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2019 Austin Gives Miles Surpasses $1 Million Fundraising Goal

2019 Austin Gives Miles provides an impactful platform for 36 Central Texas nonprofits

2019 Austin Gives Miles, the Official Charity Program of the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon® presented by Under Armour, raised $1,187,000. The 36 Central Texas nonprofit organizations accepted into the program worked tirelessly to exceed the program’s fundraising goal. They also increased awareness for their organization and recruited race weekend volunteers. Lance Armstrong, charity chaser, was the final participant to cross the Austin Marathon start line. He elevated the program’s profile, helped surpass the $1 million fundraising goal, and passed all but 59 marathoners (3:02:13).

“We were proud to be an Austin Gives Miles Official Charity and use Back on My Feet’s connection with running to raise more than $20,000,” said Scott Merritt, Back on My Feet Austin Chapter Director. “We love seeing the program’s continued growth and the Austin Marathon’s ability to positively impact more Central Texas nonprofits.”

The Moody Foundation’s continued support makes a huge difference

For the fourth year in a row, Austin Gives Miles was the beneficiary of a grant from The Moody Foundation that matched donations for each organization, up to $10,000. The 2019 grant totaled $252,819, bringing their four-year grant total to $963,044. The money raised significantly impacts Central Texas and the communities the charities serve. Learn more about Austin Gives Miles and how your nonprofit can get involved. The application process is open for nonprofits interested in being involved with 2020 Austin Gives Miles.

“Raising $1,187,000 in yet another record-breaking year shows the generosity and giving spirit of the running community,” said Carly Samuelson, Austin Gives Miles Charity Manager. “We wouldn’t have reached our goal if it weren’t for the everyday runners who gave their miles, the Moody Foundation for their gracious matching grant, and Lance being an amazing charity chaser.”

The Austin Marathon will celebrate its 29th year running in the capital of Texas on February 16, 2020. Austin’s flagship running event annually attracts runners from all 50 states and 30+ 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 Austin Marathon, Austin Half Marathon, or Austin Marathon 5K beginning June 1st.

Is There Really a Right Way to Run?

Go beyond the shoe and learn about the right way to run

Learning about the right way to run for yourself can make all the difference in the world. It can improve efficiency and reduce injury. The right pair of shoes can help, but they’re not going to solve any problems that might arise. RunLab’s, Dr. Kimberly Davis breaks down the myth and the reality about the right way to run. She includes reasoning and how you can learn more about your running form. If you want to learn more or have an injury looked at, give RunLab a call today!

by: Kimberly Davis, RunLab

The Myth

There is a “right” way and a “wrong” way to run.

The Reality

There are many right and wrong ways to run, walk, and even squat. Your ideal way depends on your unique structure, range-of-motion, strengths, limiters, injury history, and goals. Seem like a lot to consider?! It is! 

There are more runners and triathletes hitting the trails than ever and that, unfortunately, means more injury. Many studies estimate that upwards of 90% of runners will end up injured in any given year. Given the fact that millions upon millions of dollars have been spent on shoe design over the last 50 years, why are injury rates still the same, or even higher, than they ever were?

The answer? It’s not about the shoe.

Misinformation about running form

There is a lot of misinformation out there about running form. People constantly find their way into RunLab™ with stories about their struggles to “fix” their heel strike, run with higher cadence, get their “glutes to fire”, to “stop overpronating”, etc. But the problem lies in the fact that most of these runners have very little understanding of how their bodies are built. Despite their best intentions, they have even less idea why they are trying to change things, other than the fact that they read somewhere that what they are currently doing is “wrong.”

There are thousands of variables that go into a person’s ideal movement pattern. A person’s gait is as unique as their fingerprint! Furthermore, changing the way you move isn’t necessarily taking away the load. It simply means you are moving the load around to another area of the body which can be more, or sometimes less, equipped to handle that stress.

Movement analysis

This is where movement analysis comes into play and why it is vital to look at the full body both statically and in motion from multiple planes. It is important to understand the unique way you are built, your current range-of-motion, strengths and limiters, and the way your body has adapted to move through them.

Our brains are amazing at creating workarounds for even the slightest weakness. When we layer compensation pattern over compensation pattern (even as non-runners) for years, there is a lot that goes into unraveling the ball of biomechanical yarn. This is true for runners dealing with injury and uninjured runners looking to prevent injury or improve efficiency.

To illustrate the point, creating increased range-of-motion in one area can create stability problems in another. This can cause that area to develop compensatory hypertonicity (tightness).

One common scenario we see in runners occurs when they have more flexible hamstrings than they think they do and constantly spend time stretching them, ignoring their hip flexors. Since most of us sit all day, the hip flexors can cause the pelvis to roll forward and pull on the (already flexible) hamstrings. This creates a perception of tightness which leads to, you guessed it, more stretching. Low back pain frequently results. This is one of a million examples but illustrates the way the body adapts and why we end up chasing pain in the wrong places for years if we don’t understand our unique underlying biomechanical picture.

Take-home message

If you don’t understand your unique structure, range-of-motion, strengths and limiters, it is very easy to get pulled down the rabbit hole by the mountain of information from articles, underqualified “experts,” wearable technology, and your running friends who “read somewhere that you should run with your feet facing forward.”

Understanding your body should be the springboard to any good training plan and is vital to preventing injury. More importantly, this information arms you with the knowledge to decide which recommendations for “better form” are actually relevant to you.

And remember, shoes matter. But there isn’t a shoe in the world that can replace working on your biomechanics.  The right shoes will aid your body’s ability to move naturally and as efficiently as it can in its current state. However, no amount of shoe technology can permanently solve for a weakness in the body.

Scout Troops 49 and 490 Play Integral Race-Day Role

Scout Troops support Austin Marathon from start to finish

The Ascension Seton Austin Marathon presented by Under Armour brought nearly 16,000 runners from all 50 states and 35 countries, tens of thousands of spectators, and a lot of trash. High Five Events, owners of the Austin Marathon, work with local organizations to clean up the trash left on the course by runners and spectators. This year, Scout Troops 49 and 490 volunteered to sweep the course in exchange for a donation. Working in teams, the scouts walked the course and picked up discarded items.

Scout Troops 49 and 490 present the colors prior to the start of the 2019 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon.

Scout Troops 49 and 490 present the colors prior to the start of the 2019 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon.

“We enjoyed partnering with Troops 49 and 490,” said Dan Carroll, co-owner of High Five Events. “They understand what we’re doing and have a commitment to the community to make sure we leave the course clean.”

Beyond the usual wrappers and cups along the course, the scouts found a lot of interesting things including Yeti cups, discarded hydration belts, and layers that were shed as the day warmed up. Clothing found along the course was laundered and donated to local charities.

“This isn’t much different from a backpacking trip,” said Jonah Rehder of Troop 49. “When we camp, we follow ‘Leave No Trace’ guidelines, so we’re used to packing out all our trash.”

Some in the troop have a message for runners: “Runners should be more aware of the microtrash they create when they open up those gel packets,” said Troop 49 co-Scoutmaster Karl Loftis. “Those little tabs are hard to see and pick up which means some of them end up washing down the drain and into the lake.”

Presenting the colors

In addition to sweeping the course, Troops 49 and 490 presented the colors during the national anthem before the race. The five-scout flag crew included Eagle Scouts Marshall Haynes and Jordan Trimyer. Scouts Lindy Green, Jonah Rehder, and Ben Nebeibergall rounded out the team. As a second-year Scout, Nebeibergall admitted to some butterflies before the event. He said afterward he was elated at being part of the experience.

“I was really nervous standing in front of 16,000 people, but it was really fun once we started,” said Nebeibergall.

About Troop 49 and 490: Troop 490 is girls troop linked with Troop 49. Scouting USA started allowing all girl troops to form in January 2019. Both troops are sponsored by Faith Lutheran Church in the Crestview neighborhood. Both troops meet at Faith Lutheran Church on Tuesday nights, starting at 7:00. More information about Troop 49 and 490 can be found our their Facebook page and website.