Is the new Austin marathon course tougher? Austin pros weigh in

More on that new marathon course, from the pros…

Runners participate in the Austin Marathon and Half-marathon presented by NXP Feb. 19. 02/19/17 Tom McCarthy Jr. for AMERICAN-STATESMAN

High Five Events, which puts on the Austin Marathon and Half Marathon, sent out a newsletter this morning featuring a review of the new marathon course by two local pros – Erik Stanley and David Fuentes.

RELATED: Is new marathon course easier? Not so fast, runners say

Stanley and Fuentes know their way around a race course. Stanley won the 2015 Statesman Cap10K and the 2017 3M Half Marathon; Fuentes won the 2015 Austin Half Marathon. They met up in mid-September to test their legs on the second half of the new route.

The new course eliminates the dreaded hills on Exposition Boulevard, but most runners believe the new route isn’t necessarily easier. Those west side hills have been replaced by equally daunting hills, including some on Enfield Road and Dean Keeton Street, and a steep section on 11th Street just before the finish.

The good news? The course takes runners into East Austin, where it hasn’t ventured in more than a decade. It also gives them an up-close view of the University of Texas campus, some cool Austin murals, the shade-lined streets of the Hyde Park neighborhood and the funky vibe of Cesar Chavez Street.

New scenery helps shake the cobwebs from your runner’s brain every now and then, don’t you think?

Stanley and Fuentes had good things to say – and offer some tips for avoiding a marathon meltdown come race day on Feb. 18. The Austin Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K drew about 17,000 runners last year.

To read their full report, go here.


Author: Pam LeBlanc

Pam LeBlanc writes about fitness and travel for the Austin American-Statesman. She has worked for the Statesman since 1998 and written her weekly fitness column, Fit City, since 2004.

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