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Exploring Texas: Austin Knows How to Host a Marathon

Exploring Texas: Austin Knows How to Host a Marathon

February 11, 2020

Pack those running shoes and head over to Austin Feb. 16 for one of the world’s top running events — the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon and Half Marathon.

Considered one of the Top 10 Half Marathons in the World and one of 15 Bucket List Marathons in the U.S., this venerable Austin event is a mix of competition, live music and finish-line fun, attracting approximately 20,000 runners — including many of the sport’s elite.

The race takes you past iconic Austin locales, including the Deep Eddy Pool (the oldest man-made swimming pool in Texas) at mile 8.5, the University of Texas tower (mile 13) and the Hole in the Wall venue that has welcomed Stevie Ray Vaughan and Lucinda Williams (mile 13.5). It all starts at the Congress Avenue Bridge (come back later to watch the bats) and ends at the Texas State Capitol.

In true Austin fashion, nearly 20 bands will be playing along the course to entertain runners. Kicking things off will be country music legend Gary P. Nunn at the start line. The Finish Line Festival promises more live music, as well as snack and gear bags, a beer garden for runners 21+, food trucks, two jumbotrons and more.

Make it an entire weekend by attending the Health & Fitness Expo Friday and Saturday, Feb. 14 and 15, at the Palmer Events Center. Not only is the expo the site for the race package pick-up, but more than 100 vendors will be on hand selling items runners would love.

Does a marathon or even half marathon sound a little too challenging for your running routine? You can still be an official runner by signing up for the KXAN Simple Health 5K benefiting Paramount Theatre or the Manzano Mile, which features individual waves for age groups, elite divisions and a kids’ run.

No matter which race you choose, you can race for good by supporting a worthy cause through the voluntary Austin Gives Miles programs. This year’s goal is to raise $1.3 million.

After the marathon, it might be time to kick those heels up at next month’s Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo happening March 3-22. Concert tickets — we’re talking Keith Urban, Willie Nelson, Dierks Bentley, Gwen Stefani, Khalid and many others — go quick, so make sure to purchase soon to reserve a seat to watch your favorite artist.

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