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Virtual option allows runners to participate in award-winning half marathon from anywhere in the world

Registration for the virtual 2019 3M Half Marathon opens today, Wednesday, August 14th. The 25th annual 3M Half Marathon will take place January 20, 2019, in Austin, Texas. Last year, more than 7,000 runners participated in the event. The virtual 3M Half Marathon allows runners to participate without running the course on race day.

“The 3M Half Marathon saw record participation in 2018 and we’re excited to produce the 25th edition in 2019,” said Stacy Keese, co-owner of High Five Events. “This race is well-known for its fast course, however, we want to provide runners who cannot run the streets of Austin the opportunity to celebrate our 25th anniversary with us.”

Register today!

Registration for the virtual 3M Half Marathon will be $55. Virtual participants will receive a custom, 25th anniversary spinner finisher medal and swag bag filled with 3M goodies. They will also receive a tube of nuun hydration, downloadable race bib, and finisher certificate. They will also have the option to purchase a custom-designed race shirt at time of registration. Runners will receive their gear prior to January 20, 2019. Results must be submitted by March 4, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. to receive a  finisher certificate.

A virtual race is a perfect way to run the half marathon distance or train for another upcoming race like Austin Marathon or Half Marathon. Virtual run participants will have six weeks to complete 13.1 miles. Registration and rules can be found on the race website.

The 3M Half Marathon boasts one of the fastest 13.1-mile courses in the country. They’ll celebrate their 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. Registration is currently open for all options.

High Five Events introduces Dole Packaged Foods LLC as a sponsor for the 3M Half Marathon and the Austin Marathon. DOLE® will provide a variety of their Dole Fruit Bowls in Coconut Water for finishers of both events. The 3M Half Marathon will take place on Jan. 21st and the Austin Marathon® will take place on Feb. 18th.

“We are thrilled to be a sponsor of these prestigious events and know the participants will enjoy our healthy products when they cross the finish line”, said Stan Stuka, Senior Marketing Director, Dole Packaged Foods. “At DOLE we are committed to providing nutritious, convenient products that fit in to today’s healthy lifestyles.”

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.

Having Dole and their reputation as a world leader in the healthy eating space return as sponsor is a huge addition for the 3M Half Marathon and the Austin Marathon,” said Jack Murray, co-owner of High Five Events. “Their support of runners around the world will be on full display when more than 25,000 participants take to the streets of Austin.”

The 3M Half Marathon boasts one of the fastest 13.1-mile courses in the country and will celebrate its 24th year running in 2018. 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.

An Athlete’s Perspective is a blog series of event and/or training experiences written firsthand by the athletes themselves. An Athlete’s Perspective is a completely unscripted and raw look into the mind and daily life of an athlete as they prepare for their next race. Readers will discover training regimens, eating tips, gear recommendations, and an uncut perspective into the lives of people like you and me.

Returning from Injury: The Uphill Battle

By: Anita Perez

ON TOP OF THE WORLDAthlete's Perspective

The beginning of 2016 has definitely been the highlight of my running career. On February 13, I finished 33rd at my first Olympic Marathon Trials in Los Angeles and two months later I ran a 10-mile race in Austin and set a PR of 57:46 on nothing but maintenance. My coach and I sat down and agreed on some solid goals for the upcoming months. I was fit and feeling great! I was unstoppable!

UNTIL…

The little nagging aches and pains. Nothing major, some hamstring tightness here, plantar tightness there. Just the typical pains every runner faces at least once every training cycle. It may not have stopped me from running but boy did it frustrate me. Good races came and went and next thing you know it was time to start the build-up for the 2017 Austin Marathon. On October 9th, I had my first ever DNF at the Army 10 Miler. I should have known that was a sign of things to come. Nonetheless, I kept training and pushing towards the goal of a great marathon in Austin.

THE NIGHT THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING

On Tuesday, December 13, 2016, everything came crashing down. The workout called for 4x1000m with 400 rec. First 1K…3:25…right on pace. Second 1K…this is when it happened, this is when I felt “pop.” I knew in an instant something was really wrong. I fell to the ground, couldn’t put any pressure on my foot, and remember thinking…this is it. It’s over. I tried hard to keep my composure because my little ones were there and I didn’t want them to know how much pain I was in.

Athlete's Perspective

THE DIAGNOSIS

Two days later I was diagnosed with a stress reaction. My running had come to a dead stop. In my 20 years of running, this was the first time I had experienced a “real” injury. Everyone around me told me I would be fine. They reminded me that the cross training I was doing was only going to make me stronger. I had people telling me that I’d be back running in as little as 4-6 weeks. Well, that wasn’t the case. What was diagnosed as a “stress reaction” seemed to act like a “stress fracture.” Every step I took hurt which left me no choice but to wear a boot. Fast forward 8 weeks after the initial diagnosis, I decided to give running a shot and met my coach at the track. After a failed attempt to make it halfway around the track, I realized I was no closer to running than I was in December. My frustration level grew and my confidence level dropped. I found myself wondering if I was ever going to run again. Fortunately, I have a really great support system. I had people encouraging me along the way and found motivation in the community of runners that surrounded me. But the one memory that stands out the most was the conversation I had with my 11-year-old daughter Jadeyn. We had discussed the 2020 Olympic Trials, and I remember her saying, “Mom, I know you’re injured but we’ve got plenty of time to qualify for the Olympic Trials.” Just like that my drive and desire for running came back. I had a goal, WE had a goal, and that goal was to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Trials. Slowly but surely I started to regain my fitness. In the spring of this year, I started to really focus on building my mileage. My eyes were set on the Chicago Marathon. Although things were going well, I would still have random foot pain.  Each time the pain would show up my confidence would drop. I have to admit, I had doubts that I would make it to the starting line. Every time I’d have a bad workout, my coach would assure me that “things are going to be fine.” I must have heard him say that over 1,000 times. Not just after workouts, but throughout the day. I was really struggling with the thought of not being able to run a marathon pain-free. I had my moments of struggle, moments of doubt, but I kept getting out the door at 4:30 am to get in the work. My goal was to run just run under 2:50. The hardest part was convincing myself, despite a subpar training cycle, that I could still run a decent marathon. However, my coach kept saying things to me that kept the trials standard in the back of my mind every day.

THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL

I finally agreed to his madness and decided that I would execute the race plan he put out for me. When that day came, I trusted the process, stuck to the plan, and somehow managed to run a 2:44:04 and once again qualify for the Olympic Marathon Trials. WE DID IT JADEYN! After I finished the marathon I realized that I still can run fast, I still can put in the work to continue to improve in this sport, and I have a fantastic group of people around me to help me through the struggles we all go through.  My training partners, who are there every morning at 4:30to get in the work, my coach who puts up with the highs and the lows of an athlete struggling to move forward in this sport, and most importantly my kids who inspire me every day to be the best role model and mother I can be for them.

NEW GOALS. NEW PLAN. FAST COURSE.

With my confidence restored I can’t wait to toe the line at both the 3M Half Marathon and Austin Half Marathon to make up for the disappointment of missing both races last year. I especially look forward to 3M because you always know you have to be ready to race well as everyone else tends to bring their “A” game to this race. There is nothing better than lining up with some of the fastest ladies all looking to take advantage of the downhill course! A couple things to remember…1) Stick to the plan 2) Trust the process and most importantly 3) Have fun! See you at the starting line!

Run Austin, Help Texas

High Five Events announces that 100% of registration and processing fees received by the 2018 Austin Marathon and 2018 3M Half Marathon from Tuesday, September 5, through Friday, September 8, will be donated to Texas Coastal Bend Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

“Half of our staff grew up in or around these small coastal communities and we’re committed to helping them rebuild,” said Stacy Keese, co-owner of High Five Events. “The destruction that I’ve seen first-hand in towns like Port Aransas is heartbreaking. Our hearts go out to Texans on the coast, especially our friends and family that live in the affected areas.”

To date High Five Events has:

  • donated more than $15,000 in new materials such as trash bags, cleaning supplies, new shirts, and duffle bags to Austin Disaster Relief Network
  • assisted clean up efforts in Aransas Pass, Sinton, and Rockport and will continue to volunteer in those communities and other coastal towns over the coming weeks

All event registrations are included in this relief effort: Austin Marathon, half marathon, 5K, VIP Experience, and 3M Half Marathon. High Five Events is working closely with EventDog, who will ensure all processing fees are included with registration totals. Once totals have been calculated, a donation of up to $50,000 will be made to assist in the rebuilding of the Texas Coastal Bend.

On Saturday, January 5th, William Dyson, of High Five Events, continued to bring in the New Year with Mark Pinales, an Austinite and up-and-coming elite endurance athlete who qualified for the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials. They discussed his upcoming race, the 3M Half Marathon, and covered everything from his recent string of victories to his favorite running memory of all time.

Follow Mark and his growth as an elite endurance runner on Facebook and Instagram. Check out his awards and recognitions at the end!

William Dyson – To say you were busy in 2016 would be an understatement. How have you been this successful?

Mark Pinales – My main focus this training block has been and continues to be staying healthy. I’m focusing on post-race recovery and making sure I take care of my body the right way. It’s been the biggest key to my success. I try to focus on my hard days being hard and taking down time as needed to get my body back to where it feels ready to push just a bit more.

WD – You’re an Austin guy, born and raised. What did it mean to run here while at The University of Texas and what does it mean to run Austin races as an elite?

MP – Coming out of high school, UT wasn’t one of my picks at all. But then I arrived on campus, met the team, felt the environment, and fell in love. I especially loved having family close and being close to home. My family got to watch all of my home meets. Running as an elite here in Austin is perfect. I get to have some local races under my belt and become acquainted with Austin roads. 2016’s goal was to stay here, make my name bigger in Austin running community. In 2017, I want to branch out and test my ability at races across the country.

WD – You’re participating in the Austin Runners Club’s Distance Challenge. Why did you sign up for that instead of focusing on a select few key races?

MP – My mom and dad are runners. My mom has been really getting back into it running lately. She registered for the 80s 8K. I knew Iram from some previous engagements. He basically told me to do ADC, I checked into it and built ADC into my running schedule. The main goal for this series of races was to prepare for the Austin marathon on the home course and use them as solid training races.

WD – As a part of the Austin Distance Challenge you’ll run the 3M Half Marathon. But this is also the final long distance race that you’ll use as a tuneup for the Austin Marathon. Without giving away any top secrets, what’s your plan for downhill to downtown?

MP – There are no real big secrets. In the beginning I will probably follow the pack, make sure my gears are moving the way I want, hit my paces. If I’m feeling good I might pick it up to get the feel for the end of a big race. My ultimate goal is to come out healthy and ready to go for the Austin Marathon.

WD – Austin Marathon presented by NXP. February 19, 2017: Your marathon debut. After hearing that out loud, tell me what immediately goes through your head.

MP – I get this feeling of excitement, sprinkled with a little bit of nerves. The nerves have more to do with my nutrition plan, potential bathroom breaks, and how to properly pace myself for a 26-mile race. If I can go in healthy and prepared, I’ll be ready to go.

WD – Congratulations on being accepted into the Austin Marathon’s Elite Athlete Program! How’s your marathon-specific training so far and what are your race-day goals?

MP – My training has been going well. Lately, it has been down with holidays, travel, etc. The break has actually been beneficial as I’m notorious for over preparing. To win my first marathon during my debut, especially in Austin, would be phenomenal. I’m looking forward to a battle with the other talented runners in the Elite Field. In the end, I will run my own race, do my own dance. I want my own game plan that gets me close to the time I want.

WD – The RunLab Elite team won the 2016 Marathon Relay with a time of 2:23:36. Has it sunk in that Mark Pinales wants to run the Austin Marathon faster than that by himself?

MP – HA! Not really; I’m just excited about the opportunity, especially with this being my marathon debut. I’m still unsure of what to expect, but I feel supremely confident with the my training,

WD – How are you training mentally to race your first marathon?

MP – Essentially training by myself. Sometimes I’ll run with Leo (Manzano) and Gilbert’s Gazelles (casually). The great thing about training in Austin is there’s always someone to run with. I do my workouts on my own for the most part. They are long and intense. I like to push myself mentally so I can stay mentally tough during the race. I’m making it as difficult on myself NOW, so that I’m prepared for anything on race day. I hope to run with the pack, but I know that doesn’t happen all the time.

WD – After the Austin Marathon, what race is next on your spring calendar?

MP – I’ll take at least two weeks of easy running afterwards. I’m aiming for March 11, Gate River Run (15K USATF Championships), and April 29,OhioHealth Capital City Half Marathon (USATF Half Marathon Championships).

WD – Some people give advice to their future self in preparation for a race. Knowing what you know now, if you could go back in time, what advice would you give your high school running self?

MP – I’d tell myself to figure out the work-to-running balance in college (much sooner); give yourself more time; don’t expect the world so quickly; understand everything is a process; don’t regret anything. I’m grateful of where life has led me to where I am today.

WD – Up to this point, what has been your favorite running memory?

MP – Hands down, it has to be a run with now current girlfriend (Katie) in Seattle (all through the bayside, city, seas). We knew each other, went off on a long run, got to know one another, and truly bonded. Out of all the wins, that run sticks out the most.

WD – You’ve got a great, flexible job and sponsorships with Skechers Performance and RunLab Austin. What does that do for an athlete both mentally and physically?

MP – I’m appreciative of all the backing from Skechers and RunLab. Without them I wouldn’t have the support system I need or be as healthy as I am. I’m glad they’re in my corner. As for my job, the flexibility truly helps with devoting time to both my career and running goals.

WD – What’s the toughest obstacle you’ve had to overcome as a runner?

MP – The mental barrier. I just recently discovered the ability to push myself past my comfort zone. Running comes naturally for me. I enjoy my great workouts, but during a race, pushing past my comfort zone is tough. There have only been two times where I’ve felt completely out of my comfort zone: Stanford 10K as freshmen and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly Half in 2015 in which I qualified for the Olympic Marathon Trials. I’ve begun to embrace becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable.

WD – You’re fresh out of college and still relatively young. What are your future running and life goals?

MP – Running goals: I haven’t set any precise long-term goal as of yet. I feel like I have five to seven years of elite running left. Generally speaking, I want to get faster, win bigger races, place high at bigger races, and create a respectable legacy. Life goals: be successful career-wise, be at high enough position to live comfortably, run financial services firm, and eventually open up my own office.

WD – What motivates you to run?

MP – Katie (girlfriend) is a big motivator. My parents are big motivators as well. I want to make them proud and don’t want to fail them. Failing my parents scares me. I want to do right by them and create a legacy for the family both in running and in life. I’m one of the last males with the last name Pinales and my grandfather, another motivating factor, is pumped at what the Pinales name has been able to achieve in life so far.

WD – What has running given you?

MP – Running has given me an avenue to reinvent myself, build something more than what I originally was. Running has given me ability to improve, push past my limits, grow as a person. Running has provided me with internal and external discipline. The planning, the scheduling, being consistent, it all transfers and is applicable to my life. Running has helped me grow and mature more than I ever imagined.

WD – Favorite place to run in Austin?

MP – This is a good one. I’d have to say running through the hills of Austin. Stratford is a good example. I love going out there to run and look at all the beautiful homes.

WD – Favorite non-running activity?

MP – There are several! I really like to play guitar. Reading, especially self-development stuff. I really enjoy learning new things, so any time I can absorb something new I jump at the opportunity. Lastly, music… I enjoy R&B, both listening and playing. Avant and Musiq Soulchild are a couple of my favorites.

WD – How do you relax and unwind?

MP – I relax and unwind by doing absolutely nothing. Lounging around is one of my favorite things to do! Naps, when available, are perfect for relaxing. I have a rule: anything less than two hour naps aren’t considered real naps!

WD – Favorite in-race (training) hydration/nutrition.

MP – For hydration – water and Gatorade. I constantly making sure I have enough electrolytes. For nutrition – Clif Shots – vanilla. Christina with Clif Bar introduced me to them and I’ve been enjoying them ever since!

WD – Favorite Austin restaurant?

MP – Pint House Pizza (38th St.) and there’s no second-guessing.

WD – Describe the perfect post-race meal (in Austin).

MP – Anything that’s not relatively healthy. Give me all the pizzas, burgers, cookies, and brownies I can handle!

WD – Morning or evening runs?

MP – Morning for sure. While I don’t like waking up early, I do like getting my morning run out of the way. If my schedule allows, I’ll double up in the evening if possible.

WD – Solo or group runs?

MP – I prefer solo runs. They build up mental toughness. I enjoy listening to music while running alone. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy people and being around them, but when it comes to serious running, solo runs are me.

WD – Mark, thanks again for coming by our office. It’s been great getting to dig a little deeper into who Mark Pinales is and who Mark Pinales will become. You’re making quite a name for yourself and I’m appreciative of you giving us your time. You’ve got a bright future ahead and we’re excited to see what you can do! We’ll see you at the Downhill to Downtown start line this Sunday.

MP – William, thank you and High Five Events for having me over. I enjoyed our conversation. I’m really looking forward to giving my best at the 3M Half Marathon (1/22) and the Austin Marathon (2/19). I can’t wait to no longer say “marathon debut!” We’ll see you this Sunday. I look forward to running with the other elites. Should be a great race!

 

Staying Vertical is an interview session with various individuals within the endurance community hosted by William Dyson, High Five Events Communications Manager. Staying Vertical will showcase the perspective of runners, triathletes, sponsors, partners, event producers, and volunteers to understand what makes them tick. We will highlight their involvement and give the endurance community an inside look into the individuals that are just like you and me.

Awards and Recognitions –

2016 – Decker Challenge Champ (1:08:13 – course record)

2016 – San Antonio Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon Champ (1:05:25)

2016 – YMCA Dallas Turkey Trot Champ [8 Miler] (40:21)

2016 – Run for the Water Champ (51:56)

2016 – 80s 8K Champ (26:56)

2016 – Marathon Relay Champs (2:23:36 – RunLab Elite)

2016 – Olympic Trials Qualifier

Two-time All-Big 12, cross country (The University of Texas)

High Five Events is thrilled to announce that First Texas Honda will be the Official Lead Vehicle of the 2017 Austin Marathon® presented by NXP and the 3M Half Marathon. As the Official Lead Vehicle, First Texas Honda will provide 2017 Honda Ridgelines for each event.

“First Texas Honda is well-known and respected throughout the Austin metro area for their knowledgeable staff and excellent customer service,” said Jack Murray, co-owner of High Five Events. “We’re glad their team is going to join us on race day and lead these two prestigious events.”

The First Texas Honda trucks will lead the entire race for both the Austin Marathon and the 3M Half Marathon. Their trucks will be the lead vehicles and media trucks for each event. First Texas Honda is well-known in Austin for their hassle-free environment and their excellent customer service.

“First Texas Honda and its family of employees are proud to partner with this year’s running of the Austin Marathon and 3M Half Marathon,” said General Manager Allen Clauss. “We are especially excited to showcase the 2017 North American Truck of the year – the Honda Ridgeline – to the participants and fans of these iconic Austin events.”

The Austin Marathon will celebrate its 26th year running in the capital of Texas on February 19th. Austin’s flagship running event annually attracts runners from all 50 states and 20+ countries around the world. With start and finish locations just a few blocks apart, and within walking distance of many downtown hotels and restaurants, the Austin Marathon is the perfect running weekend destination. Participants can register for the marathon, half marathon, or 5K.

The 3M Half Marathon boasts one of the fastest 13.1-mile courses in the country and will celebrate its 23rd year running on 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 front of the Texas State Capitol, runners will appreciate a 306’ net elevation drop. Participants can register and book their hotel on the website.

A special series featuring four Austin runners and their journey as they train for the upcoming 3M Half Marathon and the Austin Marathon. Brought to you by CLIF Bar & Company, the Official Sports Nutrition of #downhilltodowntown17.

Name – Jason

Club – Rogue Running

1. What got you into running?

I ran a couple 10K events several years ago, but didn’t stick with it. Then I thought it would be good idea to run a marathon before I turned 40. I joined a training program and got hooked, running became my routine and I’ve met some great friends along the way.

2. How long have you been a runner?

I’ve been a “consistent” runner since December 2012. It started with a social 5K run “Jingle Run” at Rogue Cedar Park. Then I joined one of their intro programs. It’s been almost four years now and I’m still going strong.

3. What continues to motivate you to run?

Being part of a running group is essential for me. The team environment really motivates me, even on days I don’t want to roll out of bed at 4 a.m., knowing my teammates will be there makes me accountable. Training with Team Rogue constantly pushes me outside my comfort zone. I keep breaking my PRs, with no limits in sight. Oh, and the races, the energy and excitement of running with so many people is the greatest feeling! Finishing strong and celebrating that moment with friends and strangers, you feel on top of the world.

4. What does a typical long run Saturday look like in your world?

Typical Saturday long runs are with Rogue Cedar Park location. We typically run the neighborhoods of CP or Brushy Creek Trail. Generally running anywhere from 12-20 miles with a variety of people, typically a group of three or four of us will settle into a conversational pace. Stories are all over the place, amazing what you learn about people when running for three to four hours together. We typically stretch, roll, and have coffee back at Rogue after the run and spend time socializing. Generally done by 9:30 and get my weekend moving.

An Athlete’s Perspective is a blog series of event and/or training experiences written firsthand by the athlete themselves. An Athlete’s Perspective is a completely unscripted and raw look into the mind and daily life of an athlete as they prepare for their next race. Readers will discover training regimens, eating tips, gear recommendations, and an uncut perspective into the lives of people like you and me.

My Return to Austin

Preparing for Downhill to Downtown

by: Becki Spellman

2nd place 2008 Austin Marathon (2:43:43).

I can not wait to arrive in Austin! The city holds a special place in my heart. In 2008 I begged my way into the Austin Marathon as an elite. It was my first marathon, and while I was unsure about my ability over the distance, I wanted to compete well to thank John Conley, the race director at the time, for the opportunity.  That day, I qualified for the 2008 Olympic Marathon Trials.

I have since gone on to have nine successful years of running, qualifying for the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials. And it all started on the streets of Austin. If I hadn’t already adored Austin for its quirky, fun loving vibe, that race would have made me love it for sure. So coming back on January 22nd is very exciting for me; I am hoping Austin has a little magic left in store for me! I know I will pour my heart out on the course, take some chances, and hopefully come home with a PR!

Training has gone well, I have gone through a different cycle than I have in the past. I came out of the fall very strong, having run four marathons in 21 months, and wanted to work on some speedier things. So I made up my mind to come into the 3M Half under-cooked on the mileage side with more speed in my legs. I have averaged between 60-70 miles per week and have had some of the faster tempo runs I have been able to do in years.

2016 Olympic Marathon Trials (2:44:44).

I am eager to put my mental and physical strength to the test and see what I am currently capable of. As the nerves start settling in over the coming weeks, I will remind myself of the opportunity. It’s a privilege to be able to race and test my limits. I will remind myself of all the times I wanted to back down in training but instead told myself, “No one is going to hand this to you. You do the work, you meet your goals.” I have had to tell myself that countless times, and I am stronger for it. I coming into the 3M Half Marathon with hopes of a new PR (under 1:16:05). I know it will be a fun weekend, full of amazing people, an awesome race, and all in a place that I love!

To everyone racing, enjoy celebrating your hard work!  When the race gets tough, remember you are tougher! Good luck on race day! I am so excited to chase down goals alongside you!

A special series featuring four Austin runners and their journey as they train for the upcoming 3M Half Marathon and the Austin Marathon. Brought to you by CLIF Bar & Company, the Official Sports Nutrition of #downhilltodowntown17.

Name – Cressida

Club – Gilbert’s Gazelles

1. How long have you been a runner?

The demands of graduate school got me into running consistently. I found that running helped me in so many ways – physically and mentally. I also had two rescue dogs at the time in a one-bedroom apartment, so they (one in particular) needed to run as much as I did! It was also in graduate school that I met two important people- my husband and Gilbert! My husband inspired me to run my first marathon in 2007 and Gilbert was actually my neighbor in graduate school. It took a few years, but I started training with Gilbert to get ready for the 2008 Boston Marathon.

2. How long have you been a runner?

I would say for 15 years, although as a kid even I loved running!

3. What continues to motivate you to run?

I have lots of motivations to run, which is why it’s easy for me get up so early most mornings! First, my family. Along with my husband, my two boys ages – three and five – are my biggest cheerleaders. Then, of course my other family – Gilbert’s Gazelles. Gilbert is truly an amazing person. Days that start with his workouts are certainly brighter. He brings joy to all of us who run with him. The friends I have made through the Gazelles are like family and we all support each other. Being a runner in the Gazelle community makes me a better mother, wife, and psychologist. It’s definitely been a balancing act with work and family, but so worth it.

4. What does a typical long run Saturday look like in your world?

Meet up with friends at Luke’s Locker and then head out on whatever course Gilbert has mapped out for us. Then, go home and spend the rest of the day with my boys!

A special series featuring four Austin runners and their journey as they train for the upcoming 3M Half Marathon and the Austin Marathon. Brought to you by CLIF Bar & Company, the Official Sports Nutrition of #downhilltodowntown17.

Name – Jillian

Club – Twenty-Six Two

1. What got you into running?

I ran on and off throughout middle school and high school for fun. I found out that I enjoyed running when I was a cheerleader in 8th grade. We had to run a mile before practice every day and it was my goal to be the fastest to run my mile. I never joined cross country or track, but I continued to run occasionally during college and I picked it up more after I graduated. I really began running again in 2013 after I started the South Beach Diet. After four years of teaching, I was at my heaviest, 198 pounds, and didn’t feel good, so I decided to do something about it. After I lost the initial 25 pounds, I started running more and signed up for my first 5K. I ended up losing 72 pounds and have kept it off for three years now.

2. How long have you been a runner?

I would say an avid runner for three years.

3. What continues to motivate you to run?

My motivation comes from how running makes me feel. I feel accomplished as well as relaxed after I run. I also enjoy the time to think and escape from reality for a little while during a run. I also keep running to stay in shape and maintain the new lifestyle that I started.

4. What does a typical long run Saturday look like?

We start running at 7 a.m., usually from Cover-3 off of West 5th Street. I’m usually finished between 8:35-8:45 a.m. It really depends on the route we take and how far we have to run. Then I rest up a bit at Cover-3 and head home. Sometimes I stop at Starbucks on my way to get coffee and a second breakfast. Then after that I relax for the rest of the day.