Race Recap: Marathon #18, Austin, TX: Austin Marathon

Things I learned while visiting Austin:

  • People in Texas are proud of where they are from. And they all probably know how to use guns.
  • Bar hopping on 6th street is a something that should go on everyone’s travel bucket list.
  • If you walk more than 10 minutes and haven’t seen a guitar, a star, or a Texas state flag, you’re not in Texas anymore.
  • The Austin Marathon people put on a great race.
  • The volunteers, spectators, and citizens in Austin are friendly, funny, and amazing.
  • I need to brush up on my ski-ball skills.

Watching the sun rise from the American Airlines terminal at O’Hare put me at an early start for my first time ever visiting the state of Texas. And, miracle of all miracles, a flight actually left the city of Chicago on time (early, even!) during this year’s winter season (the way back is a different story, but 1 out of 2 aint bad). I left Chicago in several layers and wearing a giant puffy coat to arrive in Austin pleasantly warm and in need of air conditioning in the hotel room. Talk about a welcome break from all this crap.

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Later that evening we were on to check out 6th street which was a laid back area full of fun places to bar hop down. Joking around with a bouncer from East Texas (apparently they all know how to shoot guns and eat hay) (or was it grass?) (both?) (also, “never mess with anyone from Texas”), checked out a ton of places, fulfilled my request addiction for pizza, got in a couple of games of ski-ball, and headed back to the hotel once the bars seemed to be overcrowded with barely-turned-21-year-olds.

The next day we made a quick stop at the expo, before moving on to check out the Texas State Capitol building, and then re-visited 6th street in the daylight. All too soon it was time to head back to the hotel to get ready for the marathon.

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I know y’all are shocked to know I’m still not a morning person, but we managed to make it to the start around 5:30 a.m before the race start of 7:00 a.m.

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So here’s the thing about the course – the scenery? Not that great for a majority of the run, to be honest. But Austin? A really cool town with a lot of cool people in it. Some of the funniest and friendliest spectators, with the best signs, the most high fives, and a ton of bands along the course. I found myself cracking up a majority of the run, feeling good, and excited for the finish.

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Grateful to have the best marathon supporter waiting at the end, and hitting my time goal of finishing under 6:30, I finally finished marathon #18 in state #18 before heading out for margaritas and guacamole and then on to some more bars on Rainy Street. :)

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Next up, Pittsburgh, PA!

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