The 2015 Austin Marathon and Half Marathon attracted about 15,000 runners on Sunday morning. Bill and I watched as everyone lined up on Congress Avenue, right in front of the newly-opened JW Marriott hotel.
The race started promptly at 7 AM, preceeded by the National Anthem and brief remarks from our new mayor, Steve Adler. The elite runners were grouped at the front and went speeding by us. There were so many participants that it took a full 15 minutes for everyone to pass the starting line.
After meandering six miles through South Austin, the runners came back across the First Street Bridge. I watched from the pedestrian bridge as the men’s and women’s leaders headed west on Cesar Chavez. I also stopped to listen to one of the many musical groups that were performing along the route.
The Marathon and Half Marathon routes split after Mile 10, and the Marathon route looped another 16 miles through north Austin. Both routes ended on Congress Avenue, just south of the State Capitol grounds. I walked up there, but just missed seeing the winners of the Half Marathon come across the finish line.
As I waited to see some friends complete the Half, I noticed a lone runner headed to the Marathon finish line. At the time, I wondered about this guy (in the white shirt, coming down the hill, in the photo below), since no other runners appeared for another 15 minutes. I later learned that was the men’s Austin Marathon winner, Betram Keter. His winning time of 2:16:20 was an impressive 15 minutes ahead of the second place finisher.
I missed all the drama at the end of the women’s Marathon when one of the elite women literally crawled across the finish line to finish in third place. 2015 will certainly be an Austin Marathon to remember!
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