Grant for Austin Youth River Watch continues 3Mgives’ support of local organizations focused on STEM

In support of 3M’s global initiative to advance equitable science, technology, engineering, math (STEM), and educational outcomes for students, 3Mgives selects Austin Youth River Watch (AYRW) as the beneficiary of the 2019 3M Half Marathon. The $50,000 grant will allow the Austin-based nonprofit to continue offering a hands-on approach to environmental science, primarily to underserved high school students. 3Mgives continues their support of local organizations that educate youth and prepare them for a possible career in STEM. The 25th annual 3M Half Marathon will take place on Sunday, January 20, 2019, in Austin, Texas.

Austin Youth River Watch students testing water at Barton Creek.

Austin Youth River Watch students testing water at Barton Creek. Credit – Austin Youth River Watch

“Choosing Austin Youth River Watch as the beneficiary of the 3M Half Marathon is the perfect match for how we want to help here in Austin,” said Stacey Claessens, 3Mgives Manager of Austin Community Engagement. “It supports our initiative to increase student interest in STEM while also being a program that fosters a sustainable community.”

Making a difference

Austin Youth River Watch is a multi-year, after-school and summer program for high school students, combining peer mentoring with intensive environmental education. Their students collect, analyze, and publish water-quality data from Austin-area streams and rivers. They then report their data to local and statewide agencies. Students also work with community partners on environmental restoration projects to improve watershed health. This grant will support AYRW’s program in environmental education and youth development and their efforts to bring STEM to life. In addition to the grant, event-related involvement will take place at the expo and on race day.

“More than half of our graduates each year go on to pursue fields in STEM and the environment,” said Melinda Chow, Executive Director of Austin Youth River Watch. “With great community partners like 3M, we are all working together to improve outcomes for youth, diversify the STEM pipeline, and help make our world a better place to live.”

The 3M Half Marathon boasts one of the fastest 13.1-mile courses in the country. It will celebrate its 25th year running in 2019. Runners will enjoy a point-to-point course with mostly downhill running that showcases some of Austin’s finest locations. Starting in north Austin and finishing near the Texas State Capitol, runners will appreciate a 306’ net elevation drop. Participants can register on the website.

Utilize Map My Run for your 3M Half training

Registration is open for the 2019 3M Half Marathon and you’ve got your sights set on January 20, 2019. Running Downhill to Downtown and earning your half marathon PR is a massive achievement. We’ve got your back every step of the way. Whether this is your first or tenth half marathon, you’ll need a training plan. Proper preparation is critical to race day success. Map My Run can get you to the finish line. It’s an excellent tool to use during your 3M Half Marathon training.

Use Map My Run during your 2019 3M Half Marathon training.

Use Map My Run during your 2019 3M Half training.

Map My Run is a free app that you can download to your phone. You can upgrade to the MVP subscription to eliminate ads, access personalized training plans, and use live tracking. Either way, you can discover the best running routes within your city, save and share your favorites, and connect with a community of more than 50 million runners. This helpful running app is ranked #21 in the Health & Fitness section of the iTunes App Store and has a rating of 4.8.


  • discover running routes around the world while traveling for work or vacation

  • access stats like pace, route, distance, calories, and elevation

  • connect with 400+ devices to import and analyze data in one place

  • track shoe mileage with Gear Tracker

  • UA Record Equipped connected shoes can automatically sync data with app

  • sync data with many popular apps and wearables

  • share workouts on Facebook and Twitter

  • Join Challenges to compete with others, climb the leaderboard, and win prizes

Download the app today and begin analyzing your running data. Connect with your local runner friends and make new friends from around the world. Then execute your training plan on January 20, 2019! Follow Map My Run on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Clif Bar shipped their latest products to our office and we put them to the ultimate taste test

We put this Clif Bar box to the ultimate taste test.

Clif Bar packages are like Christmas morning!

A Clif Bar box arrived the other day. They’re the Official Nutrition of the 3M Half Marathon. Good things happen when those boxes are delivered. We opened the contents and quickly discovered an array of their newest products. We knew we had to put them through a taste test. The box was stuffed with Energy Granola, Fruit Smoothie Filled bars, and Sweet & Salty bars. There was also a stainless steel travel jar so you could take granola with your on your next hike. Read our reviews, then head to your nearest store or visit to scoop these up.

Energy Granola

Four different flavors arrived and they all pass the taste test: Cinnamon Almond, White Chocolate Macadamia Nut, Cocoa Almond, and Blueberry Crisp. All four bags of Energy Granola delivered in the taste department. The clusters were extra crunchy and you only need a handful or two before you’re good to go. These make for the perfect afternoon snack at the office. Depending on your preferred flavor, Energy Granola would come in handy on a long trail hike or a cross-country flight. Pro tip – these make the perfect cereal topper. Sprinkle in a handful to liven up your morning!

Sweet & Salty Bars

Clif Bar sent all three new Sweet & Salty flavors and holy smokes these were insanely amazing. Honestly, we can’t decide which one is our favorite. We loved Caramel Toffee with Sea Salt, Chocolate Chunk with Sea Salt, Peanut Butter & Honey with Sea Salt. As many in the endurance community know, sweet and salty is the magic combination. Clif Bar hit the nail on the head with these three creations. Constructed like the original Clif Bars, these are perfect for a pre-workout meal or post-ride snack on the go. The bars were light, crunchy, tasty, and left you contemplating whether or not you should open another one.

We put the Fruit Smoothie Filled Clif Bars to a taste test.

The Fruit Smoothie Filled Bars hit the spot!

Fruit Smoothie Filled Bars

Introducing the highlight of the box, the CLIF® Fruit Smoothie Filled Energy Bars. Talk about hooked on a filling. All three new flavors (Strawberry Banana, Wild Blueberry Acai, and Tart Cherry Berry) arrived in the box and it was a toss-up to see which one we ate first. All three bars got the job done and left us wanting more. Each bar uses USDA organic and non-GMO ingredients to deliver sustained energy. The filling is made from a blend of cashew butter and the bright flavors of organic fruit.

We apologize at the abrupt end to this blog. We’re headed to the store to get more.

Image result for sup austin town lakeSUP

Duh!  If you haven’t done a session of Stand Up Paddle, what are you waiting for?  Like any kind of workout, you can make it as hard or as easy as you want.  Go for a few miles on a windy day and you’ll get in a tough workout!  But if you’re a beginner, take it easy and go on a calm day instead.  There are several places on Lady Bird Lake where you can rent a SUP board.  So get out there and enjoy the water on a SUP.

Swim at Barton Springs Pool

Dive into the refreshing waters of Barton Springs Pool this summer.  Do a few laps to get a nice workout in on a hot summer day.  Or give aqua jogging a try! Pro Tip: if you go before 8 a.m. it is a lot easier to swim full lengths of the pool. Here are some swim workouts to try out when you go.

Go for a Ride

The possibilities are endless!  From renting a B-Cycle to cruise around town or Lady Bird Lake to mountain biking on the Greenbelt – jump on a bike to mix it up this summer. See two of Austin best bike paths to use this summer.

Related imageRock Climbing

Go vertical! Rock Climbing and Bouldering is a full body and mind workout. There are several places with indoor climbing gyms like CRUX Climbing Gym or  Austin Bouldering Project that can rent you the equipment as well. Once you get the hang of it, there are even spots out on the greenbelt where you can climb outside.


From Hot Yoga to Goat Yoga, yeah you read that right, and everything in between, you can find it in Austin! There is even yoga on SUP boards! Check out the different yoga spots in town and find your tribe to get sweaty with.

No matter the race, outstanding volunteers go the extra mile

The High Five Events’ “Nomination Contest” will feature volunteers who went above and beyond at one of our events. These phenomenal volunteers help us produce successful, safe, and fun events for athletes, volunteers, and staff.

Highlight on Volunteers: Audrey Loeffler

Audrey hanging out before the start of the 2018 Rookie Triathlon.

Our first winner is Audrey Loeffler. She was nominated for being an outstanding volunteer at the 2018 3M Half Marathon. At the expo, Audrey volunteered at Packet Pick Up. She helped check-in the athletes and give them their bib numbers and world-famous packets. On race day, she was a volunteer captain for Runner Gear Pickup and Drop Off. She oversaw a team of volunteers and made sure that every athletes’ gear bag made it from the start line to the finish line without inconveniences.

Audrey’s nomination as an outstanding volunteer resulted from being “very helpful and friendly.” She began volunteering for High Five Events in 2016 and has showcased these characteristics ever since.

Audrey enjoys volunteering at big events “because of the energy at those events.” Additionally, Cap10K is her favorite event to volunteer at because she gets to “experience both sides of the race” by racing and volunteering. Audrey received a $100 gift card to Jeffrey’s Restaurant. The 3M Half Marathon and its runners greatly appreciate her time, dedication, and positive attitude. Congratulations!!  

Know a volunteer who goes above and beyond like Audrey? Fill out this short form and nominate them today!

Planning is underway for 25th anniversary celebration

Registration for the 2019 3M Half Marathon opens today, Tuesday, May 1st. Registration will begin at $75 for those who take advantage of the Early Pricing. The 25th annual 3M Half Marathon will take place on Sunday, January 20, 2019, in Austin, Texas. More than 7000 participants registered for the 2018 3M Half Marathon. The standalone half marathon, also known as Downhill to Downtown, is excited to see its registration numbers continue to grow. Planning began months ago to properly celebrate the 25th anniversary of the 3M Half Marathon.Registration is open for 3M Half Marathon 25th Anniversary.

The 3M Half Marathon has a special place in my heart; it was the first half marathon I ever ran,” said four-time 3M Half Marathon finisher Chikage Windler, CBS Austin’s Chief Meteorologist. “The 25th anniversary race will be my fifth straight and I can’t wait to run Downhill to Downtown and get a PR!

2018 recap

The 2018 3M Half Marathon showcased a competitive elite field. Joey Whelan (1:09:06) and Jessica Harper (1:15:45) were the male and female champions. $50,000 was donated to GirlStart in conjunction with 3Mgives. The 2018 3M Half Marathon featured an energetic finish line festival. Participants enjoyed the Oskar Blues beer garden, a live DJ, and food trucks. Participants enjoyed a fully supported course, complete with eight aid stations stocked with nuun and water, a CLIF Bar CLIF Zone, and thousands of cheering spectators with hilarious signs. The 2018 commemorative finisher medals featured a new, fresh look, complete with a spinning star in the center.

The 3M Half Marathon boasts one of the fastest 13.1-mile courses in the country. Runners will enjoy a point-to-point course with mostly downhill running that showcases some of Austin’s finest locations. Starting in north Austin and finishing near the Texas State Capitol, runners will appreciate a 306’ net elevation drop. Participants can register on the website.

Build strength and stamina at these four hill workout locations

“Hills are speedwork in disguise.” – Frank Shorter (gold medalist in the marathon at the 1972 Summer Olympics, silver medalist in the marathon at the 1976 Summer Olympics)

It’s no secret, Austin is located in the Texas Hill Country. The 3M Half Marathon course might have a -300 ft. drop in elevation from start to finish, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore hill workouts! Incorporating a weekly hill workout into any training plan will build stamina, strengthen your lower body, and increase your lung capacity. There are many Austin options for a great hill workout, but the four locations below are our favorite. If your favorite didn’t make our list, let us know on Facebook and Twitter.

  1. Wilke – Let’s kick this off with a well-known Austin classic in the Barton Hills neighborhood, Wilke. The entire road itself is about .3 miles, but you can push that to nearly half a mile (and >100 ft. elevation change) with this workout: begin at Barton Parkway and Wilke Dr. and run to the top of the Wilke, you’ll end at Rabb Road; turn around and head back down Wilke (make sure to control yourself!); take a left on Barton Parkway; make a U-turn at the footbridge and return to your starting point. Rest for 60 seconds, repeat as desired.
  2. Ladera Norte – To visit Ladera Norte head to northwest Austin, past Far West Blvd. Many different routes can be created from this hill, but this workout is a ~1.3-mile lollipop route that has >330 ft. elevation change. Park at Ladera Norte and Valburn Dr. Head south on Ladera Norte and control your stride. Take a right on Backtrail Dr., it’ll end at Ladera Norte. Take a left on Ladera Norte and begin your ascent. Tip: keep your head low, lean forward, and keep your feet moving. Rest for 2:30 minutes, repeat as desired.

    The Hill of Life ascent.

  3. Hill of Life – Get off the roads and conquer the Hill of Life on the Greenbelt! Pay attention on this route, especially as you descend the Hill of Life. What starts at the top with great views ends nearly half a mile downhill, with nearly 300 ft. of elevation change. There are no turns to know, unless you want to run on the trail for a 5-minute recovery. Repeat as desired. Get to the Hill of Life on foot (several Greenbelt access points) or by car (take Scottish Woods Trial off 360).
  4. Pease Park – This double-roller near Shoal Creek doesn’t have the elevation gain of the other three on this list, but it’s a great workout nonetheless. Start near the picnic tables at Pease Park and run west on Kingsbury St. The climbs aren’t gnarly, but there is a flat part before the second hill. Use this section to briefly recover before attacking the second hill. It’s slightly more than a quarter mile before you turn around, use the downhill to recover. Recover at Pease Park for 60 seconds, repeat as desired.

When you visit these hill workout locations it’s important to bring fluids with you, especially during the Texas summers. Pease Park has water fountains, but if you prefer your own hydration plan accordingly. As for all workouts on the road, be visible/reflective, run against traffic, be predictable and keep an eye out for cars. If you’re running as a group, don’t hog the road and run no more than side-by-side.

Goals were achieved and hundreds of PRs were earned at the 2018 3M Half Marathon on Sunday, January 21st. More than 7000 participants registered, the most in event’s 24-year history, for the standalone half marathon, coming to Austin from 47 states and 19 countries. Thousands of spectators lined the streets of Austin, cheering on runners and ensuring this special day will be remembered by all, including Laurie Allen, 9-time IRONMAN finisher, who finished her first half marathon on a hand cycle in 2:29:59 (after an accident in 2015 rendered her a quadriplegic).

Laurie Allen and Kent Snead.

“Another spectacular race day made possible by the folks at High Five Events and my amazing group of friends,” said Allen. “I love being back out on the race course with my fellow runners. It was a perfect day!”

Allen started at 7:10 a.m. while the rest of the field began their race to the heart of Austin at 7:30 a.m. Navigating their way downtown, 5626 runners enjoyed a fully supported course, complete with eight aid stations with water and nuun, a CLIF Bar CLIF Zone handing out CLIF SHOTS near Mile 7, thousands of cheering spectators with cowbells and hilarious signs, and nine bands performing live music on course.

“I had two goals coming into the 3M Half Marathon: to PR by one minute and to stick with the 1:55 pacers, then pick up my pace the last couple of miles,” said Jillian Baaklini, who set her half marathon PR (1:53:19) at the 2018 3M Half Marathon. “About a mile out I realized I would beat my previous PR by three minutes. I had this unexpected burst of energy and sprinted to the finish!”

Austinite Jessica Harper (1:15:45) was the overall female winner; with Jennifer Hall (1:17:51) and Anita Perez (1:19:35) finishing second and third respectively. The top three female Master’s finishers were  Tammy Bogle (1:33:08), Rochelle McClanahan (1:33:39), and Anne Hughes (1:34:08).

Jessica Harper, 2018 3M Half Marathon female champion (1:15:45).

Syracuse alumnus Joey Whelan (1:09:06) crossed the finish line first. Bryan Morton (1:10:13) and Mike Kurvach (1:12:24) completed the overall men’s field, respectively. The male Master’s finishing in the top three consisted of Matt McCurdy (1:14:19), Adam Reiser (1:16:49), Kevin Kimbell (1:16:55).

“2018 3M Half Marathon was a great opportunity to test my fitness and get myself into a race environment,” said Whelan, who used this as a tune-up race before the Austin Marathon on Feb. 18th. “It was nice to work with Byran Morton while being cheered on by the Austin running community. I look forward to running these streets again in a month at the Austin Marathon.”

For those planning ahead to January 20, 2019, next year’s registration is open and set at the low price of $65. This amazing deal will be available until Wednesday, January 24th. Don’t miss out on one of the faster half marathon courses in the country and the best packet in the industry, full of useful 3M products. Participants can see their results on the 3M Half Marathon website and continue to share their memorable experiences on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Runners can expect their FinisherPix race day photos to be ready in 24-48 hours after the race.

The 3M Half Marathon boasts one of the fastest 13.1-mile courses in the country and will open registration for 2019 on Monday, January, 22nd. Runners will enjoy a point-to-point course with mostly downhill running that showcases some of Austin’s finest locations. Starting in north Austin and finishing in near the Texas State Capitol, runners will appreciate a 300+’ net elevation drop.

The 2018 3M Half Marathon would like to thank the volunteers, spectators, and participants who made the race so special. They would also like to thank 3M and Director Mark Holmstrom, Girlstart and Deputy Director Julie Shannan, H-E-B, Under Armour, Clif Bar, nuun, Heavenly Care Moving, Dole, Medicine in Motion, Oskar Blues Brewery, Ben Phillips – Engel & Völkers Austin, and Austin Massage Company.