Jan 24, 2004
News 8 Austin
If you still have some holiday pounds to shed or are planning on running the Motorola Marathon, you might want to first try the 3M Half-Marathon.
Anyone who would like to run in the marathon or volunteer, you need to register by either calling (512) 984-5990 or log on to 3M Half Marathon and Relay.
News 8 Austin's Paul Brown spoke with a participant Piper Becker and organizer Matt Fagan of the 3M race to find out more about this weekend's run.
Q: How long is the course?
Fagan:Well, a half marathon is 13.1 miles and our course runs from the Arboretum area, all the way down to Central Austin, it finishes at House Park. It's similar to previous years' courses, but we've changed it, made it faster, put more straight-aways into it, eliminated some turns.
Q: How does the relay component work?
Fagan: That's right. There's a relay component to this and it breaks up at about 6.1 miles. Hand off is at Northwest District Park at Shoal Creek Boulevard and the second half, or the second leg rather, is about 7 miles.
Q: You overcame multiple sclerosis and since then you've run in seven 3M races. Why you're so dedicated to this race?
Becker: Well, for several reasons: One, I love that it is a fast course. That's awesome 'cause it's nice and easy, it's all downhill. I joke around just saying, 'I just pick up my legs and I'll just fly down.' And before I got diagnosed, I had worked my way up to 12 miles and when I got infected I was severely disabled and it took me 22 months before I could run this half marathon. And it was about 10 months before I could run 30 minutes. It took me a very long time. And so I had worked my way up to wanting to run more than I ever did before to be stronger than I had ever been before and it was a great goal, so that way it was something to achieve. Now that's what it means to me, it's about survival, it's about persevering and just really pushing yourself and it's just like a great course.
Q: How many runners do you expect to enter this year?
Fagan: In year one, we had a little over 1,300 runners and this year we're expecting close to 4,000.
Q: What can new runners expect on this course?
Becker: Well, it is very downhill, which is awesome. There's maybe a couple of little uphills, but a lot of it is just down through beautiful parts of Austin, which is great. There's a lot of energy, people are always – there's music, in one of the places there's bagpipes. I always enjoy that, I always look forward to bagpipe. I don't know if it's still over the Hancock Bridge, but … it's inspiration as you go over this little hill, the bagpipe. So, it's just great, just fabulous energy.
Q: What event is there for kids?
Fagan: That's right. There is a kids' fun run. It's a non-competitive run for kids 10 and under at House Park field. This is the first that we've had it go up to 10 years old. It's about a quarter-mile circuit. And we're gonna run two or three heats and there's also things for kids to do – clowns and face painters and things like that, so we expect it to be pretty fun.
Q: Can people still register for the race?
Fagan: Still plenty of time to register, just go to RunTex on
Riverside today or tomorrow and you can get in, you or your kids.
© Copyright 2004, TWEAN News Channel of Austin, L.P. d.b.a. News 8 Austin