I last ran the Austin Marathon in 2000, when it was all downhill. Since then, the route has become a bit more picturesque, but the first half is mostly uphill.
The Expo, where various vendors display their wares and you pick up your bib, T-shirt, and timing chip, was held Friday and Saturday at the Palmer Events Center (we got there early, before most of the crowds had arrived):
|The race T-shirt
The start and the finish line were on opposite sides of the Capitol:
|Finish line at 10th and Congress
|Gathering at 15th street for the start
The race was held in conjunction with a half marathon and a 5k. (Typically, 2/3 of the participants are there for the half). This is also my first marathon with a cell phone camera, so I snapped a couple pictures along the way:
|Early in the race, looking south on Congress at Riverside
|Mark Oakes (husband of author Cory Oakes)
|Around mile 20
|After the race
|After the race, with finisher's medal!
The race was very well organized and a lot of fun. Because it's through the neighborhoods, there were a lot of spectators sitting out on their lawns and cheering (Gillian Fedfearn, a Macmillan book rep, was among them!).
Thanks to all the organizers and sponsors and volunteers! The music and bands along the way were terrific (I particularly liked the Japanese drum group), and the Gatorade and water were plentiful.
So who's going to do the race with me next year?