, try to run the tangent by looking ahead to the next curve. Visualize the straightest possible path by following the inside of the curve. If you want to add distance to your run, do the opposite, follow the outside of the curve.

Race day tips

  • Study the course map and become familiar with the turns and curves on the course
  • Look ahead to the next turn or curve, run the straightest path to the inside of the turn or curve
  • Have fun! 

Fun thing to try: after your next track workout, count the number of steps it takes you to walk one lap of the track at the inside, middle, outside lanes. Which route is the shortest?