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Austin Marathon Announces Fifth Round of Accepted Elite Runners

High Five Events introduces the fifth round of accepted athletes for the 2018 Austin Marathon®. Runners who do not qualify for the Elite Athlete Program are still invited to run in the Elite Field. The Elite Athlete Program’s focus is to provide a clean and competitive environment, discover emerging talent, and help the existing talent pool reach Olympic standards. The Program’s Year Two prize purse totals $20,000, with $15,000 for the marathon and $5,000 for the half marathon.

The fifth round of 2018 marathoners include:

  • Allison Macsas – Elite Athlete Program (2017 Austin Marathon female champion – 2:48:16)
  • Craig Leon – Elite Athlete Program (7th place at 2017 US Marathon Championships [CIM] – 2:13:41)
  • Arturs Bareikis – Elite Athlete Program (2nd place at 2017 Madison Marathon – 2:23:14)
  • Carter Norbo – Elite Athlete Program (ran 2:48:35 at 2017 Chicago Marathon)
  • D’Ann Arthur – Elite Athlete Program (2nd place at 2016 OC Marathon – 2:46:50)
  • Drew Johnson – Elite Field (ran 1:14:14 at 2017 Garry Bjorkland Half Marathon)
  • Brent Martin – Elite Field (4th place at 2017 Akron Marathon – 2:28:10)

The fifth round of 2018 half marathoners include:

  • Allison Mendez-Cleaver – Elite Athlete Program (2017 Austin Half Marathon female champion – 1:21:42; 2016 Olympic Trials Marathon Qualifier)
  • Patrick Smyth – Elite Athlete Program (8th place at 2016 Olympic Trials Marathon – 2:15:26; 2012 and 2016 Olympic Trials Marathon Qualifier)
  • Alfred Kiplagat – Elite Athlete Program (4th place at 2016 Germantown Half Marathon – 1:06:44)
  • Jarrett LeBlanc – Elite Athlete Program (ran 1:04:19 at 2015 US Half Marathon Championships; 2016 Olympic Trials Marathon Qualifier)
  • Jason Ayr – Elite Athlete Program (3rd place 2017 Hartford Marathon – 2:20:36)
  • Heather Zytkewicz – Elite Field (8th place at 2017 San Antonio Half Marathon – 1:26:45)
  • Jonathon Lira – Elite Field (ran track and cross country for Texas Tech)

There is nothing quite like racing on hometown roads full of familiar faces, especially when your hometown race is a top-notch production,” said Macsas, also a 2012 and 2016 Olympic Trials Marathon Qualifier. “Austin Marathon weekend always feels like a big party for the local running community and my 2017 win was a major highlight of my year – I couldn’t be more excited for the chance to line up and try to do it again!”

Read about the first, second, third,and fourth rounds of accepted elite runners. Including today, the marathon has accepted a total of 13 runners into the Elite Athlete Program and 17 others have been invited to participate in the Elite Field. The half marathon has accepted 13 runners into the Elite Athlete Program and 16 others have been invited to participate in the Elite Field. Applications are arriving daily and more than 100 have already been submitted. The sixth round of athletes will be announced next week. Applications are still being accepted and elite runners can apply on the Austin Marathon’s website. Athletes that meet the program’s standards and are accepted will be given one comp entry to the 2018 Austin Marathon or half marathon, reimbursement eligibility, and standards bonuses.

Austin Marathon Announces Fourth Round of Accepted Elite Runners

High Five Events introduces the fourth round of accepted athletes for the 2018 Austin Marathon®. Runners who do not qualify for the Elite Athlete Program are still invited to run in the Elite Field. The Elite Athlete Program’s focus is to provide a clean and competitive environment, discover emerging talent, and help the existing talent pool reach Olympic standards. The Program’s Year Two prize purse totals $20,000, with $15,000 for the marathon and $5,000 for the half marathon.

The fourth round of 2018 marathoners include:

fourth round

Becki Spellman, 2008, 2012, 2016 Olympic Trials Marathon Qualifier.

  • Ruairi Moynihan – Elite Field (ran 2:39:38 at 2017 Grandma’s Marathon)
  • Jamie Stroffolino – Elite Field (ran 2:37:38 at 2017 NYC Marathon)
  • Mollie Turner – Elite Field (7th place 2017 Hartford Marathon – 2:53:32)
  • Cecile Daurat-Thompson – Elite Field (ran 2:59:50 at 2016 Philadelphia Marathon)

The fourth round of 2018 half marathoners include:

  • Becki Spellman – Elite Athlete Program (2008, 2012, 2016 Olympic Trials Marathon Qualifier)
  • Ryan Root – Elite Athlete Program (5th place 2017 Indianapolis Marathon – 2:19:51)
  • Jocelyn Todd – Elite Athlete Program (ran 2:48:23 at 2017 Chicago Marathon)
  • Gabe Gonzalez – Elite Athlete Program (6th place at 2016 Big Sur Half Marathon)
  • Fernanda Bau – Elite Field (ran 1:28:25 at 2017 Austin Half Marathon)
  • Karen Bertasso – Elite Field (ran 2:49:08 at 2017 Berlin Marathon)
  • Cole Toepfer – Elite Field (ran 1:11:30 at 2016 Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon)
  • Randi Burnett – Elite Field (ran 2:53 at 2017 NYC Marathon)
  • Sarah Lancaster – Elite Field (ran 1:25:32 at 2016 Austin Half Marathon)
  • Nicholas Spector – Elite Field (3rd place at 2017 OC Half Marathon – 1:09:19)

“After running my first marathon in Austin 2008 and qualifying for the Olympic Trials, this race has a special place in my heart,” said Spellman. “I’m very excited to be back in Austin this February; I can’t wait to race!”

Read about the first, second, and third rounds of accepted elite runners. Including today’s announcement, the marathon has accepted a total of eight runners into the Elite Athlete Program and 15 have been invited to participate in the Elite Field. The half marathon has accepted eight runners into the Elite Athlete Program and 14 have been invited to participate in the Elite Field. Applications are arriving daily and more than 100 have already been submitted. The fifth round of athletes will be announced next week. Applications are still being accepted and elite runners can apply on the Austin Marathon’s website. Athletes that meet the program’s standards and are accepted will be given one comp entry to the 2018 Austin Marathon or half marathon, reimbursement eligibility, and standards bonuses.

Austin Marathon Welcomes Elite Japanese Runners

Elite runner exchange is a result of the Austin-Oita Sister City relationship

High Five Events announces the continuation of the Austin-Oita Sister City Committee (AOSCC) elite runner exchange for the 2018 Austin Marathon®. Daichi Tanaka and Junko Sakamoto will represent Japan and compete in the Austin Marathon on Feb. 18, 2018.

“I am both excited and honored to run in the 2018 Austin Marathon as a symbol of friendship between the sister cities of Oita and Austin,” said Tanaka.

Austin-Oita Sister City

2016 Austin Marathon Champion Hayato Sonoda (2:23:07).

Tanaka and Sakamoto both competed in the 2017 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon, finishing in 2:32:13 and 3:07:29 respectively. As a part of the sister city exchange, two Austin runners, Erik Stanley and Hannah Steffan, participated in the 2017 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon. Stanley completed the marathon in 2:31:38 and Steffan finished in 3:02:51. Hayato Sonoda (2:23:07) won the 2016 Austin Marathon and Yuki Kojina (2:30:06) finished in second place.

“Running is truly a global sport and we’ll continue to highlight that as this partnership grows,” said Jack Murray, co-owner of High Five Events. “We look forward to Junko and Daichi running a competitive race with the rest of the Elite Field.”

The Austin-Oita Sister City Committee was founded in 1990. It is a non-profit, volunteer organization that seeks to promote and heighten public interest in and appreciation of the culture, people, languages, business, and products of the greater Austin, Texas, area and the city of Oita, Japan, and its surrounding areas.

The Austin Marathon will celebrate its 27th year running in the capital of Texas on February 18, 2018. Austin’s flagship running event annually attracts runners from all 50 states and 20+ 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 marathon, half marathon, or 5K.