Visit these south Austin hotspots and truly embrace the full Austin experience
If you’re into shopping, sunshine, live music, or nature you must visit these 5 iconic south Austin hotspots. They’re located along Miles 1-6 of the Austin Marathon course so they’re within walking distance of downtown Austin. Take in the Austin experience in one day or spread it out throughout Austin Marathon weekend. The choice is yours! If you find yourself hungry or in need of a cup of coffee, stop by our favorite south Austin coffee, breakfast, lunch, or dinner spots.
Congress Avenue Bridge (start)
Wanda Jackson, Queen of Rockabilly, performs at Continental Club.
This is one of Austin’s most iconic places to take photos for many reasons. Panoramic views of downtown, unobstructed view of the Texas State Capitol, Town Lake sunrises and sunsets, the 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats, and the beginning of the Austin Marathon! Whether you watch 17,500 runners cross the bridge or 1.5 million bats fly out from underneath in their bat cyclones, make sure your camera is charged and you have a great vantage point! Pro tip: take Bat Watching 101.
The Continental Club (Mile 1)
This live music venue is the self-proclaimed granddaddy of live music venues. The Continental Club (1315 S. Congress Ave.) has had a coast-to-coast and worldwide reputation as the premiere club for live music in Austin since 1955. Artists have included Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, Social Distortion, TD Bell and the Blues Specialists, Robert Plant, Blues Traveler, Dale Watson & his Lone Stars, Wanda Jackson, and more. Pro tip: Peterson Brothers Band, the 2018 Austin Marathon finish line festival headliner, play every Monday for free!
South Congress Shopping (Mile 1-2)
Mural that greets you outside of Triple Z Threads.
Preview Miles 1-2 of the Austin Marathon course when you shop SoCo! You’ll find something you need and everything you don’t. Visit some of our favorites like the Kendra Scott Flagship, STAG Provisions for Men, Allens Boots, Monkey See Monkey DO, and Triple Z Threads. Stop by Big Top to satisfy your sweet tooth! Pro tip: follow us on Instagram and see what murals you can find along the way.
Greetings from Austin Mural (Mile 5)
Known around the world, the Greetings from Austin Mural (1720 S. 1st St.) is one of the most visited murals in Austin. The mural was painted in 1998 by Todd Sanders and Rory Skagen and restored in 2013. Pro tip: get there early for the shot you want. You’ll avoid the crowds and there will be less traffic.
Auditorium Shores (Mile 6)
You know this an Austin blog when Stevie Ray Vaughan is mentioned twice. One of the main Auditorium Shores (800 W. Riverside Dr.) highlights is his statue along the trail overlooking Town Lake. Mile Marker 0 is a popular gathering spot for runners because of water fountains, plenty of space to stretch, and a workout station. On a rest day? Take your pup to the off-leash Auditorium Shores Dog Park. Bringing the kids? Take them to the Splash Pad. Pro tip: the lefthand turn runners take during the Austin Marathon is a popular cheering location for loved ones and spectators.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of the Austin experience. You have to start somewhere, right? This is one of Austin’s most vibrant and diverse areas, making it the perfect place to explore. Do you have a place in south Austin that you love that did not make the list? Let us know what it is on Facebook or Twitter.
https://zmmb91.a2cdn1.secureserver.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Austin-experience-feature.jpg?time=1679669486400495Austin Marathonhttps://zmmb91.a2cdn1.secureserver.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/RBG-color-website-header-340x156website.pngAustin Marathon2019-12-09 13:05:522020-05-07 21:37:24Enjoy the Full Austin Experience at these 5 Iconic South Austin Locations
Experience Austin when you visit these 6 locations along miles 6-13
Austin is growing, but that doesn’t mean it’s losing some of its more well-known locations. Whether you’re a bookworm, trying to play a round of golf, or looking for some new shoes, we cover six must-visit locations along miles 6-13 of the Austin Marathon course. If you’re an Austinite, just moved here, or planning to visit during Austin Marathon weekend, put these places along miles 6-13 on your to-visit list!
View from the top Austin Central Library’s top floor.
1. Auditorium Shores
This slice of heaven in downtown Austin is home to the Stevie Ray Vaughan Memorial Statue and the Zero Mile Marker, a common meeting place for runners. You can start here and run an uninterrupted, 10-mile loop around Town Lake. Auditorium Shores (900 W. Riverside Dr.) is home to a leash-free dog park and numerous concerts and festivals. Auditorium Shores will be on your left at Mile 6.
2. Austin Central Library
The Austin Central Library (710 W. Cesar Chavez St.) is one of the city’s newest jewels. In addition to its books, it features sweeping views of Town Lake. It’s also home to gallery space, a rooftop garden, downtown Austin’s largest solar installation, and a bar and cafe. In 2018, it was named one of the greatest places in the world by TIME. A Seaholm District staple, you’ll pass this beautiful 6-floor book hotel at Mile 6.5.
Runners test their speed on the Austin High Track.
3. Fleet Feet Austin
They opened their doors in July 2018 and have been so busy you’d swear they haven’t closed them since. Fleet Feet Austin (211 Walter Seaholm Dr.) is a great place to get fitted for the shoes that are perfect for you. They’re also the Official Running Store of High Five Events, supporting athletes of all abilities. Visit Ari and his team and let them know the Austin Marathon sent you!
4. Austin High Track
Athletes of all levels have completed a speed workout or two at the Austin High track (2100 Stephen F. Austin Dr.). This includes Olympic athletes and runners training for their first marathon. It’s downtown location and proximity to the 10-mile hike-and-bike-trail makes it one of the most-used public tracks in the country. You’ll pass Austin’s fitness hub at Mile 7.5.
Deep Eddy Pool is the oldest pool in Texas.
5. Deep Eddy Pool
This man-made swimming pool is the oldest in Texas and features a bathhouse built during the Depression era. Today, Deep Eddy Pool (401 Deep Eddy Dr.) is popular with swimmers for its lap swimming pool and families for its large wading pool. Clear, cold, non-chlorinated water from two different wells fills the pool. The water temperature varies from 66-75 degrees, making it usable year-round. Runners can find this watering hole near Mile 8.5 of the course.
6. Lions Municipal Golf Course
This is one of Austin’s most popular courses. Lions Municipal Golf Course (2901 Enfield Rd.) opened in 1924, making it the city’s first public golf course. This 18-hole course is listed on the Registration of National Historical Places by the National Park Service. Miles 8.5-10.5 wrap around the course as it reaches its furthest point west before participants turn easy, heading back downtown.
Miles 6-13 of the Austin Marathon course showcase some of Austin’s oldest and newest locations you need to visit. Whether you’re getting new shoes, checking out a book, or going for a swim, pay these places a visit! Reach out on Facebook or Twitter and let us know your favorite.
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Don’t sleep on these Austin Marathon race-week reminders
It has finally arrived! Race week for the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon presented by Under Armour’s is here! We know you’re just as excited as we are for our 28th anniversary. With all the excitement it’s easy to forget the simple things you need to do race week. We’re here to help with these race-week reminders.
Under Armour HOVR Shakeout Run
This is one Shakeout Run you don’t want to miss! Kick off Austin Marathon weekend on Friday morning (Feb. 15th) with hundreds of your running friends, UA HOVR shoe demos, a jog around Town Lake, tacos, and coffee. All distances and paces are welcome.
Invite your friends
Fact – running is best enjoyed with friends! They can run with you, cheer for you at various points along the course, or celebrate with you at the finish line festival. If your friends have been on the registration fence, now is the time. Tell them about the upcoming price increase on Thursday, Feb. 14th, or gift them a registration yourself!
If you have friends and family who cannot watch you run the streets of Austin on Feb. 17th, have them tune in to the FREE FloTrack livestream! FloTrack will cover all the action between the elite males and females racing the half marathon and marathon. Once elites cross the finish, FloTrack will capture every finisher as they cross their finish line! KXAN will provide FloTrack’s coverage to the local Austin market.
Begin hydrating during race week. It’ll help ensure your body has the fluids needed to secure that next PR! Make sure you’re getting a nice balance of electrolytes and fluids during the week. You’ve put in the training miles, now make sure all systems are ready for race day! BONUS – hydrate with the Mango Orange nuun performance, it’s what’ll be on course at all 22 aid stations.
There will be 2 Gatorade Endurance Fuel Zones at Miles 9.5 and 20. providing runners with Endurance Gels and Chews.
Plan your race day
There aren’t many runners who don’t already do this, but nevertheless, it’s a great reminder. Layout everything you’ll need the night before and double-check it. This increases the likelihood that you forget nothing race morning. You should even plan what you’ll eat the morning of and the night before. Stick with what works!
Driving to the expo on Friday or Saturday? Parking downtown race morning? Check out all the parking options or reserve your parking spot with Spot Hero!
If you didn’t train with it…
Don’t do it on race day! As simple as it seems. If you didn’t run with it, eat it, or drink it during training, don’t do it on race day!
Celebrate at the finish line festival
Last but definitely not least, recoverate (recover + celebrate)! Once you cross the finish line, snag your commemorative belt buckle finisher medal and head to the finish line festival. Grab your snack bag and some hydration. Then check out the food trucks, music, and the Oskar Blues Austin beer garden! Tito’s Handmade Vodka will serve delicious mixed drinks in the beer garden as well. BONUS – family or friends who cheered or tracked you via the app can meet you and help celebrate.
Did you pre-purchase your post-race massage with Austin Massage Company? Good call! If you didn’t, there’s still time to purchase a quick massage before continuing your celebration.
If you didn’t get enough live music on course, you can rock out with Austin’s own Delivery Service at the finish line festival. After their two sets, Fusion will keep the party going when they cover all the hits!
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Shawn Livingston emphasizes how the power of running helped him get his life back
On Tuesday, October 30th, Shawn Livingston, a 10-year military veteran, up-and-coming endurance trail runner, and recovering addict who discovered his love for running through Back on My Feet Austin (BoMF), met with William Dyson (Austin Marathon Communications Manager) to conduct the latest installment of the Staying Vertical interview series.
They discuss life’s highs and lows, running’s impact, and what the future holds. Shawn just completed the Pinhoti 100 Miler in Sylacauga, AL, and has his sights set on the 2019 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon presented by Under Armour. BoMF, an Austin Gives Miles official charity, combats homelessness through the power of running, community support, and essential employment and housing resources. Read his interview below. If you see him on the trail or running with Austin Runners Club’s Ship of Fools chat him up!
William Dyson – When did you move to Austin? How long ago did you begin running with BoMF? What prompted you to join the group?
Shawn Livingston – I moved to Austin in 2016 for treatment. I’ve been running with BoMF for nearly 18 months now (began in June – 2017). I distinctly remember seeing a few guys return from running the 2017 Cap10K. I knew I wanted to get healthy, but I needed something to push me a little bit further. Seeing those guys return provided that spark for me.
WD – What was your life prior to BoMF?
SL – Growing up I was the oldest sibling. I did well early on in life, was a good role model for my siblings, and did well in sports. During my 10 years in the military, I got injured and became addicted to opiates. I was lost for a long time, eventually getting into legal trouble for drug possession. Everything came crashing down when I went to prison. It was there I realized I needed to stop being selfish. You get back what you put into this world, I truly believe that. I started thinking if God had a plan for me to peak early in life and then crash just so my siblings would know what not to do, then it’d be worth it. It was difficult to get past that thought process.
WD – What was your initial reaction to BoMF?
SL – BoMF was exactly what I needed at the exact right time. As a vet you miss getting up early, the camaraderie, going on long runs, the structured routine. Finding something similar was just what I needed. There were runners at the morning runs like me and I knew this would be the perfect stepping stone.
WD – What has running done for you as a human?
SL – After getting out of the military, I had problems with depression and anxiety. I couldn’t sleep and had nightmares regularly. Eventually, running became a part of my life and did to me what medicine could not. Through running I was able to break my dependence on the medication. Since I was a kid I’ve never been good at being still. Now, running has become my meditation. I’m able to break down, process, and work out life’s instances. You have some time to think when you go on a 20-mile run.
WD – What has running done to you as a person?
SL – About two years ago I weighed 260 lbs., smoked cigarettes, and was tremendously out of shape. I started running and eventually got my weight down to 195 lbs. The before-and-after pictures show two completely different people and showcase the difference between unhealthy and healthy. My attitude towards everything shifted, I have a more positive outlook on life, and possess a confidence booster I didn’t realize I had. Even with all that, it was hard to find a sense of accomplishment in life when I first started running. It wasn’t until I ran my first race and received a huge medal. They put it around my neck and I felt this undeniable sense of accomplishment. It made me want more. As someone who’s new to running, I wanted that next feeling. Before running I was addicted to feeling good. Running provides that good feeling now.
WD – Why do you continue to be involved with and support BoMF?
SL – There’s a saying “keep what you have by giving it away.” Running with BoMF has been so beneficial for me on many levels. When I needed someone, they were there. They supported me and helped me turn my life around. I’m dedicated to bringing that feeling and sensation to other people. If they’re in a similar situation, I want to show them what’s possible.
WD – Tell me how you went from morning runs with BoMF to ultra distances.
SL – I first started on trails because I was down to run anything. At first, running longer distances didn’t make sense to me. I was inspired and also blown away when those guys ran the Cap10K. Penny (BoMF volunteer, mentor, and fellow trail runner) saw something in me that I didn’t. She encouraged me to give longer distances on the trail a try. My second race was 2017 Capt’n Karl’s Muleshoe Bend 30K and continued with longer distances from there. Eventually, I gained more and more confidence. So much so that I’m running the Pinhoti 100 miler (my first) this Friday in Alabama (update: he finished in 27:43:35)
WD – You’ve become a decorated ultrarunner. What are your recent accomplishments?
SL – I’ve placed in the top 10 at several races and have thoroughly enjoyed pushing my body’s limits while testing longer distances.
Sept. 7th – 1st place overall – Paleface Marathon (4:39:15)
Aug. 4th – 8th place overall – Capt’n Karl’s Colorado Bend 30K (3:45:52)
June 2nd – 5th place overall – Texas Trail Running Festival Half Marathon (2:04:46)
May 5th – 5th place overall – Pandora’s Box of Rox Half Marathon (1:57:54)
WD – What keeps you running?
SL – Like I said earlier, it’s my medicine. Running is what I’ve gotten the most out of in life. Nothing makes me feel as good as running. You hear people talk about the direct connection between running and mental/physical health, but it doesn’t really click until you experience that feeling firsthand. It’s tough to find something like the “runner’s high” this rewarding.
WD – Tell me one or two running goals on your radar right now.
SL – Finish this weekend’s 100-miler (check) and qualify for the Boston Marathon at the 2019 Austin Marathon.
WD – Tell me one or two non-running goals on your radar right now.
SL – Get certified to become a personal trainer, continue progressing in my life, and reach as many people as possible.
WD – How are you training for the Austin Marathon? What’s your approach?
SL – Running trails has helped my road running. It’s strengthened muscles that don’t normally get work when road running. I run hills all the time. I plan to run the 2019 Bandera 100K in January. Barring an unforeseen injury, I’ll keep training because I want to qualify for Boston.
WD – BoMF is an Austin Gives Miles charity. Why should someone run/fundraise/spread awareness on their behalf?
SL – Runners know how beneficial running can be, they get it. What better way than to help others better themselves than by running?! It’s a very unique outlet to help those that need it most, simply by completing an action most of us take for granted on a daily basis.
WD – How do you want to be remembered?
SL – I want to be remembered as somebody that was able to help others through their trials and tribulations. I want to use my experiences to show them right from wrong, but to also show them you can still accomplish anything you set your mind to, no matter where you are in life.
WD – You can travel back in time and give one piece of advice to your younger self. What is that advice?
SL – No advice, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m not ashamed of anything in my past because it made me who I am now. I wouldn’t be the Shawn Livingston I am today without my past. We wouldn’t be at this table today and I wouldn’t have a message to share if it weren’t for my past.
WD – You have 30 seconds to pitch BoMF to someone who could benefit from the organization. What do you tell them?
SL – If you want to find an avenue to change your life and be around positive people who want to help, this program can provide that for you.
WD – What does family mean to you?
SL – Family means everything to me. My mindset changed completely when they cut me off. That’s when it sunk in. To have them back makes you realize at the end of the day family is all you have.
WD – Favorite non-running activity?
SL – Basketball.
Favorite place for long runs?
SL – Town Lake. To have so many people in the same place doing the same thing, from all walks of life, in shape, out of shape, all with similar goals, it’s energizing.
WD – Morning or evening workouts?
SL – Morning.
WD – You can choose one – dogs or cats?
SL – Dogs.
WD – What’s your favorite color?
SL – Carolina blue.
WD – Shawn, thank you for taking the time to visit with me and share your story. Meeting you and hearing your story firsthand is powerful. I appreciate you spending your time with me. Best of luck at Pinhoti, your first 100-miler! I just might sign up for my first trail race and hit you up for some advice. Keep pushing and taking it day-by-day. Good things are headed your way. We’ll see you at the Austin Marathon!
SL – You’re welcome. Thank’s for having me. I’m fortunate to have been given a second chance through running and I feel like I need to tell my story. Everyone knows someone with a problem. The hard part is reaching through to them and helping. I see running as an avenue to reach others. It can transform someone’s life if they have the right mindset. I know it transformed me! Thanks for the luck, hit me up when you register for that trail race. Looking forward to more trails and the Austin Marathon!
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