AFMDC Comes to a Close: What’s Next?

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How better to celebrate finishing the Austin Fit Magazine Distance Challenge (AFMDC) than with a party? It’s a chance to see all of those runners in “real clothes” minus sweat and Body Glide. The Austin Runners Club (ARC) is hosting an awards dinner on March 9 for those who completed the challenge. The location and specific details will be announced on the ARC’s website,austindistancechallenge.com. Each finisher in both tracks (full and half) will receive a custom-printed finisher’s jacket and a completion certificate. In addition, trophies will be awarded to the overall leaders, Masters leaders, and top age group finishers. Austin Fit Magazine will be there to take photos, which will be printed in the April issue along with the final standings.

For some, the Austin LiveStrong Marathon marks the end of running’s distance season. After a well-deserved rest, what’s next? Jack & Adam’s Bicycles has the answer for many: a triathlon (actually, a whole series of triathlons—the Texas Tri Series).

Similar in concept to the AFMDC, there are seven races (plus one “extra,” the new Republic of Texas Triathlon in Corpus Christi, April 14-15). Like the AFMDC, athletes sign up for each event individually. But with the Texas Tri Series, volunteering counts toward completion of the series. With that in mind, athletes can pick distances (everything from a super sprint to a Half Ironman) and a schedule to race and/or help. The Republic of Texas Triathlon can act as a stand-in for any of the races.

It’s possible to actually volunteer for all the races and complete the series. However, only finish results will be presented in the standings. Those athletes who would like to see how they stack up to the competition need to register for and participate in events at the longest distance offered (for example: while there is both an Olympic and sprint distance at TriRock Austin, the competitive triathlete must register for the Olympic event). That means the series ends with a Half Ironman at the Kerrville Triathlon Festival on September 30 for those who opt to be listed in the competitive standings.

Many runners find that a change in activities helps them come back to running as stronger, better athletes. Swimming can loosen tight runner muscles and build better lung capacity; cycling provides a way to work on leg speed and foot turn-over; and running less may be refreshing after the miles of marathon training.

The Republic of Texas Triathlon will be a world-class event. Dan Carroll, of High Five Events, the Austin-based multi-sport event production company behind the new tri, said that “Corpus Christi offers a venue with fantastic spectator opportunities, and the city’s infrastructure is ideal for hosting a large triathlon.” There’s a sprint distance for those who are new to the sport or fond of short distance events. More seasoned triathletes can choose between Olympic and the Half Ironman. For the families, there are area attractions in beautiful Corpus Christi and the chance to see their favorite athletes in action.

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