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Meet The Five Individuals Who Have Run Every Austin Marathon Since 1992

Douglas Yee

Q. Most memorable Austin Marathon?
A. My most memorable Austin Marathon was the one in 1989 run by RunTex which included a 5K, Half Marathon, and Full Marathon. It was my very first running event, so I ran the 5K but was able to stick around at the end to watch the half marathoners finishing at the same time as the full marathoners due to the staggered start. It inspired me enough to continue my training so that I could go the full distance in 1992 when the current Austin Marathon race started.

Q. Best finishing time?
A. This is embarrassing to answer since my times have become so much slower in recent years, but my best finishing times are:
3/20/93 – The Marathon of the Great Southwest (Abilene) – 3:46:44.57 (PR)
2/16/03 – Motorola Austin Marathon – 3:55:56.32

Q. Favorite version of the course?
A. I’m rather fond of the current version of the race, but I’ve enjoyed all the courses for various reasons. I enjoyed the very first race which ran through South Austin and ended on Congress Avenue; I enjoyed the courses which looped back to allow me to watch the front runners go by; I enjoyed the point to point course the years the race had shuttle service back to the start when I could look out the shuttle window after the race and think, “Did I really just run that far?”

Q. How many total marathons have you run (including Austin)?
A. 100

Q. One piece of advice for those doing the marathon for the first time?
A. You’ve put the training in. Now, just believe in yourself and draw upon the energy of your fellow runners and cheering spectators to go the distance. Be careful not to expend too much energy on the uphill sections and try to pace yourself so you have enough energy to finish strong in the last few miles.

Q. Goal for Sunday?
A. My goal for Sunday is just to finish the race, hopefully a little faster than last year, and hopefully not too close to the course limit time when they start escorting runners off to the side.

Q.Will you run number 26 next year?
A. Yes, I plan on running Number 26 (the same as the number of miles in a marathon) in Austin next year.

Steve Boone

Q. Most memorable Austin Marathon?boone
A. 2006 when some deer ran through the course and over some of the runners during the first mile.

Q. Best finishing time?
A. 3:13:49

Q. Favorite version of the course?
A. The first couple of years when there was a steam calliope on the course.

Q. How many total marathons have you run (including Austin)?
A. 637 (ed. note: Yes, you read that correctly. Steve is a founding member of the 50 States Marathon Club.)

Q. One piece of advice for those doing the marathon for the first time?
A. Make new friends and enjoy the experience because you may be running with the same folks 25 years from now.

Q.Goal for Sunday?
A. Get to the finish line in one piece and celebrate with the other four veterans.

Q. Will you run number 26 next year?
A. I absolutely hope so.

 

Joe Huerta

huertaQ.Most memorable Austin Marathon?
A. The year of the ice storm.  It was freezing, wet, wind chill.  This was a brutal run but also one that resulted in the greatest feeling of accomplishment at the finish.  The course was point to point from Freescale on North Parmer Lane (far north Austin) to Downtown.

Q. Best finishing time?
A. 3:30

Q. Favorite version of the course?
A. Any of the loop courses.

Q. How many total marathons have you run (including Austin)?
A. 92, starting in 1979

Q. One piece of advice for those doing the marathon for the first time?
A. Pacing. Following the start, if you think the pace is about right, then it is too fast!  Back off especially since the first 3 miles are uphill.

Q.Goal for Sunday?
A. To complete the 25th Austin Marathon!

Q.Will you run number 26 next year?
A. No. It is time to step away along with my friend John Conley (won’t be the same w/o him) and try other events that have conflicted with Austin.

 

Rick Kaven

kavenQ.Most memorable Austin Marathon?
A. I have three most memorable marathons.  Finishing my first marathon in just under my goal of four hours (3:59:06) is certainly a memorable experience as most peoples first marathons are.  Recently, I’ve been picking up my two young kids at mile 20 in the stroller, rolling them in the last six miles.  It’s a joy to share that experience with them, although more often than not, they fall asleep until the roar of the crowd wakes them at the finish.  But I think my most memorable experience was obtaining my personal best in 1995, finishing in 3:28:20.  It was surreal as I paced myself behind a group of three friends that were just jogging along, talking and laughing, not appearing to be taxing themselves.  But I, on the other hand, was intensely trying to put one foot in front of the other with the realization that I probably would never achieve this (7:57 min/mile) pace again in my life. Breaking the 8 min/mile pace was quite an achievement for me, weighing in at about 215 lbs at the time.

Q. Best finishing time?
A. My personal marathon record is 3:28:20.

Q. Favorite version of the course?
A. They’ve all been uniquely interesting.  The first couple started at the Oak Hill Motorola and went SW from there.  It was very rural and peaceful.  And the finish was great coming in north on Congress from Ben White facing the Capital.  It was very motivating.  The second major change was starting at the Arboritum and heading south dropping 400 feet in elevation to the second half which was a relatively flat run around Ladybird Lake.  This course lasted the longest of the three major courses.  I was very apprehensive about the last and current course that is a “circular” course where the start and finish are very close to each other.  I was concerned about the uphills vs the prior gradual drop that the last course had, but it turned out to be a very pleasant and scenic run.

Q. How many total marathons have you run (including Austin)?
A. I have only done the 24 Austin marathons.

Q. One piece of advice for those doing the marathon for the first time?
A. First of all, enjoy yourself.  You only have one first marathon.  Try to savor and remember every minute of it.  Secondly, and extremely important, start off slow.  Save some for the second half (the last six miles).  Your overall time will be faster and you will feel better for it.  It took me four years to master starting off slow. It is particularly difficult having half marathoners able to run at a faster pace, in the mix with the marathoners.  It can make you feel like you are going too slow.

Q. Goal for Sunday?
A. To enjoy it as much as other years.  To get to kiss my wife and kids at miles 7 and 20 along the course and then again at the finish line.  Forecasts show it is predicted to be hot.  Hot means more sweating which means more chance of cramping.  I currently run a 5:30 marathon.  I joke with people that I need a shirt that says the following on the back:  “If you aren’t passing me, you may not be running…”

Q. Will you run number 26 next year?
A. Soitainly!  It is actually more of a mile stone for me as I will be 60 years old and, well, the 26th time to run 26 miles.

 

Don McNelly

We unfortunately were unable to reach Don McNelly. If the last name sounds familiar, it’s because his father was (and might still be) the world record holder for most marathons over 80. He was profiled in the book “The Madman, The Marathoner” in 2010.