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These 2020 expo highlights showcase the must-visit booths

The 3M Half Marathon Expo & Packet Pick Up takes place on January 17th-18th at the Austin-American Statesman! The expo is a chance for participants to visit our sponsors and partners and check out what they have to offer. You can meet the official pacers and scoop up your Official 3M Half Marathon Under Armour gear. Check out the 2020 expo highlights you can’t miss! There are tons of prizes, giveaways, and discounts. Who knows, there might even be a few surprises for some lucky folks! Stay tuned for additional 2020 expo highlight updates…

Post-it Wall

Image of the Post-it Wall from the 2019 3M Half Marathon expo covered in messages of support and inspiration. The Post-it Wall will be a 2020 expo highlight.

Leave a message of love and support on the Post-it Wall!

Visit the ever-popular Post-it Wall and leave a message of inspiration for a loved one or all participants. Kids can even join in on the fun!

Photo booths

There will be several fun photo opportunities set up throughout the expo including our GIF photo booth, a larger than life-size version of this year’s finisher medal, course maps, and more. Visit them all! 

Austin Marathon

Visit the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon and chat with their Ambassadors about race day! Thinking about registering for the Austin Marathon, Half Marathon, KXAN Simple Health 5K, or Manzano Mile? Register at their booth and take advantage of their expo deals. BONUS: take a picture in front of their sweet Austin backdrop!

Fleet Feet Austin

Visit our friends at Fleet Feet Austin and snag your limited-edition, Official 3M Half Marathon Under Armour gear before it’s gone! Supplies are limited. They’ll also have hydration and nutrition for your last-minute needs.

Twenty-Six Two Marathon Club

If this is your first half marathon or you’re chasing your 13.1-mile PR, visit these folks! Meet the runners who will pace you to the finish line! These pacers are veterans and know what they’re doing. Swing by their booth, chat about race day, and get your last-minute questions answered.

Visit these other booths

Baylor Scott & White Health

Bondi Band

Fleet Feet Round Rock

Heavenly Care Moving & Storage

Medsense Massagers

Nuun Hydration

Ready to Run

Salus Chiropractic

SPIbelt

Cap10K

Thunderbird Real Food Bars

Some in the 2020 elite field are running their final tune-up before the Olympic Marathon Trials

Elite runners love the 3M Half Marathon course! It’s known for being one of the country’s faster half marathon courses. Elites run 3M Half Marathon presented by Under Armour to secure fast times, obtain PRs, try new hydration/nutrition plans, and/or prepare for the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon or Austin Half Marathon. There are even runners in the 2020 elite field who will run 3M Half Marathon as their final tune-up before the Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta! Come out and support these elites as they give their all!

Jess Harper

Image of Jess Harper as she crosses the 2019 3M Half Marathon finish line as the female champ. She is the 2018 and 2019 female champ and will run with the 2020 elite field.

Jess Harper plans to three-peat as 3M Half Marathon female champ!

Harper returns to defend her 2019 3M Half Marathon title! She is the back-to-back female champ (2018-’19). On January 20, 2019, Harper finished with a time of 1:14:23, an 88-second improvement from her 2018 time of 1:15:45. She ran collegiately at The University of Texas from 2011-13. When she’s not traveling, you can find her running around Austin!

Bryan Morton

Morton finished fourth overall at the 2019 3M Half Marathon (1:08:14) even though he had to stop at one point to re-tie his shoe. One month later, he was part of a trio who paced female elites to the Olympic Marathon Trials B Standard at the 2019 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon presented by Under Armour.

Jared Carson

Image of Jared Carson, the 2016 3M Half Marathon champ. He will run with the 2020 elite field before the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials.

Jared Carson is the 2016 3M Half Marathon champ.

Carson is the 2016 3M Half Marathon champ, winning in 1:08:23. He and his family called Austin home for years before moving to Portland, Oregon. Carson, his wife, and their son visit Austin as often as they can. This will be Carson’s final tune-up before the Olympic Marathon Trials.

Taylor Dare

Dare resides in Fort Worth, Texas, with her husband of two years. She qualified for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials by running a 2:42:17 at 2019 Grandma’s Marathon. She’s in graduate school working towards her Doctorate of Physical Therapy. Dare runs with Forth Worth Distance Project. She was accepted to the Austin Half Marathon Elite Athlete Program and the Austin Half Marathon will be her final tune-up before the Olympic Marathon Trials.

David Fuentes

Image of David Fuentes in his Hoka One One gear. He will run with the 2020 elite field at the 3M Half Marathon.

David Fuentes is a 3x Austin Half Marathon champ.

Fuentes was on the gold-medal-winning US team at the 2016 World Mountain Running Championships. He also has three Austin Half Marathon titles to his name. Fuentes made his half marathon debut at the 2010 3M Half Marathon. He logs his miles in the morning, is a software developer during the day, and a vintage vehicle restorer by night. This will be Fuentes’ final tune-up before the Olympic Marathon Trials.

Mark Pinales

Pinales is the 2017 3M Half Marathon champ (1:06:51). He was raised in Round Rock, Texas, just north of Austin. Pinales ran at The University of Texas. You can often find him running around town. Pinales also mentors Austin youth and volunteer coaches runners at Austin High.

Cate Barrett

Barrett is a native Austinite who ran the 1500m and 5K for the Baylor Bears track team. You can catch her riding her bike around town or running with her husband Jake, who is a member of the Austin Marathon pacer team. Barrett has a 2:43 marathon PR that she set in 2018. This will be Barrett’s final tune-up before the Olympic Marathon Trials.

Sarah Bishop

Image of Sarah Bishop running a race. She will run with the 2020 elite field at the 3M Half Marathon presented by Under Armour.

Bishop will run 3M Half Marathon as her final tune-up before the Olympic Marathon Trials.

Bishop is a former active duty Air Force Lieutenant and current mother of four. She re-started her running career five years ago and qualified for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials. Bishop recently turned to triathlon and placed second in the 35-39 age group at the 70.3 World Championships. This will be Bishop’s final tune-up before the Olympic Marathon Trials.

Hattie Schunk

Schunk played soccer collegiately at Texas Tech University. She eventually followed her passion and joined the Red Raider cross-country and track teams. She was academic All-Big 12 and a Mountain regional qualifier every year she was on the team. In 2018, Schunk was Tech’s nominee for NCAA Woman of the Year. Like her sister Sofie, Hattie is chasing an Olympic Marathon Trials qualifying time. She is currently is grad school at the University of Texas working towards her PhD in chemical engineering. Sofie is her sister.

Sofie Schunk

Image Sofie Schunk running a race on an open field. Schunk will run with the 2020 elite field at the 2020 3M Half Marathon presented by Under Armour.

Schunk is co-founder of Diabetes Sports Project.

Schunk grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, as a multi-sport athlete, eventually playing soccer at Marquette University. She was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 16. She has since mastered and controlled her diabetes enough to run a 2:49:07 at 2019 CIM. Schunk is also the co-founder of the Diabetes Sports Project, a platform for others to be active with diabetes without fear. One of her main goals is to qualify for the Olympic Marathon Trials while she continues her career in biomedical engineering research. Hattie is her sister.

Kaitlyn Johnson

Johnson is a grad student at the University of Texas studying biomedical engineering. Her research is focused on using math and computational tools to improve how they understand, predict, and optimize cancer treatments. She joined Rogue Running in 2017 and loves being a part of the Austin running community. She ran 1:24:02 at 2018 3M Half Marathon.

Philippe Rolly

Image of Philippe Rolly with hands in the air, about to cross a finish line. Rolly will run with the 2020 elite field at the 2020 3M Half Marathon presented by Under Armour.

Rolly was named 2018 USATF Masters LDR Grand Champion in the M45-49.

Rolly was born in France and moved to the US in 1998. He is a Physical Therapist at Georgetown Hospital and has three kids. In 2018, he was named the USATF Masters LDR Grand Champion in the M45-49 age group. He recently ran a 2:32:18 at 2018 CIM.

Ryan Normand

Normand is originally from Phoenix, Arizona. He now calls Pflugerville home. He ran track and cross-country for Arizona State from 2014-2018. Normand began running marathons and half marathons soon after. He recently ran a 2:29:13 at 2019 Grandma’s Marathon and will compete in the 2019 Austin Marathon elite field.

Ben Munguia

Image of Ben Munguia and his wife Lauren overlooking a skyline. Munguia will run with the 2020 elite field at the 2020 3M Half Marathon presented by Under Armour.

Ben and Lauren, his wife.

Munguia has called Austin home for 13 years. He’s primarily a triathlete, winning the 2017 Kerrville Triathlon half distance in 4:16:27. He recently ran a 1:16:39 at the 2019 3M Half Marathon. He lives with his wife, their 18-month-old daughter, and his favorite running buddy, Tucker the Vizsla.

Sarah Jackson

Jackson is an Austinite who will run with the 3M Half Marathon elites before she runs in the Austin Marathon elite field. The 2020 Austin Marathon will be her 14th. She ran a 2:58:41 at the 2018 Austin Marathon.

Running tips that can keep you safe now that daylight saving time has ended

If your clocks didn’t do it automatically, then you just made every clock you own “fall back.” Whether you like it or not, daylight saving time has ended and the sun will set much, much earlier than normal. In general, this means colder temperatures and less sunlight. But like they say, the training must go on! If you’re training for 3M Half Marathon or the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon, these 5 running tips will keep you safe now that daylight saving time has ended. If you’re out driving, watch out for runners and cyclists!

Wear reflective clothing/lights

Reflective clothing is a must! In addition to reflective clothing, bright colors work too. Make sure you’re seen by everyone, from drivers to cyclists. Take your safety a step further and add lights. They’re lightweight and can ensure you’re seen from farther away. Depending on your preference, lights can be worn on your shoes, legs, arms, or your head.

Dress in layers

If it’s chilly outside, dressing in layers can help your body maintain its core temperature. This is critical in ensuring you don’t get sick. It also allows you to take off layers if you get too warm and put them back on when you cool down post-run. When dressing in layers, make sure the layer closest to your body has sweat-wicking material.

Adjust your schedule

Whether you like the time change or not, you should adjust your schedule now that daylight saving time has ended. If you can, run when the sun is out, coming up, or going down. This increases the chances that you’re seen by others. You also avoid running during the coldest parts of the day, especially early morning. You should always check the weather before you head out for a run.

Run defensively

Running defensively doesn’t mean you have to run slower. This could mean wearing reflective clothing/lights (like above), avoiding busy roads, or running in areas with high foot traffic. If you do run near busy roads, make sure you run against traffic. Expect the unexpected and briefly slowing down at intersections, parking garage entrances, and apartment/business driveways. As the amount of daylight diminishes, you need to protect yourself from others who aren’t paying attention or might want to cause harm to others.

Tell someone your workout

Before you take off, tell someone (loved one, co-worker, or roommate) your planned route, mileage, and when they can expect you back. Or ask them to run with you! If they don’t, knowing your route and mileage provides an idea of when they can expect you back and where to check should you not come back on time. Turn on the setting that allows someone to know your location, most smartphones have this.

Take your safety into your own hands with our tips. By being proactive, you increase the chances of completing a successful training run. With drivers paying less and less attention, runners need their safety even more seriously. We want you to make it to the 3M Half Marathon start line on January 19th fully healthy! Is there something you do that we didn’t list? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter.

Explore Miles 7-13.1 of the 3M Half Marathon course and get to know Austin

Austin is well-known for its culinary hot spots and picture-worthy locations. This is evident along Miles 7-13.1 of the 3M Half Marathon course. We highlight some of our favorite on-course spots, including the Texas State Capitol! Whether you’re an Austinite or in town for the 3M Half Marathon, get to know Austin with our list of seven on-course locations. Don’t miss out on Miles 1-6. Enjoy!

Stacks on stacks on stacks. Credit – Upper Crust Bakery Facebook.

Upper Crust Bakery (Mile 9)

Complete 3M Half Marathon, reward yourself with dessert! Makes sense, right?! Upper Crust Bakery (4508 Burnet Rd.) serves lunch too, but let’s be real, you’re coming here to satisfy your sweet tooth. Everything they make, cakes, pies, pastries, etc., is made from scratch. They’ve been in Austin for 28 years, so this isn’t some fly-by-night operation. Stop by and reward yourself!

Stinson’s Bistro (Mile 9)

Their menu is simple, but delicious. What they do make, they knock out of the park. Stinson’s Bistro (4416 Burnet Rd.) is perfect for date night, an outing with friends, or brunch after you complete 3M Half Marathon! Additionally, they serve beverages from coffee to cocktails. So if you’re watching friends or family, stop by for a coffee and a taco before heading to the finish line. Then make plans to come back and celebrate!

Hearty breakfast tacos from Stinson's Bistro. Get to know Austin when you visit places, like Stinson's Bistro, along the 3M Half Marathon course.

Hearty breakfast tacos from Stinson’s Bistro. Credit – Stinson’s Bistro Facebook.

Hyde Park Neighborhood (Miles 10-11)

Considered by many to be Austin’s first suburb, Hyde Park can trace its origins back to 1891. When you’re running through Hyde Park, soak in the massive trees and the beautiful architecture. If it’s not race day, take a leisurely stroll and check everything out at your own pace. If you’re out walking around make sure you check out the Elisabet Ney Museum, Quack’s 43rd St. Bakery, and Antonelli’s Cheese Shop.

Hancock Golf Course (Mile 11.5)

Stretch out your legs before your half marathon and play a round of nine holes at the Hancock Golf Course. The course (811 E. 41st St.) was founded in 1899 by former Austin mayor Lewis Hancock. It’s one of the oldest golf courses in Texas.

Runner passes through UT campus during the 2019 3M Half Marathon. Get to know Austin when you visit the places in our blog, like The University of Texas.

Runner passes through UT campus during the 2019 3M Half Marathon.

University of Texas (Mile 12)

One mile to go! The sights of the University of Texas will definitely help push you to the finish line. When you enter campus you’ll notice the street signs turn from green to burnt orange. Now you know the eyes of Texas are upon you! Before you pass the majestic Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium (home to the Texas Longhorns football team), enjoy the great view of the UT Tower to your right. To your left is the Mike Myers Stadium and Soccer Field where Austin Marathon Celebrity Ambassador Leo Manzano won many awards and set many records!

Enjoy the chicken fried steak from Scholz Garten. Get to know Austin when you visit places, like Scholz Garten, along the 3M Half Marathon course.

You’ll enjoy the chicken fried steak from Scholz Garten. Credit – Scholz Garten Facebook.

Scholz Garten (Mile 13)

Even though they open at noon on Sunday, Scholz Garten (1607 San Jacinto Blvd.) is a great spot for a post-3M Half Marathon gathering. The German food is delicious, there’s plenty of seating (including outdoors), and the atmosphere is always lively! Scholz Garten was established in 1886 and houses one of the nation’s oldest bowling centers. Pro tip: we recommend everything on the menu!

Texas State Capitol (finish line)

The beautiful Texas State Capitol (1100 Congress Ave.) has a rich history and serves as a backdrop for many post-3M Half Marathon photos! Take a Capitol tour and learn about the building’s life and its connection to Texas history. Not a fan of tours? A leisurely stroll on Capitol grounds will get the job done. Don’t forget your camera! Fun fact: the Texas Capitol is taller than the US Capitol!

Miles 7-13.1 of the 3M Half Marathon course features flavorful options and a place to enjoy a relaxing night out. Add these hot spots to your must-visit list and get to know Austin even more. Check out hot spots along Miles 1-6 and complete the course. Did we miss your favorite spot? Let us know what it is on Facebook or Twitter.

Our expo highlights showcase the booths you have to visit

The 3M Half Marathon Expo & Packet Pick Up is just days away! The expo is a chance for participants to visit our sponsors and partners and check out what they have to offer. From on-course hydration to Official 3M Half Marathon Under Armour gear, below are the expo highlights you can’t miss! There are tons of prizes, giveaways, and discounts. Think of them like Pokemon, you have to visit them all!

Photo Booths

There will be several fun photo opportunities set up throughout the expo including our gif photo booth, a larger than life-size version of this year’s finisher medal, Course Maps and more. Be sure to visit them all. 

Austin Marathon

Visit the Austin Marathon (booth #27) to chat with their team about race day! Thinking about registering for the Austin Marathon, half marathon, 5K, or Manzano Mile? Register at their booth and take advantage of their expo deals. BONUS: take a picture in front of their Austin backdrop!

Fleet Feet Austin

Visit our friends at Fleet Feet Austin (booth #18) and snag your Official 3M Half Marathon Under Armour gear before it’s gone! Supplies are limited. They’ll also have hydration and nutrition for your last-minute needs.

Rookie Triathlon

The Rookie Triathlon (booth #28) will have bean bag toss where you can win prizes. Rookie Triathlon is a sprint triathlon (300m swim, 11.2-mile bike, 2-mile run) that will take place on Sunday, May 5th. Make sure you check out their expo-only deals and make Rookie Tri the first triathlon of your life or the first triathlon of your 2019 season.

Nuun

Sample all of nuun hydration’s flavors at booth #33. Say hey and learn how you can win Texas-themed nuun bottles. BONUS: the first 5 people to show up to the nuun booth and complete the following for each day will win one bag of nuun performance.

  • Friday – say “Nothing but nuun on race day!”
  • Saturday – tell your favorite positive race mantras and what flavor of nuun you train with

Airrosti

Airrosti Treatment Teams (booth #44) will offer complimentary injury assessments and taping to any participants suffering from pain or an injury. The assessments are 15-minute appointments.

Ready to Run

Ready to Run will have a photo booth contest at booth #13. They’ve designed a custom local Austin backdrop and custom photo props. Visit them, enter the contest, and learn how you can win a pair of Aftershokz Air Wireless Headphones or a $75 Ready to Run gift card.

SPIbelt

SPIbelt (booth #11) will have a spinning wheel out sporadically during the event where people can spin to win! Stop by, say hey, learn about their new products, and spin to see what you could win.

Cap10K

Register at the Cap10K booth (booth #39) and receive a free Cap10K pop socket for your mobile device OR a free pair of Cap10K running socks. That’s a great deal for the largest 10K in Texas!

Hilton

Hilton will have a photo booth set up, raffle wheel, and giveaways at booth #51. Take a picture at their booth and post it online to spin the raffle wheel and win a prize. Visitors that are Honors members or download and enroll with their Honors app will have an opportunity for a second spin at the wheel. Prizes include tote bags, luggage tags, and chances to win a grand prize which includes hotel stays.

Heavenly Care Moving

Hang on the Heavenly Care Moving (booth #1) bar for 90 seconds and you’re entered into the drawing to win a bike! It’s that simple.

  1. The drawing will be held on Facebook Live on Monday, February 21st, at 6:00 p.m.
  2. All that’s required for eligibility is to “like” their Facebook page
  3. Everyone that at least attempts the hang will be entered to win a free entry to the 2020 3M Half Marathon. (one male and one female will be selected)
  4. Everyone that lasts the full 90 seconds will be entered to win the city cruiser!

Meet the elites running 3M Half Marathon

Elite runners love the 3M Half Marathon course! It’s known for being one of the country’s faster half marathon courses. Elites run 3M Half Marathon presented by Under Armour to secure fast times, obtain PRs, try new hydration/nutrition plans, and/or prepare for the Austin Marathon or Austin Half Marathon. Come out and support these elites as they give their all on Sunday, Jan. 20th!

Jessica Harper

Jessica returns to defend her 2018 3M Half Marathon title! She is the female champ and finished with a time of 1:15:45. She ran collegiately at The University of Texas from 2011-13. When she’s not traveling, you can find her running around Austin!

Bryan Morton is one of the elites running the 2019 3M Half Marathon presented by Under Armour.

Bryan Morton. Credit: Ed Sparks

Bryan Morton

Bryan is an accomplished runner who finished second overall at the 2018 3M Half Marathon (1:10:13). He is also part of a trio who will pace female elites to the Olympic Marathon Trials B Standard at the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon presented by Under Armour on Feb. 17th.

Zach Meineke

Zach just moved to Austin from Wisconsin. He heard about 3M Half Marathon after reading about it in Runner’s World as being one of the best half marathons. Zach is a physical therapist at TexPTS and a father of two. He does a lot of his training pushing a double stroller with his 3- and 1-year-old (which they love). Zach most recently ran the 2017 Colorado Colfax Marathon in 2:32:34. He loves exploring the city of Austin through running and is very excited to get the grand tour during the 3M Half.

Andrew Leahey

Andrew is a born and raised Oklahoman who just can’t get enough wind! He competed in cross country and track at Southern Nazarene University. He earned various levels of recognition, from conference champion to All-American. A fun fact about Andrew is that when he was young his family were emu ranchers (yes the large dinosaur-like birds). His training started at a young age when these large, flightless birds would chase him. He now appreciates them!

Sarah Bishop

Sarah Bishop is one of the elites Running the 3M Half Marathon

Sarah Bishop.

Sarah ran collegiately as an 800m runner and hung it up after 8 years of competitive running. After getting married and having 4 children in 3.5 years, she needed an outlet from the stress of daily life and to do something for herself. In 2014, she set a goal to break 1:30 in the half marathon. In the past 4 years, she has whittled down her PRs to 1:16:40 in the half marathon and 2:42:46 in the marathon, qualifying for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials. She won the 2017 Marine Corps Marathon (2:45:06) along the way.

Michael Morris

Michael has been running competitively since 2004 when he started running for Wills Point High School. After a successful high school career, he ran for Texas State University in 2008. While there, he set the school record in the steeplechase with a time of 9:02. After graduating, he started coaching at San Marcos High School. He is currently the head cross country and track coach.

Goose Pedraza

Goose is an alum of the University of Texas-Permian Basin where he competed in cross country and track. He also attended Texas A&M-Kingsville where he also competed in cross country and track. Goose is a Fleet Feet Austin employee who has a half marathon PR of 1:13:02. He lives in San Marcos, Texas, with his girlfriend and dog Domino. Goose and his girlfriend will soon welcome their newborn daughter.

Natasha van der Merwe

Natasha van der Merwe is one of the elites Running the 3M Half Marathon

Natasha van der Merwe.

Natasha is a transplant from South Africa, a mom to a 2-year-old daughter, and has been racing as a professional triathlete since 2010. Her racing success includes multiple victories at Austin’s local triathlon championship race – the Rookie Tri, a win at Lifetime’s Cap Tex Tri event in 2018, and multiple top-10 finishes at Ironman and 70.3 events over the last 10 years. She is also the 2017 Decker Challenge half marathon female champ (1:26:27).

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.