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Armadillo 5K announcement coincides with 3M Half Marathon’s July 30th price increase

Earlier this month, 3M Half Marathon presented by Under Armour and Ascension Seton Austin Marathon presented by Under Armour created the Run Austin Virtual Series. The 6-event series began with the Wildflower Mile. It will continue with the Armadillo 5K, which launches on Tuesday, August 4th. Registration for all six events is free to participants of the 3M Half Marathon or the Austin Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5K. Registration for the 2021 3M Half Marathon, currently at $99, will increase tonight, July 30th at 11:59 p.m. CST.

“I’m loving the Run Austin Virtual Series because I can set monthly goals and feel confident in each increase in distance as we make our way through training for the 3M Half Marathon,” said Kat Green, 2021 3M Half Marathon Ambassador. “It’s motivating knowing others are out there training and running the same virtual races as me and I just might see them on the course in January!”

Run Austin Virtual Series leads up to 3M Half Marathon

August features the Armadillo 5K, the second event in the 6-event Run Austin Virtual Series. The series will continue through December. The remaining four virtual runs will increase in distance each month, finishing with a 10-miler. The virtual series was created to provide monthly milestones for 3M Half Marathon registrants. The goal is to keep everyone motivated in their journey to the start line. Participants who register after previously released events will have the opportunity to complete those events.

“I’ve had to do more solo running this year as I train for my 5th 3M Half Marathon,” said Scott Firth, 2021 3M Half Marathon Ambassador. “It’s great to have the Run Austin Virtual Series provide milestones along the way, maintain my motivation, and keep things fun!”

Participants of the Run Austin Virtual Series will receive themed, downloadable personalized bibs, digital finisher medals, and finisher certificates. Participants will also enjoy fun extras like an online finisher photo booth and virtual reality filters for social media. Registration is open for each of the events for $18. Free entry to the entire six-event series, a $108 value, is available to participants of the 2021 3M Half Marathon or the 2021 Austin Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5K. Limited-edition merchandise customized for each event is available for purchase.

The 3M Half Marathon boasts one of the fastest 13.1-mile courses in the country. It will celebrate its 27th year running on January 17, 2021. Runners will enjoy a point-to-point course with mostly downhill running. The 13.1-mile course showcases some of Austin’s finest locations. Participants start in north Austin and finish near the Texas State Capitol. Many participants set their 13.1-mile PR because of the 300’ net elevation drop.

In selecting Central Texas Food Bank, 3M Foundation continues support of Austin organizations with a significant community impact

3M Foundation selects the Central Texas Food Bank as the beneficiary of the 2021 3M Half Marathon presented by Under Armour. This grant will allow the Central Texas Food Bank to continue its mission of nourishing hungry people and leading the community in the fight against hunger. 3M Foundation continues its support of Austin organizations that positively impact the local community. The 27th annual 3M Half Marathon will take place on Sunday, January 17, 2021, in Austin, Texas.

Image of Central Texas Food Bank worker in a mask and hi-vis vest holding a sign saying, "Don't worry, we got you." The Central Texas Food Bank is the beneficiary of the 2021 3M Half Marathon.

“3M is playing a unique and critical role in the fight against COVID-19 and it’s a responsibility we take seriously. Part of that is to assist with alleviating hunger and providing basic needs and support for vulnerable populations. Choosing the Central Texas Food Bank as the beneficiary of the 2021 3M Half Marathon is the perfect match for how we want to help here in Central Texas,” said Stacey Claessens, Community Relations Manager of 3M Foundation. “It supports our initiative to invest in the most critical local needs of our hometown operating communities and especially during these challenging times.”

Supporting Central Texas

The Central Texas Food Bank is one of the leaders of hunger relief. They help nearly 50,000 people each week through a network of approximately 300 Partner Agencies and mobile food pantries. Though headquartered in Austin, they serve 21 counties in Central Texas. That equals an area about twice the size of Massachusetts. In addition to the grant, their staff will have a booth at the expo. They will also support an aid station on race day. While registering online for the 3M Half Marathon, participants have the opportunity to further support the Central Texas Food Bank and add an additional donation.

“We’re thrilled to be named as beneficiary of the 2021 3M Half Marathon,” said Mark Jackson, Chief Development Officer of the Central Texas Food Bank. “Responding to the unprecedented need created by the COVID-19 pandemic has stretched our resources to the limit. Every dollar donated will help us in our ongoing mission of providing nutritious food for our neighbors in need.”

The 3M Half Marathon boasts one of the fastest 13.1-mile courses in the country. It will celebrate its 27th year running in 2021. Runners will enjoy a point-to-point course with mostly downhill running. The 13.1-mile course showcases some of Austin’s finest locations. Participants start in north Austin and finish near the Texas State Capitol. Many participants set their 13.1-mile PR because of the 300’ net elevation drop. Participants can register on the website.

Running 13.1 miles is an impressive feat, it’s not just a half marathon

Every year thousands of participants chase their half marathon PR at 3M Half Marathon. Whether you earn a new PR or not, you’ve still completed a magnificent achievement. Crossing the finish line marks the completion of 13.1 miles, not just a half marathon. High Five Events’ Emily Stevens tells her story of completing 13.1 miles and achieving her goal.

Have to run marathons

When I started investing in my running hobby, by paying to be coached, I thought the only way to justify spending the money was if I ran marathons. For two years I ran marathons and was completely dedicated to a strict weekly running schedule. Fortunately, I had the luxury to plan my life around that schedule. I joined a running group and set mileage and speed goals with my coach every week. Marathons were my focus and I had no interest in “just halves.” I was committed 100% and my family fully supported me. 

In year two I had some upper thigh pain while running, but barreled through. I kept stretching, rolling, icing, heating, sports massage, and cryogenics. Injury didn’t fit into my plans of training for more marathons. Unbeknownst to me, my last marathon was to be on January 13, 2013. The race was super fun for the first 15 miles. The rest was so increasingly painful, it was like nothing I had ever experienced before or since, and I’ve birthed a child! I did finish, but I was barely walking.

Injury opens a new door

It turns out that the vast amount of miles I had run to prepare for what would be my final marathon caused a stress reaction in the neck of my left femur. Running was trying to chip away at my bone. The day after that marathon I was diagnosed and prescribed crutches to use for 10 weeks. I was told that if, after I healed, I continued running that amount of mileage I could end up needing plates in my thigh bone to hold it together. The news was devastating, but more so it was really scary!  Running marathons was my pride and joy. 

As my leg was healing, I was forced to get inside my head and re-evaluate things. I was anxious to get back to running, but I was not willing to destroy my leg. By the time I could run again I was so thankful to be able to run for five minutes, 10 minutes, 30 minutes. The first time I ran a full mile I actually teared up. I was slow and steady and if I ever felt the slightest twinge I quit. Instead of being upset, I commended myself for trying and listening to my body. Once I was able to run four or five miles I decided it was time to set a spectacular goal. I was going to run a half marathon. I was more excited to achieve that goal than any of the marathons I ran.

Running 13.1 miles, not just a half marathon

Six months later I ran a half marathon. It was the most rewarding race of my life. I ran 13.1 miles. I RAN A HALF MARATHON. 

There is never a reason to denigrate running 13.1 miles. It’s not just a half. It’s in a category that has nothing to do with a full marathon. A half is 21.1 kilometers and takes more than 30,000 steps. That’s three times the daily recommended amount for exercise. A half marathon is an excellent goal and a sweet achievement!