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2018 Austin Marathon Releases New Course

New course will highlight more Austin landmarks and enhance race day traffic

High Five Events introduces a new course for the 2018 Austin Marathon® that will highlight more of Austin’s iconic landmarks on race day and engage more Austin businesses and restaurants. The new course was 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.

“I love the Austin Marathon, not just because it reminds me every year of when I ran the half marathon but also because we get to show off our beautiful city to thousands of visitors, and those visitors leave behind tips for service industry workers and taxes that we use for the arts and historic preservation,” said Austin Mayor Steve Adler. “Only one person can come in first, but everyone in town wins the Austin Marathon.”

The first half of the Austin Marathon will remain unchanged. After Mile 12, half marathoners will head south to the finish line while marathoners continue east before turning north and running through The Drag, a portion of Guadalupe St. that runs along the western edge of the University of Texas campus. The course will highlight Austin staples like the University of Texas Tower and historic Hyde Park neighborhood, while taking marathoners on a tour of East Austin’s restaurants, murals, and landmarks. The course map can be viewed on the website.

High Five Events has worked closely with the City of Austin Transportation Department and the Capital Metro Transportation Authority throughout the planning of this beneficial course change. By working with the city and continuing outreach efforts to local communities and businesses, the goals of enhancing traffic flow and highlighting more of Austin will be achieved. An increasing number of businesses and restaurants are opening their doors to accommodate the tens of thousands of runners and spectators who make up race day. All of these contributing factors will lead to the 2018 Austin Marathon increasing its 2017 economic impact of $34.4 million.

“The Bee Grocery is honored to be on the Austin Marathon’s new course; we’re counting down the days to February 18, 2018,” said Brenda Le, owner of The Bee Grocery. “Race day is full of excitement and we know downtown will be buzzing with all of the runners and spectators. Good luck to all the runners!”

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. The new course is awaiting final approval from the City Council, expected mid-November.

2017 Austin Marathon Contributes $34.4 Million to Austin Economy

Findings stem from enhanced community collaboration with St. Edward’s University experts

High Five Events is proud to announce that the Austin Marathon® presented by NXP pumped $34.4 million into the Austin economy during race weekend. The Austin Marathon was able to better calculate its economic impact by utilizing the faculty expertise at St. Edward’s University’s Bill Munday School of Business. This year’s economic impact on the City of Austin is an $8.7 million increase from the 2016 event.

“This year’s economic contributions by the Austin Marathon showcase the growth of Austin’s flagship running event, the staggering financial impact it has on the city of Austin, and the idea that Austin is a destination for runners from around the world,” said Stacy Keese, co-owner of High Five Events.

Dr. Ali Dadpay, associate dean, MBA director, and professor of Economics for The Bill Munday School of Business, conducted the research for the 2017 Austin Marathon economic impact report. Dr. Dadpay achieved the report’s primary goal of incorporating more data, including High Five Events’ localized spending, volunteer contributions and jobs created, to measure the direct, indirect and induced economic impact.

“The Austin Marathon is an example of a sports event which vitalizes the local economy and creates significant revenue for the city and the local business community,” said Dr. Dadpay. “We have used estimated spending and estimated averages to aggregate total spending. The multiplier effect for this event is significant, and we can believe it impacts all economic sectors in our region.”

Moving forward, both parties will work to understand spectator contributions and the value generated by the Austin Marathon in social media, digital marketing, and digital brand recognition. This is an understudied aspect of such events, and other cities are looking into ways to measure the true impact of marathon events. The Austin Marathon is excited about the direction of the St. Edward’s University partnership.

“The Bill Munday School of Business focuses on supporting the Austin community with practical research that facilitates economic growth,” said Dr. Nancy Schreiber, school of business dean. “Our partnership with the Austin business ecosystem is a central force to providing relevant 21 st century business education.”

History Made at the 2017 Austin Marathon

Kayleigh Williamson made history on February 19th at the 2017 Austin Marathon® presented by NXP. She became the first female participant with Down syndrome to complete the Austin half marathon. Despite warmer than normal temperatures, Williamson finished the 13.1-mile course in six hours and 23 minutes. All throughout the course, Kayleigh had thousands of cheering supporters, including a race official and a local police K-9 unit. She approached the finish line in a dead sprint surrounded by her mother, amazing friends, and her RunLab coaches.

Williamson and race official Rod Newlin. Credit RunLab.

“I loved the race and that I was able to race with all of my friends and inspire others,” said Williamson.

Roughly 125,000 participants, spectators, and volunteers enjoyed the 26th annual Austin Marathon, produced by High Five Events. Former Austinite Joe Thorne (2:32:05) and Austinite Allison Macsas (2:48:16) both won the marathon; while South Africa’s Sphamandla Nyembe (1:11:36) and former Austinite Allison Mendez (1:21:42) won the half marathon. FloTrack provided live coverage of the marathon and captured everyone as they crossed the finish line.

Coming back to Austin was wonderful because it holds a special place in my heart,” said Thorne. “Being able to race and win the championship is amazing.”

Second and third place in the marathon for the men went to Daniel Bishop of Salt Lake City (2:33:02) and former Austinite Jared Carson (2:35:11). Central Park Track Club’s Caroline Veltri (2:58:36) and Austinite Jennifer Harney (3:07:26) finished the marathon second and third respectively.

Post-race Congress Ave.

Although I’ve been involved in the Austin Marathon as a pacer for years, nothing could have prepared me for what a special experience it would be to race it for the first time,” said Allison Macsas, female marathon champ. “The local support out on the course and behind the scenes (thanks FloTrack!) was incredible, and played a huge part in carrying me through some very tough spots to the first marathon win of my life – a win made even more special by the fact that it was here at home!

Adam Waldum of Cedar Park (1:12:33) and Nicholas Sterghos of Colorado Springs (1:16:05) finished second and third in Sunday’s half marathon. The second and third place females in the half marathon were Beth Panke (1:24:48) and Tracie Akerhielm (1:26:10).

FloTrack’s world-class coverage followed the men’s and women’s elite field throughout the race and watched as every participant crossed the line. At times they had a trio of announcers highlighting the Austin Marathon and interviewing staff, sponsors, and the winners live. Participants and spectators were both able to enjoy the enhanced finish line festival that included a beer garden, TriggerPoint Recovery Zone, two Jumbotrons that displayed FloTrack’s live coverage, and several local food trucks.

Macsas, Manzano, and Thorne. Credit – Manzano

Official Race Ambassador and two-time Olympian Leo Manzano pumped up the runners before they began their race. He was also the inspiration for the Manzano Mile, which was the final marathon, half marathon, and 5K. Manzano is known for his signature kick, which helped him win the silver medal at the London Games in 2012. Every participant kicked for their last mile and finished with the heart of a lion.

To cap off the amazing day Chikage Windler, CBS Austin Chief Meteorologist and Austin Gives Miles Charity Chaser, started the marathon in last place. As the Charity Chaser, she ran on behalf of Camp Kesem – University of Texas and raised $1.25 for every marathoner she passed. She finished in 926th place and raised $3671.25.

The weather didn’t do us any favors, but I was humbled to run on behalf Camp Kesem UT,” said Windler. “And I’m already looking forward to next year!

Mr. Clemmer, Jack Murray, and Mayor Adler

Participants can see their results on the website and continue to share their amazing experiences on the Austin Marathon’s social media channels. For those planning ahead to February 18, 2018, next year’s registration is open and set at the low price of $90 (marathon) and $70 (half marathon). This amazing deal will be available until January 25th. Runners can find their race day photos on Marathonfoto.com. Search for ‘Austin Marathon 2017’ and enter your last name or bib number.

The Austin Marathon would like to thank the volunteers, sponsors, spectators and participants They would also like to thank NXP CEO Richard Clemmer, Mayor Steve Adler, silver medalist Leo Manzano, and former race directors John and Stacey Conley for their race day support.