This race is an Austin classic and it is definitely worth a weekend of travel! The elite field is pretty great, lots of top Texas runners and out-of-staters come out to run this.
EXPO: The expo is located at the Palmer Event Center on Auditorium Shores. This is right where the race finishes, so you get to scope out the finishing area while it’s in progress. Park in the garage (it’s $5 and that is worth it because there is majorly limited street parking in this area!) The bibs are organized by number, so you to go your number range station and pick that up. The expo has great booths from local running stores, Austin Marathon and Austin Runners Club are there. Tons of samples. This year Thunderbird bars, Clif bar, Nuun were some of the major names, but also SPIbelt, and some smaller brands were there as well. Photo opportunities with Leo Manzano were also hosted throughout the day.
RACE: Corrals are A-H, so you might be starting closer to 9 am at that point. With more than 23,000 registered runners this year, the corrals are necessary! This was also the first year that I noticed them policing the corrals, but if you asked very nicely they let a few families stay together in the same corrals. The first 3.1 is hilly and there is lots of climbing. They have the King/Queen of the Hill challenge on this part where you can win a special T-Shirt for being the fastest person to climb a giant hill that covers about two city blocks. After the halfway point you get a little downhill and then flat to the finish.
POST RACE: Cross the finish line (this year we got a medal, it was the first year they’ve ever offered one!) And then head into the finisher’s area. There are plentiful tents where many teams have set up shop to hang out for the morning as their friends and teammates run in. There are food trucks, a beer garden, coffee, clif bars, nuun and a concert going on! This is definitely a spot where you can hang out for a while after you finish and lazily go along to brunch.
This was my third year to run this race and I will do my best to race it every year because I love the course and the atmosphere!!