Livestrong Marathon Organizers See Little Effect From Armstrong Scandal (Updated)
Update: Omar Martinez, 27, was the overall winner at this year's Austin Marathon. He finished the 26.2 miles in just over 2 hours and 35 minutes. Kyle Smith, 26, was the fastest finisher from Austin. He came in 4th place overall.
Thirty-one year old Mariko Neveu of Austin took first place among the women. She finished in just over 2 hours and 55 minutes.
You can check your own, your friend's, or any other competitor's time at the Austin Marathon results page.
And if you are inspired to participate in next year's full or half marathon, the date has already been set. Mark your calendars for Feb. 16, 2014.
Original Story (Feb. 15, 2:30 p.m.): An estimated 20,000 runners are expected to participate in the Livestrong Austin Marathon this Sunday.
The race will start at 16th Street and Congress Avenue and take runners through some of Austin's beautiful and historic neighborhoods from the Texas Capitol to South Congress, Lady Bird Lake, West Enfield, Rosewood, Shoal Creek, Allandale, Hyde Park and the University of Texas campus.
An estimated three-quarters of participants are expected to finish the 26.2-mile marathon and the 13.1-mile half-marathon portions of the race – one of the highest finish rates in all Texas marathons.
The Livestrong Foundation has been the annual race’s title sponsor since 2011. If you’re wondering if the sponsor’s founder and former chairman, Lance Armstrong, has had any negative effect on the event – it hasn’t, at least not a noticeable one.
“Our focus, of course, is on the race experience," said Austin Marathon spokesman Jeff Hahn. "What is it that runners are really going to be focused on? While they express their opinions on all kind of issues, their real focus is on what is my race experience going to be like?”
Hahn suggests that people base their decision to participate more on the weather forecast than anything else.
“They look at the forecast and make their last-minute determination," Hahn said. "If they’re feeling good, then they’ll come on. So we’re expecting to hit our range exactly where we want to be in terms of race registrations. And that’s really the most important measure of how things are going with the race.”
“Many of them come from out of town and they could choose any of four thousand marathons and half marathons around the country, but they are looking for a unique Austin experience and we try very to deliver that. Sponsors are certainly a part of that, but they are only one dimension of the entire experience.”
Asked if whether Livestrong will be considered an appropriate sponsor in the future, Hahn says that’s a conversation that could happen Monday morning when planning for next year's race begins.
The race starts this Sunday, February 17, 2013 at 7:00am on Congress Avenue & 16th Street and will end at 3:00pm on Congress Avenue & 10th Street.