Posted by: kzaitzruns | February 19, 2014

Freescale Austin Half Marathon

This past weekend I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to travel to Austin, Texas to run the half marathon as part of my build-up to the Asics LA Marathon. While it’s always great to get a win in any race, this one was particularly memorable because I was able to give back.

While winning the race and setting a new course record was exciting to say the least, I got to meet a great non-profit group before the race, called Marathon High. Marathon High involves middle school and high school kids from different schools in the Austin area. It provides the opportunity for kids to get into the sport of running and start out by running 5k’s and building up to the marathon. These kids, often don’t have the opportunity to run at their school and this introduces running into their lives at a very young age. It is a great teaching tool for other areas of their life, like healthy eating, the importance of exercise and goal setting. This is very important, especially this day in age, when childhood obesity is becoming more of the norm.

I was honored to be invited to talk to a dozen of the kids and answer any questions they had about running, marathons, nutrition, you name it… any topic was open to discussion. Come race day there were 89 kids competing, this was up from last year, the inaugural year, from about 29 kids. I think it is so important as a professional runner to be out in the community talking with the next generation of runners. Whether they compete in college, run professionally or just keep running in their lives as a form of exercise, they are the future of the sport. Getting to share my love and knowledge of the sport I hold so dear, is so fulfilling. I wish more races involved athletes in their community. I know there are many that do, but more should follow in Austin’s footsteps.

Lastly, I want to thank all the volunteers, employees of Conley Sports, and all the sponsors who made the race possible. A special thank you to the main sponsor Freescale. Without the sponsors, there would not have been the financial support for an elite field. It was the first time in five years that Austin had an elite field and a prize purse. I commend Conley Sports for bringing that back to their race.

It was a wonderful race and a great city!

 

Until next time…

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Q & A with the Marathon High kids in front of Rogue Sports.

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Group picture!

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Post-race with Nancy (a dear family friend)!

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Responses

  1. Hey Kristen, CONGRATULATIONS on winning the Austin half marathon and for setting a new course record!!! That is way awesome! Very cool to be able to read about it. Not only should you be proud of your your athletic achievements that weekend but your humanitarian accomplishments as well.

    That is so inspiring to hear that you were excited and willing to take the time to get up in front of so many young kids and try to inflict your passion for your sport upon them and give them such positive advice. In this day and age, many athletes are selfish and all about themselves…so you make me very proud that you’re truly an exception to this and an athlete that people will continue to look up to and admire.

    Sure sounds like you’ve really got your groove on so go get em in the upcoming LA Marathon. I know you’ll keep focused and run hard and you’ll always be a winner in my book! Good luck and please tell Justin I said hello!

    Love,

    Biff

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    • Thanks Biff! I feel very blessed to do what I love and so I feel it is my duty to give back to the sport in any way I can. I felt honored to be invited to talk with these kids. Hope you are doing well & appreciate all your support & love! Maybe you can visit CO soon?!? Thanks for reaching out, your support means the world to me! Kristen

  2. Nice! Proud of ya!

    Date: Wed, 19 Feb 2014 19:04:34 +0000 To: shermanck@hotmail.com


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