AUSTIN – Formerly known as the Austin Marathon Relay, the Car2Go Marathon Relay commenced in crisp, 60 degree temperatures, a welcome relief from the doggedly predictable summer heat. Furthermore, the majority of runners for all legs finished before the temperature rose above 80 degrees…not bad for a relay of marathon distance.
This year, the relay was composed of six legs of equal distance, which differs from previous years in which runners ran different distances depending on the leg. Each leg measured about 4.4 miles long and covered the same out and back route along Cesar Chavez, despite a slight and inadvertent incongruity between the distance of the first leg and distance of all subsequent legs. Initially, police officials set the relay course too short, at approximately 3.9 miles, but race officials quickly corrected the problem. “We moved the barricade back as soon as the first leg finished,” said race official Nathanial Friedman. I suppose the blisteringly fast times runners set for the first leg were a little too good to be true.
Other than the initial discrepancy in course distance, the race organization and course were resoundingly popular.
“I loved the course. Out and backs are always fun because you can pace yourself,” explained Jake Morse, who works for MapMyFitness. This type of course allows you to develop a fairly accurate idea of how you’re doing in a race.
Moreover, the race officials and volunteers did a stellar job of coordinating the race by keeping the runners organized and each relay leg running smoothly (pun intended). That sentiment echoed throughout the crowd of over 2,000 athletes that showed up to compete; participation increased approximately 10 percent from last year’s race.
The course also lent itself to fast times and contentiously crowd pleasing competition. In particular, the two teams vying for first place in the Mens’ Open division fought a particularly close battle. Those teams, Core Running Company and We’ll take two., held on to each other until close to the end of the sixth and final leg when Richard Powell, a US Marine sergeant from the Core Running Company team, staved off Jamie Cleveland from the We’ll take two. team (Yes, the period at the end of the team name is intended and semantically appreciated).
The Core Running Company team, composed of Andrew McHenry, Collin Bond, Daniel Chidester, Taylor Stephens, Matt Middleton and Richard Powell, solidified their win with an overall time of 2:26::53.3. The We’ll take two. team, composed of Jamie Cleveland, Sandy Joseph, and Travis Rimel, finished with an extremely close second in 2:27::11.0. Cleveland, Joseph, and Rimel each ran two legs of the relay.
Members of both teams spoke positively about the race. Powell acknowledged that this race is a “great community event to kick off the start back to school.” Cleveland mentioned that “It was nice going back to the original relay format,” in which all legs of the relay run the same distance.
Article disclaimer: I occupied the second leg position of the winning team for the Women’s Open division. Please note that the information I provide about our team is not a shameless plug, but rather a necessity of this article.
Likewise, the Women’s Open division included numerous talented teams. In the end, Super Girls, which included Sarah Beth Orozco, Kelly Patel, Jennifer Schwartz, Elizabeth Pickard, Cherisse Robison, and Amber Reber, clinched first place in 2:48:00.1. The second place team, Biscuits and Blueberries, followed in 3:04:04.7. Reber, the sixth leg runner for the Super Girls, summed up the spirit that infused many of the teams competing: “I knew my teammates ran strong, and I just wanted to run well for them.” Thanks, Amber. We certainly do appreciate it.
The Runimals team, comprised of Lisa Mazur, Kiplimo Chemirmir, Mike Jackson, Diana Ruderman, Erin Ruyle, and Brian Hannold, pulled off a solid win for the Open Mixed division in 2:48:55.9, followed by Team I CANcer in 2:56:08.6.
To view the race results for other divisions, visit this website.
Side note: The above website might have posted names and times for your team that are mismatched or different than the order in which you ran.
Finally, congratulations to the race officials, volunteers, and competitors who planned, implemented, and competed in the race. Based on the quality of the event and overall satisfaction of the athletes, I anticipate another rise in participation for next year’s relay.