For those of you wondering if the Austin Distance Challenge is on for 2021, the answer is a resounding yes. In fact the first two events—the Casa Superhero 5K, and the Daisy 5K/10K have already taken place. The Daisy 5K/10K, which has been relocated to southwest Austin (next to Doc’s Backyard restaurant) took place last weekend (October 24). Matthew Persick and Jenna Jurica won the 10K in 31:59 and 38:51 respectively. Lucas Manring took the 5K in 15:43, while Brittany Truitt won the women’s race in 17:00. Full results here.
Next up is the Run for the Water 10 miler, set for Sunday, November 7 at 7:00 a.m. This well-known Austin favorite is part of Gilbert Tuhabonye’s contribution to Austin, and regularly attracts elite runners to its challenging course, covering part of the well-known scenic loop. The good news is that the last three miles are a steady downhill to the finish.
The Decker Challenge Half Marathon, set for Sunday, December 12 at 7:00 a.m. is one of Austin’s oldest races. It’s also one of the toughest races anywhere in Texas. Held out at Decker Lake (by the Expo Center), its relentless hills are the stuff of legends, and it’s a great marathon build-up workout.
While Decker is full of long climbs, The 3M Half Marathon, set for Sunday, January 23 at 7:30 a.m. is well known for its point-to-point downhill course, starting north at Gateway Center, and finishing downtown a stone’s throw from the Capitol. Runners from all over the country seek it out in the hopes of setting PRs, and it always feature an elite field.
The Distance Challenge was originally created to serve as a core part of marathon training, so it’s only fitting that its penultimate event is the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon, set for February 20 at 7:00 a.m. With its iconic start and finish a half-mile in front of the Capitol, it features a grand tour of Austin, climbing south up to Ben White Blvd. and then heading north up Lake Austin Blvd. to Speedway, it hits its highest point after 16 miles on 45th Street, as the course then heads back downtown with some easier miles.
All of the races in the Distance Challenge are fixtures on the Austin race calendar, and are high-quality, well-run events.
Upcoming Races: Saturday, November 6 at 8:00 a.m., the Austin Rattler 20/40/60 Miler trail runs at Reveille Peak Ranch. Saturday, November 6 at 8:00 a.m., the Wurst 5 Mile Run, at Landa Park in New Braunfels. Sunday, November 7 at 7:00 a.m. Run for the Water 10 miler (see above).