What To Know About the Austin Marathon
When the starting pistol sounds at the Austin Marathon and Half Marathon Sunday morning, nearly 15,000 runners will take off down South Congress Avenue – hydrating themselves while clogging streets in and west of downtown Austin.
Brazos and Colorado Streets between 2nd Street and 7th Street will close at 2 a.m. Sunday and reopen at various times throughout the day, depending on the block. This whole stretch will reopen by 6 p.m. Congress Avenue will shut down between 11th Street and 5th Street during the same time.
Here’s a full map of what to expect:
While the thousands of joggers sweat their way through the city, some have said they’re irritated with the website hired to register runners for the race.
The city of Austin doesn’t oversee the race – they just provide police patrol and traffic barriers – and instead the marathon is organized by Austin company Conley Sports LLC. Conley Sports has partnered with Dallas-based company Active Network since as far back as 2002, said co-owner Stacey Conley. Active runs Active.com, a race registration website.
The website’s had a rough go on Yelp, and it agreed to refund runners in Iowa in 2013 more than $230,000 after the Attorney General in that state sued the company for poor marketing practices. It’s a tale as old as the internet: a negative-option arrangement. Basically, when you sign up for the race, you have to also opt-out of an annual membership deal with Active.com, a membership that costs $64.95.
One runner complained to Conley Sports about it, though the president of the Austin Runners Club, Nicholas Shultz, said he hasn’t heard complaints from club runners. In an unrelated move, Conley Sports has said it will partner with a different registration company next year – imATHLETE – which Conley said offers runners more autonomy if they need to make any changes to their registration. The move is not because of dissatisfaction with Active.com, and when asked about the company’s nefarious history, Conley Sports said they’d never heard of it.
Sunday's forecast shows a high temperature of 68 and a low of 61, with a 20 percent chance of rain throughout the day and 75 percent humidity. The race will kick off at 7 a.m., with the half marathon course closing at 11 a.m. and the marathon course closing at 2 p.m.