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Universal Advice from an Elite

Rizzo’s universal advice can be used by every runner

Patrick Rizzo is one of the most decorated and versatile distance runners in the United States. In December 2017, he ran 2:17:27 at the U.S. Marathon Championship in Sacramento, California. This made him a four-time Olympic Trials qualifier in the marathon; a remarkable and almost unprecedented achievement which solidifies his running legacy. To honor this accomplishment, Colorado Running Magazine named Rizzo its runner of the month. Rizzo is competing in the Austin Marathon’s Elite Athlete Program on race day. He’s sharing some tips that have led to his success. His universal advice can be applied to all runners!

An Athlete’s Perspective – Issue 15

by: Patrick Rizzo

Race day for the Austin Marathon (Feb. 17th) is rapidly approaching. We’re in the final month of training now. This is where the fatigue sometimes gets the best of us. The mileage starts to think it’s winning. Nerves start to sneak into our thoughts. Taper madness is trying to set in. All of those things are normal though. It means you’ve been working toward a goal and you care enough to push yourself in order to achieve it.

Congratulations on getting this far! This is the metaphorical peak of the hill and now it’s time to come downhill. With that said, mistakes can still be made. Having covered the marathon distance 20 times myself, I’d like to share some universal advice. This universal advice is applicable to runners of all speeds and experience levels. Implement this universal advice to run your best and have a positive experience at the 2019 Austin Marathon.

One

Decide what you’re eating the night before the race and practice eating that same food before quality days. When a friend asks what you thought of the course, it’s better not to answer in terms of how frequent the port-o-potties were spaced on the course. Especially if it’s within your control to practice.

Two

Sticking with the specifics, have you tried nuun hydration? nuun performance will be the on-course hydration. Same with Gatorade gels and blocks. There will be two stations on the marathon course handing out nutrition. If it doesn’t suit your preference, plan ahead! Experiment with what DOES work and how you can carry that on race day. Gels pinned to the inside of shorts is a great way to carry your calories.

Three

What kind of shape are your shoes in? Will they make it to race day or are you 50/50? Now is the time to plan ahead. Nothing is worse than befriending the medical staff because your forefoot grafted to the insoles of your new shoes (yes, that happened to me at the London Marathon in 2013).

Four

Know your pace and stick to it. You shouldn’t be training more than five seconds faster than race pace and that’s even limited. If your regular runs are faster than goal marathon/half pace, either your goal is too slow or your training is too fast. Also, on race day, it’s easy for emotions to start out high (and take your pacing plan right with it). Prepare ahead of time to start at a pace that you plan to still find achievable in the last 5K.

Five

HAVE FUN! Really. If training has become “work” then you’re doing it wrong! I train 100 miles a week, with a wife, a kid, and a full-time job. It’s still something I “get to do” and not “have to do.” Dads and moms, you can’t be afraid to get that running stroller out for the easy days and chat with the little one while you’re out there. My son and I have solved the world’s problems while we run together. It also gives me time to bond with him and gives my wife a break to do her workout. Fun comes from having balance and perspective.

An Athlete’s Perspective is a blog series of event and/or training experiences written firsthand by the athletes themselves. An Athlete’s Perspective is a completely unscripted and raw look into the mind and daily life of an athlete as they prepare for their next race. Readers will discover training regimens, eating tips, gear recommendations, and an uncut perspective into the lives of people like you and me.

7 Tips for Better Race Photos

Elusive perfect race photos are within reach

We all have them, those photos that we wish we were not tagged in. With a little planning and self-awareness, you can improve your race-photo game at the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon presented by Under Armour. Then you’ll have Instagram worthy photos to share with your friends and family. Don’t forget to tag the Austin Marathon Instagram!

1. Improve your form

Stand tall! We tend to let our shoulders lean in, so when you see that yellow vest, pull the shoulders back and align the spine. This is also probably just feel good on your body if you have gotten into a slump.

2. Increase your stride

Make your legs look long and fast by slightly over exaggerating your stride. You don’t want to do this for all 13.1 miles, but it won’t hurt for a photo or three.

3. Make your path

Be aware of the upcoming photographers and move so that other runners are not in your way. No point in putting in the work to look good if you are covered up by someone else.

3. Relax your face

We know, easier said than done, but start practicing now on your training runs. Make your cheeks soft and say the word “Money.” Seriously go to a mirror and try it.

4. Think positive thoughts

Have a photo mantra like ” I love running” or “I am awesome and am going to finish this race.” This positive energy will show through in the photo. You can even say something out loud to the photographer to get their attention, a whoohooooo never hurt!

5.Wear your bib on the front

Make sure your bib placement is clean looking and on the front. The automated photosystems use this to tag your photos. You don’t want to sift through thousands of photos to try and find yourself.

One reason you'll love the Austin Marathon: Under Armour participant shirts!

6. Don’t pause your watch… just yet

I know it is tempting to hit the pause button right when you cross the finish line, but give it a few steps. Otherwise, the photo will be of you looking at your watch and not enjoying the finish experience.

7. Bust out the major emotion!

Smiles, cheers, jumps, yells, tears… you’ll get a second look from the photographers. Avoid waving quickly or flapping your arms up and down, they can make you look like your falling in the photo. If you are going to make movements, make them meaningful and keep the pose for more than a few seconds.

You can pre-purchase your 2019 Official FinisherPix race photos now at a discounted price.

 

 

 

Austin Marathon Announces Fifth Round of Accepted Elite Runners

Fifth round of elite runners will compete during race weekend for a prize purse that totals $26,000

High Five Events is excited to announce the fifth round of accepted athletes for the 2019 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon presented by Under Armour®. Returning for its third year in a row, this opportunity 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.

“After winning the Austin Marathon the past two years, I’m really excited to speed things up and take on the half marathon for the first time ever,” said Allison Macsas, who secured the Olympic Marathon Trials B standard at the 2018 Austin Marathon (2:43:11). “I think it’s important to regularly cycle through different race distances and the Austin Half Marathon will provide a fresh challenge with stiff competition.”

The fifth round of 2019 marathoners include:

  • Patrick Rizzo – male Elite Athlete Program (4x Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier)
  • Arturs Bareikis – male Elite Athlete Program (2nd place 2017 Madison Marathon – 2:23:14)
  • Khrystyna Bohomiahkova – female Elite Athlete Program (2:46:40 at 2018 Belfast City Marathon)
  • Mitchell Germann – male Elite Field (2018 Decker Challenge champion – 1:16:11)

The fifth round of 2019 half marathoners include:

  • Allison Macsas – female Elite Athlete Program (2017 – ‘18 Austin Marathon female champion – 2:43:11)
  • Julian Florez – male Elite Athlete Program (2nd place 2017 Victoria Half Marathon – 1:06:04)
  • Mike Lowe – female Elite Athlete Program (2nd place 2018 Shreveport Half Marathon – 1:04:54)
  • Kimi Reed – female Elite Athlete Program (1:14:43 at 2018 Bjorklund Half Marathon)
  • James Ngandu – male Elite Athlete Program (1:02:43 at 2018 Philadelphia Half Marathon)
  • Caroline Rotich – female Elite Athlete Program (1:10:34 at 2018 Boston Marathon)
  • Sipho Ngxongo – male Elite Field (2018 Koala Wellness Houston Half Marathon champ – 1:10:08)
  • Hope Hill – female Elite Field (2nd place 2018 Columbia Gorge Half Marathon – 1:24:06)
  • Alana Kopelson – female Elite Field (1:24:06 at 2018 NYC Half Marathon)
  • Kaitlyn Johnson – female Elite Field (1:20:10 at 2017 3M Half Marathon)
  • Kate Hails – female Elite Field (2:54:08 at 2015 Boston Marathon)
  • Fontaine Haskell – female Elite Field (1:23:35 at 2016 Tuscaloosa Half Marathon)
  • Ryan Taylor – male Elite Field (1:10:55 at 2018 Philadelphia Half Marathon)
  • Alex Dantzler – male Elite Field (1:20:01 at 2018 Decker Challenge)
  • Lindsey McDonald – female Elite Field (1:23:16 at 2016 Rock the Parkway Half Marathon)
  • Rebecca Marrou – female Elite Field (2018 Run the Alamo Half Marathon female champ – 1:24:18)
  • Tim Rackers – male Elite Field (1:06:46 at 2016 Dam to Dam Half Marathon)

The fifth round of 2019 Manzano Mile presented by Dole participants include:

  • Dana Mecke – female Elite Field (2018 Manzano Mile female champ – 4:47.08)
  • Jake Edwards – male Elite Field (3:58.26 at 2018 Westchester Mile)
  • Joshua Traynelis – male Elite Field (4:02.9 at 2016 UAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship)
  • Jessica Purtell –  female Elite Field (former Baylor track, 800m PR – 2:07)
  • Tansey Lystad –  female Elite Field (4:49.77 at 2017 Northwest Summer All-Comers Meet)
  • Jesse Chettle – male Elite Field (4:35 at 2017 Ad Astra Running Irish Mile)

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.  Read about the first, second, third, and fourth round of accepted elite runners. The application process is closed.