Will Christian, currently serving in the Navy reserves, has a 2:19:13 PR and was third (2:24:23) at the Marine Corps Marathon in October.

He placed third in 2016, second in 2017, and third again in 2018. Could this be Daniel Bishop’s year to win the Austin Marathon? Last year’s third place 2:26:27 was his best time in Austin, so maybe the fourth time will be the charm! But he’ll need to hold off a handful of other elites that are currently entered.

Jameson Mora – (2020 Olympic Trials Marathon Qualifier) boasts a 2:15:44 he ran at the 2013 Grandma’s Marathon, while Will Christian, currently serving in the Navy reserves, has a 2:19:13 PR and was third (2:24:23) at the Marine Corps Marathon in October. Michael Ellenberger comes in at 2:33:03, a time he set at the 2017 Boston Marathon. Keep in mind that the 2017 event was won by Joe Thorne in 02:32:05 and Joe Whelan won the men’s title last year in 2:21:37. Cole Toepfer, a former University of Minnesota middle distance runner has a half-marathon best of  1:12,:23 and is looking to move up to the big 26.2.

Keep your eyes on San Antonio’s fast school teacher Anita Perez, who clocked a 2:39:33 last June at Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials. The women’s field also welcomes Beth Marzigliano, who clocked a 2:58:58 for third place in the 2017 Run for the Red Marathon in Pennsylvania, along with Nadia Tamby, who improved on her fourth place 3:10:30 at the 2017 Austin Marathon with a 3:00:56 at the LA Marathon. Last year’s winner was Allison Macsas, who posted a 2:43:11.

The Elite Athlete Program is limited to 10 men and 10 women for the Austin Marathon, and a total prize purse of $26,000 is up for grabs: $15,000 for the marathon. The prize money is divided equally between men and women as follows:1st place – $3000: 2nd – $2250; 3rd – $1200; 4th – $675; and 5th – $375. The rest of the purse includes $5,000 for the half marathon, and $6,000 for the Manzano Mile presented by Dole. Men (2:19) and women (2:45) hitting the Olympic trial times during the marathon get $100 bonus $100.

The Austin Marathon, set for February 17, 2019, is the final race in the Austin Distance Challenge starts and finishes at 2nd & Congress, and though it has a reputation as a challenging course, PRs have definitely been set there. Officially begun in 1992 with only 605 runners, it’s now the 25th largest marathon in the country, with about 17,000 runners expected for the combined events, which include the half marathon and the Manzano Mile.

Upcoming Races: Thursday (Thanksgiving), November 22 at 9:30 a.m., the ThunderCloud Subs Turkey Trot Five Miler at the Long Center in downtown Austin. Saturday, December 1 at 8:00 a.m., Jingle Bell Run 5K at the Hill Country Galleria 12700 Hill Country Blvd Bee Cave, TX