Even though most of the majors in the Texas winter marathon season—Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas—have already been held (Cowtown and The Woodlands are this weekend), there’s still one relatively small Central Texas marathon: The Army Marathon which will be held on Sunday (March 1).
This race, in just its third year, will have about 750 marathoners going from Killeen to the finish in Temple. There will also be another 1000 runners in the accompanying half marathon (and 5-K) and both of those races will utilize out-and-back courses that start and finish in Temple. About 700 half marathoners are expected.
As you might expect, the Army Marathon, which starts just outside Fort Hood, is intended to honor military men and women (and their families) as well as commemorate Texas Independence Day. Says race director Ed Bandas: “This race was created to honor our military and to raise money and awareness for the many organizations that serve our heroes.”
The marathon will begin, at the Killeen Convention Center at 7 a.m. The point-to-point course will go through Harker Heights, Nolanville and through Belton before finishing in Temple. It’s considered “rolling” (which means some moderate hills), but there is a net downhill loss of 273 feet. There will be 19 water stops with water and an electrolyte drink.
To park near the starting line at the Killeen Convention Center lot, you will have to be in the lot by 6 a.m. If you get there after 6, parking marshals will divert you to another lot.
The half will begin in Temple at the marathon finish line at 7 on Hilliard Road, just south of Airport Road. The course will go out to Lake Belton Dam, turn around and then head back to Temple. The 5-K begins in Temple at 7:30 at the marathon finish line.
Three’s plenty of parking for half marathoners, 5-K runners and spectators at the finish in Temple is at the Pepper Creek Trail lot, located on the Scott & White campus on Kelley Road, just south of Airport Road. There will be shuttle buses going from the parking lot to the finish area, starting at 5:30 a.m. There will also be shuttle buses going from the finish area back to Killeen. (The shuttle from Scott & White is a very short ride, but you can’t drive to the start/finish area in a personal car.)
Packet pick up and pre-race registration will be held at the Frank Rayborn Civic and Convention Center in Temple (3303 N. 3rd Street). If you’re driving up from Austin, the Convention Center is right off I-35 on the north side of Temple. The expo hours are 3-7 on Friday and 9-6 on Saturday.
There isn’t any raceday registration or packet pick up, but if you can’t get up there on Friday and Saturday, call 254/654-3119 before 5 on Saturday to arrange for raceday packet pickup before 6:30 at the Information Booth in Killeen for the marathon and at the marathon finish line in Tempe for the half and 5-K.
Last year, a vicious cold front blew through Killeen right at the start of the marathon, dropping temps into the low 30s. The forecast for Sunday in Killeen shows a cloudy morning with low temps in the mid-50s. There is a chance of rain.
Again, the Army Marathon begins Sunday at 7 in Killeen. The Army Half Marathon also starts at 7 but near the marathon finish line in Temple.