AUSTIN, Texas, January 17, 2017 — High Five Events, one of the largest privately owned event production companies in the United States, is excited to produce the 2017 3M Half Marathon. The 23rd installment of Downhill to Downtown will take place on Sunday, January 22nd. The race will begin at 7:30 a.m. and feature a highly-competitive elite field, benefit Girlstart, and feature an enhanced finish line festival.


“Runners from all over will run Downhill to Downtown in search of a PR or a great time,” said Stacy Keese, co-owner of High Five Events. “We’re putting the final touches on a weekend that will be an enjoyable and memorable experience for participants, spectators, and volunteers.”


The following is a sample of the athletes in the Elite Field: Becki Spellman (3x Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier), Lauren Smith (2016 Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier), Mark Pinales (2016 Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier), Des Ficker (3rd place – 2016 Decker Challenge – 1:27:41), Chris Kimbrough (2008 Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier), Joel Harris (2016 Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Marathon Champion – 2:36:41).


“I’m fired up to race the 3M Half after a long break due to my pregnancies,” said Des Ficker, mother and elite endurance athlete. “I look forward to getting out there and testing my legs and am hoping to get one final boost in fitness before the Austin Marathon.”


Girlstart is once again the beneficiary of the event. 3Mgives will contribute $50,000 to support Girlstart’s educational programs in conjunction with the race. Through its comprehensive programming, Girlstart provides a year-round, intensive suite of STEM education programs for K-12 girls. Girlstart’s core programs foster STEM skills development, an understanding of the importance of STEM as a way to solve the world’s major problems, as well as an interest in STEM electives, majors, and careers.


The 3M Half Marathon’s finish line festival will celebrate finishers and their efforts. In addition to their medal, bottle of water, and snack bag, participants (21+) can enjoy two Oskar Blues Austin brews and devour delicious food from several food trucks. Red Bull will be at the finish line with their monster truck pumping out tunes to keep the party going. Sponsors, vendors, and partners will populate the finish line festival, celebrating runners and their achievements.


The 3M Half Marathon boasts one of the fastest 13.1-mile courses in the country and will celebrate its 23rd year running in 2017. Runners will enjoy a point-to-point course with mostly downhill running that showcases some of Austin’s finest locations. Starting in north Austin and finishing in front of the Texas State Capitol, runners will appreciate a 306’ net elevation drop. Participants can register and book their hotel on the website.
About High Five Events: Beginning with the launch of a single triathlon in 2003, High Five Events has grown to become one of the largest privately owned event production companies in the United States. In addition to the events it owns and produces, the Austin, Texas-based company offers consulting and event production services to dozens of additional events each year. High Five Events is community-centric and has more than 83 years’ experience organizing large events across different venue types in a variety of locations. Follow High Five Events on Twitter (@highfiveevents), Instagram (@highfiveevents), and Facebook ( for news and updates.