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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.

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!

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.

High Five Events is pleased to announce the partnership between the 2017 3M Half Marathon and TriggerPoint, the Official Recovery Product of Downhill to Downtown.

“TriggerPoint’s innovative products are known around the world and we are proud to have them as a partner to educate and support runners through their training and recovery,” said Jack Murray, co-owner of High Five Events.

Based in Austin, Texas, TriggerPoint, creates innovative products that are supported by simple instructions that empower anyone to recover faster and move better. The company’s products are designed to provide safe, effective self-massage both before and after workouts to relieve tight muscles, improve mobility, speed up recovery, and improve movement. TriggerPoint’s signature foam rollers, massage balls, and hand-held rollers will be available in the 3M Half Marathon Recovery Zone to all racers.

“Our mission at TriggerPoint is to empower individuals to live out their passion through an active and healthy lifestyle,” said Janelle Ronquillo, Brand Director for TriggerPoint. “By partnering with the 3M Half Marathon, we can support runners during and post-training with products and education on how to recover faster and move better.”

The 3M Half Marathon boasts one of the fastest 13.1-mile courses in the country and will celebrate its 23rd year running in 2017. 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.

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!

High Five Events is happy to announce that Balega will be the Official Sock of the 2017 3M Half Marathon. In addition to being the Official Sock, Balega will sponsor promotions and giveaways leading up to race day and offer discounted product at the 3M Half Marathon Packet Pickup & Expo.

“Just about everyone, from elite endurance athletes to your recreational joggers, loves their Balega socks,” said Jack Murray, co-owner of High Five Events. “Their technically advanced socks allow athletes to perform at their very best and we know they’ll power PRs on one of the faster half marathons in the country.”

Balega, a leading performance sock brand in the run and outdoor specialty market, is known for their technical excellence, superior fit and unbelievable comfort. The company provides foot solutions to help runners perform at their personal peak. Balega’s socks are known around the world, but on January 20-21 they can be found at the Austin Convention Center during the 3M Half Marathon Packet Pickup & Expo. Balega’s socks are manufactured at both their state-of-the-art facility in Cape Town, South Africa, and in Hickory, North Carolina.

“As a running brand, the 3M Half Marathon is the place to be and we’re thrilled to showcase Balega and our products to this enthusiastic community,” said Tanya Pictor, VP of marketing of Implus Specialty. “Balega is designed for high performance achievements and we look forward to celebrating all the runners’ accomplishments on January 22nd.”

The 3M Half Marathon boasts one of the fastest 13.1-mile courses in the country and will celebrate its 23rd year running in 2017. 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.

Austin Marathon and Half Marathon and 3M Half Marathon set to be final two events

 

High Five Events is excited to continue their ongoing partnership with the Austin Runners Club (ARC) and their Austin Distance Challenge (ADC). The Austin Marathon and Half Marathon presented by NXP and the 3M Half Marathon are confirmed to be the final two events of the Austin Distance Challenge.

The Austin Distance Challenge, organized by the Austin Runners Club, is a competitive running series that allows runners to compete across five different events. Each race’s distance increases as the series progresses. Celebrating its 20th Anniversary, the Austin Distance Challenge is a perfect fit with many Austin runners’ marathon training programs. Other events include Run Free Texas 8K, Run for the Water 10 Mile, and the 38th Annual Decker Challenge Half Marathon.

“The Austin Distance Challenge has become an Austin tradition and we’re glad to be involved during its 20th year,” said Stacy Keese, co-owner of High Five Events. “The 3M Half Marathon and the Austin Marathon and Half Marathon presented by NXP will close out the ADC’s 20th year in style.”

The Austin Marathon and Half Marathon will be the culminating event for the Austin Distance Challenge. Runners participating in the Distance Challenge have the option to run the full marathon or the half marathon to complete their specific track. Whether you run 26.2 or 13.1 miles, this year’s finish line festival will be one to remember.

“The Austin Distance Challenge is a unique event series that provides participants a great way to prepare themselves for the big stage on race day,” said Austin Distance Challenge Coordinator Megan Baker, referring to the Austin Marathon and Half Marathon.

The 3M Half Marathon will be the fourth out of the five Austin Distance Challenge events. This is your event if you’re looking to run a good time and have a good time. Runners have been PRing at this Austin favorite for years. Starting in north Austin and finishing in front of the Texas State Capitol, runners will enjoy a 306’ net elevation drop.

“We’re excited to celebrate the ADC’s 20th Anniversary with two of Austin’s premier running events,” said Elaine Chung, Vice President of the Austin Runners Club. “From tackling longer distances to flying down the 3M Half Marathon’s famously fast course, participants are united by one goal – to join the ranks of Distance Challenge Finishers.”

Austin Distance Challenge participants will receive a tech shirt, free ARC membership (first time participants only), access to the famous ADC Hospitality Tent, specialized goodies, and an invitation to the End-of-Season party. The Austin Distance Challenge beneficiary will be The Trail Foundation. Registration is open for the Austin Distance Challenge.