Will Nation breaks the tape at the 2022 3M Half

The 3M Half-Marathon kicked off Central Texas’ 2022 racing season in style, with runners from all over the country setting PRs on the fast point-to-point downhill course. Austin elites Will Nation and Sarah Jackson notched solid victories, besting a field of some 6,000 runners.

Two runners who went head-to-head at 3M and will likely match up again at the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon are Nation and Samuel Doud. The pair ran together at 3M through eight miles, when Nation pulled away, averaging 4:56 a mile to break the tape in 1:04:36. He’s looking sharp for the Austin Marathon—he set a PR of 2:13:24 in December at the California International Marathon. Nation, who won 3M at the tail end of a 110-mile training week, may very well continue his winning ways at the upcoming Austin Marathon. “The 3M Half was a good race effort ahead of the marathon, because it’s really kind of a short window between now and then,” he said. “I’d love to win the hometown marathon.”

Doud, who ran for American University in Washington, DC., was coming off of a 115-mile marathon training week and was perfectly happy with his 1:05:40 second place at 3M. “I’ll be running the Austin Marathon on February 20, and I’m hoping for an Olympic qualifying time,” he said.

Word has it that Joe Whelan, who won both 3M and the Austin Marathon in 2018, is focused and ready for the marathon. Whelan, a former Syracuse University cross-country standout, ran in the 2020 Olympic Trials marathon with a qualifying time of 2:13:39 fourth-place finish at Grandma’s Marathon in 2019. He also won the 2019 Buffalo Marathon in 2:22.04.

Race organizer High Five Events announced the return of the elite athlete program along with $15,000 in prize money split evenly between men’s and women’s divisions. To be accepted into the Elite Athlete Program, athletes must meet the following standards three years before Feb. 20, 2022: male: 2:24 (full) or 1:07 (half); and female: 2:50 (full) or 1:17 (half).

The men’s and women’s elite list is still shaping up for the 2022 Austin Marathon, so stay tuned to this blog.

Upcoming Races: Saturday, February 12 at 8:00, Cupid’s Chase 5K, San Gabriel Park, Georgetown. Saturday, February 12 at 8:00, Love the Run You’re With 5K at Gruene Hall, New Braunfels. Sunday, Sunday, February 20 at 7:00 a.m., Ascension Seton Austin Marathon & Half Marathon, downtown Austin.