One of the best races in Austin—the IBM Uptown Classic—has been canceled and will not be held this year. Scheduled for October 5th , IBM was the kickoff race in the 2014-15 Austin Distance Challenge which means the Challenge will be down to five races.
The Uptown Classic has been held for 14 years and has a rich history of being the fastest, most prestigious 10-K in Austin. The fastest 10-K ever run in Austin—29:04 by Eric Chirchir–was recorded at IBM in 2004. Although the race has had a variety of sites in the past 10 years, it appeared to have settled on The Domain in North Austin which featured a start/finish on the IBM campus.
But IBM’s interest in the race waned in recent years and for the past two years the 10-K has been directed and administered by Luke’s Locker. Two years ago, there were course issues at The Domain and Luke’s had to alter the course five times before one was finally approved just two weeks before the event. Last year there were similar problems with obtaining course approval. Even though Luke’s pulled the race off, last year was supposed to be the final race at The Domain and under the IBM banner with Luke’s taking over title sponsorship for this year’s race.
One plan was to move the race downtown, possibly near the Luke’s location at Cesar Chavez and Lamar, but that never materialized. Nor was a course ever designed and secured for the ’14 race.
Rod Newlin, the manager of Luke’s and a veteran race director, said: “The continued growth of The Domain and the resulting challenges with the course have become problematical with Luke’s ability to provide a quality event that the Austin running community deserves. We have decided to not hold the race this year. Our intent is to find a new venue and course and bring back the Classic in 2015.”
Don’t try to visit their website because the URL www.uptownclassic.com no longer has any event information.
As the Austin Distance Challenge now stands, the lead race will be the Run for the Water 10-Miler (October 26) followed by the Decker Challenge Half Marathon (December 7), the Rogue Distance Festival 30-K and 10-K (January 11), 3M Half Marathon (January 25) and the Austin Marathon and Half (February 15).