AUSTIN (KXAN) — The 2021 Ascension Seton Austin Half Marathon is officially set for April 25 following formal approval from the City of Austin on Saturday.
The event will go forward with a COVID-19 mitigation plan after months of planning with Austin Public Health and other city leaders, according to High Five Events.
A release says the mitigation plan will “allow for precautions to be in place that exceed COVID-19 guidelines set forth by the City of Austin.”
In November 2020, race organizers decided to postpone the 2021 marathon and transform it into a half marathon for the April 2021 date. The KXAN Simple Health 5K will also be run April 25. The 3M Half Marathon was supposed to happen in January but was canceled entirely.
“The 2021 Austin Half Marathon, an event that represents Austin’s commitment to health, has also shown a commitment to COVID-19 safety,” said Don Hastings, Austin Public Health Assistant Director for Environmental Services. “The Austin Marathon team has worked creatively over several months to re-invent this signature event in a way that emphasizes the health and safety of its participants and our community. To ensure we can safely reopen more of our events in the near future, it’s critical that Austinites continue to wear their masks, socially distance and wash their hands. And to keep the Austin Marathon especially safe in this pandemic year, we ask that friends and family of runners cheer their runners on virtually!”
High Five Events, which owns and produces the Austin Marathon, has the complete COVID-19 mitigation plan on its website. Here are some of the main aspects to the plan.
- Participation capacity reduced by 53%
- Density reduction by 88%
- Assigned start times extended over a longer time frame
- Enhanced sanitation
- Adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols
- Elimination of mass gathering activities
- Discourage spectators from attending to reduce COVID transmission risk
Online registration is currently open. Organizers say the event has already surpassed 57% of the capacity based on current registrations and is expected to sell out.