Downtown Austin: A mass of athletes and Austinites materializes in the cool morning air, men and women perform last-minute stretches to warm up sleepy muscles, a quick crack and the race begins.
Scenic tours through historic haunts around town inspire while enthusiastic bands, dance teams and cheer groups entertain when the going gets tough. You pace your stride to keep a steady flow of energy, and as crowds of strangers cheer you on, you reach into your final reserves to push yourself across the finish line.
Austin is an amazing and unique city. Its dual loves of healthy living and going green come together this February to bring us the Austin Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K. On Sunday, February 15th at 7 am, get geared up for the marathon of the year, all in the name of green living.
Going Green the Austin Way
Proceeds from the event go to assisting in this year’s mission, which can be summarized by the 5 Rs: Reconsider, Refuse, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Event organizers plan to implement these tasks by reducing waste, saving energy, minimizing the event’s water impact and providing locally sourced food and ingredients for the duration of the marathon. The race even helps Austin buy carbon offsets, and over the past 6 years has been able to offset 1.8 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions, which is the equivalent of not driving over 2 million miles!
This year’s theme is sort of a throwback to the 2007-2010 course, which will now start in front of the newly opened JW Marriott Hotel at 2nd St. and Congress Avenue. Race across Lady Bird Lake on the South Congress Bridge to ease you into the first leg of the race. The route then spans several miles across Lake Austin Boulevard, while the last stretch of the marathon consists of a gently rolling downhill run to the picture-perfect finish line in front of the Texas State Capitol building.
Along the way, runners will have ample water and bathroom stations, cheerful enthusiasm from Austinites all over town and even shows from local bands and drummers. There’s never a dull moment in this Texas-sized marathon.
Before the Race Begins
And starting Friday the 13th when runners are able to come downtown and get their packets with their numbers and relevant information, there are going to be several marathon-themed events to keep the community talking.
Marathon Music Fest happens Friday, which is packed with acts like Lightbug, Mandy Rowden and Josh Buckley. Saturday enjoy talks from runners such as Dick Beardsley and Miguel Blancarte, Jr, both inspirational people who are there to share their intimate stories of what running has done in their lives. There will be copious resources for athletes and runners during the weekend leading up to the marathon so stick around for the full experience.
Don’t plan on running in the race but want to get involved? There is still an open call for volunteers who would like to get in on the action.
Flickr Creative Commons Image by Charlie Llewellin.