As a runner pretty much my entire life, I've always felt a little different. As a kid, I ran back and forth to school when nobody else did and was mocked for doing so. Even in college when everybody was drinking themselves under the table, I ran. And I'm still at it while plenty of my contemporaries have quit years ago.
Granted, it's still technically winter but the high in Austin today is 91 and it sure feels a lot like summer. That means a lot of things to different people, but it also means it's high time to get some new running shorts for the spring and summer heat.
As the folks at High Five Events contemplate and work on the 2017 Austin Marathon course, there's one aspect of it I hope they pretty much ignore: The scenery. I'm not advocating that the new course—if, in fact, there is a new one—consist of 26 laps around the Travis County Expo Center. I'm simply suggesting that the most overrated aspect of a marathon course is its scenic qualities.
I have never been afraid to run any race, but there's one aspect of road racing that absolutely terrifies me: It's the race photos that appear in my inbox. I dread that inevitable email so much, yet can never quite resist the temptation to open it.
I happen to be one of those runners who loves to race. Always have. And the distance I love to race the most is the half marathon. I’m certainly not alone in my affinity for the half as it is the fastest growing road race distance. In 2014, more than 2 million of us finished a half which is an all-time high and more than triple what it was 10 years ago.
Now that marathon season is—finally--over and done with in Central Texas, we can turn our attention to shorter spring races. With all that hard-fought fitness in the bank after months of long runs, the shorter races are a good way to work on speed and leg turnover. Fortunately, we have a well-established circuit of several high-caliber races.
As had been rumored, Rogue Running pulled the plug on its Rogue Distance Festival in Cedar Park after four years. The Rogue Festival's primary race was its 30-K which has long been a mainstay of the Austin Distance Challenge.
I consider myself a very lucky guy. Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to run with some of the world’s greatest runners from Olympic gold medalist icons like Herb Elliott and Rosa Mota to American heroes such as Bill Rodgers, Meb Keflezighi, Steve Scott and Alberto Salazar. I’ve learned something from every one of them. But there’s one great runner who I ran with many years ago who has always stood out for me. That man is Rob de Castella.
That Boston is the greatest marathon in America (much less the world) is pretty much incontrovertible. It's the oldest marathon, held on the same historic course and played out in front of wildly enthusiastic crowds that absolutely lives for Patriot's Day. Boston is the one race every marathoner dreams of running and I've always felt every marathoner should get that chance once - qualifier or not.
Shin splints are an insidious injury that most often targets and frustrates many beginning runners. It’s a tough injury that can result in such soreness and even pain that many newbies—particularly young runners--are forced to abandon running.
Marathons aren't just tough to run and get through the 26.2 miles. It's tough to recover from one too. A marathon pushes the body to the max and stresses every part of your system and structure.
On a bittersweet morning for John and Stacy Conley and the staff of Conley Sports, the 25th annual Austin Marathon on Sunday morning was their final marathon after 19 years at the helm. But for three of the top four winners in the marathon and half marathon, it was a day of firsts.
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.
The Austin Marathon means a lot of different things, but one of the best aspects of the race is its charity-driven tradition. There are 25 official charities that take part in Austin and raise funds, boosted in no small part by the Moody Foundation which matches all donations up to $10,000 for each charity.
This is a particularly noteworthy year for the Austin Marathon. The race celebrates its 25th year and it is also the final year of race director John Conley's ownership. After this year's race, High Five Events takes over direction and ownership of the Austin Marathon.