AUSTIN (KXAN) – Runners get ready to lace up your running shoes for the 27th annual Austin Marathon.
What started out with 605 runners for the inaugural 1992 Austin Marathon has grown tremendously. This year, about 15,000 people from around the world will take on the 26.2 miles Sunday morning. This year, a treat for those participating: A new course.
The last time organizers switched up the route in any major way was in 2007.
“It was more north than it is this year,” said William Dyson, marathon communications manager.
The course sticks to a more centralized location of the city staying within a 4-5 mile radius from downtown no matter if you’re running in the south, north, west or east part of town. For the first time in 15 years, about 7 miles focuses on featuring east Austin taking runners through Chicon Street to the farthest point on East Fifth Street followed by the final stretch through East Cesar Chavez and closing through East Sixth Street and Red River Street before ending at the Texas State Capitol.
Runners Volma Overton III and Steve Boone say they’re ready.
“You just have to take that first step,” said Overton.
For Boone, you might even think it’s a walk in the park. The 68-year-old has been tackling on the 26.2 miles every year since the race kicked off in ’92.
“It’s mostly a mental game,” said Booner. “It’s not physical, your body will do anything.”
Not only will Sunday mark his 27th consecutive Austin marathon, but his 703 completed marathon overall. That’s nearly 18,500 miles ran in the past 29 years.
“Just had someone a minute ago say, ‘You’re the craziest people I know,'” he said laughing.
The race not only brings in thousands of runners from all over the world, but organizers with the marathon are expecting 100,000 spectators to the city.
“This race brings in about 35 million dollars,” said Mayor Steve Adler.
However, those who may not be participating in the race need to pay close attention while on the road as there will be several road closures impacting commutes across the city.
The city will shut down all roads along the course by 6 a.m. on race day to ensure the course is ready for runners.Route:
The event will start at the Ann Richards Bridge at 7 a.m. before heading south to Ben White Boulevard – shutting down Congress Avenue and South First Street in the process. Those in the area may want to consider Lamar Boulevard as an alternate route.
After completing the trek south, runners will loop around to head north, hitting Cesar Chavez and taking that road into west Austin. Major roads like Enfield and Lake Austin Boulevard will be closed through Clarksville and Tarrytown. The course will stay on 15th Street before taking over the University of Texas’ campus. Needless to say, if you’ll be anywhere around UT or Hyde Park on the day of the marathon, plan ahead. Guadalupe Street will be closed from 15th Street up to 45th Street.
The new course abandons Great Northern Boulevard but instead heads up Duval Road and Dean Keeton into east Austin. Runners will make their way down Fifth Street to Shady Lane and back onto East Cesar Chavez Street.
Use MoPac, Lamar Boulevard and Interstate 35 to get around since these roads are unobstructed for northbound and southbound travel. East Ben White Boulevard (US 290) and Farm to Market 2222 (Koenig Lane) will also be open east and westbound. Also, 45th Street will be open westbound between Red River & Guadalupe.
Park strategically: If your trip starts or ends near a section of the course, sometimes the best option may be to park on the more accessible side of the course and walk.
And for those hoping to try and race next year, Boone had this to say, “You can do anything you think you can do and if you think you can’t you are dead right.”