2011 Livestrong Austin marathon / half marathon

Course Review

Apr 3, 2012
Reviewed By: Chaserwilliams


Date Reviewed: 02/20/2011
Review Type: Race
Barefoot Friendliness: 1 Excellent

Austin, Tx
S. Congress
Austin, TX
See map: Google Maps
OK, this is my first review, so please BARE with me (lol).

I ran the Livestrong Half Marathon this morning and I wasnt too sure what to expect as far as running surfaces were concerned going into the event. I knew the course was supposed to be very hilly this year, which was a major obstacle for me since the only "hills" I have to train on are overpasses. So with those 2 issues my wife and I decided to drive the course the night before to see what I was up against. Glad we did!

Ok, so if your reading this, you probablly have one burning question. Is the course barefoot friendly? YES! Now I only did the half, but there were no sections on the course that I had wished I had been wearing Vibrams or Huaraches or anything like that. The roads are nice asphalt that have been smoothed out by traffic, the sidewalks are cement but I tried to stay mainly on the roads. Ive only been running BF for 4 months now, and I had no issues and I did see another BFer who said he felt great as well.

Now, onto the course. This was the 20th annual Austin marathon, and the 17th different course. So what you read here might not apply to future courses. Because of this I will only give a breif description as they say there have only been minor / slight changes to the courses every year. You start off on the noth side of the capital and looped around the east side of the capital and then proceeded to head south for roughly 5 miles, ALL OF WHICH IS UPHILL. theres about 300 feet worth of elevation gain over this period, which isnt that bad running. I really couldnt tell we were going uphill untill it would level out for an intersection. when you reach the very top of this long and drawn out climb you hook a right and head west to a road that runs parallel to the first road, and you guessed it, its down hill for roughly 3 miles. For the next 6-6.5 miles its nice gently rolling hills on the same asphalt roads and you get to run through the "Yellow Mile" which consists of almost a mile of roads that have been colored with inspirational words with yellow sidewalk chalk, and all of the "Livestrong" team cheering you on. This was pretty cool, and motivational. Which was great because as soon as you got through that you come to what I referred to as the "Big Nasty." This was a hill that rose 80 feet at what seemed like a 89 degree angle... Ok, in all honesty, its really like running up the stairwell of an 8 story building, but after 11.5 miles it might as well have been a line of people beating you in the legs with baseball bats. It was tough. Luckily the rest of the hills after this felt like a walk (or run) in the park. You finished the race on the south side of the capital building and then get to walk through god knows what to get your foods, water, and tech shirt (which was very nice!). Be carefull of bananna peels, yuck!

I found the race to be very challenging as far as the course went. The surfaces were quite ideal for going BF. I had a great time, the expo was awesome, the swag was even more awesome! Best of all, I set a PR!!! Ok, so it was a guaranteed PR being as how it was my first half... but it was a PR none the less...

Hope anyone considering the Austin Livestrong marathon / half marathon found this to be helpfull. If you have any further questions please feel free to comment with them below and I will try to get back with you before its help again a year from today.