While the days may feel more like summer right now, it’s not too early to start thinking ahead to the fall racing season. And for those Austin folks who love distance road running, fall means one thing—the Austin Fit Magazine Distance Challenge (AFMDC)!
Austin Fit Magazine is proud to be the title sponsor of the Distance Challenge again this year, as our 2011-2012 partnership with the Austin Runners Club (ARC), who manages the Distance Challenge, allowed AFM to cover some great athletes from October through February.
This year promises to be even more exciting. Vance Taylor, AFMDC managing director, announced that as of August 6, 200 runners had already signed up, putting 2012-2013 registrations well ahead of the previous season. Runners register for the AFMDC first and then sign up for the races that comprise the series separately. Registration for the AFMDC is $50 and $45 for current ARC members.
Last season, there were five races in the series; 2013 sees the addition of a sixth race with the return of the 30K (18.6 miles). It’s been five years since there was a 30K between the half and the whole marathon (longtime Austin runners may think back fondly on the RunTex 30K in Buda) and the distance is a great stepping stone for those working up to the full marathon distance of 26.2 at the LiveStrong Austin Marathon.
Another change to the lineup is that the date of the 3M Half Marathon has moved up two weeks. This fast half was run at the end of January 2012, only three weeks before the Austin LiveStrong Marathon. This schedule made recovery challenging, especially for those who were running their first 13.1-mile races. In 2013, runners can recover for two weeks before their next AFMDC race, the Rogue 30K or 10k.
As in last season, there will be both a half marathon track and a full marathon track. Those runners who wish to cap at the 13.1 half-marathon distance will run all six races but will register for the 10K option at the Rogue race in January and the half marathon at the LiveStrong Austin Marathon in February. Not sure if a marathon is in your future for February? Runners have until January 4, 2013, to declare whether they are in the half or the full track.
In addition to the new race, there will be two new award categories. One award will go to the fastest male and female runners who moved up from last year’s half track to the full 26.2 this season. Another award will recognize the most improved male and female runners to complete the AFMDC in the same track for both distances. Each award category seeks to recognize those who have returned to the series and progressed in their running.
All net proceeds will benefit The Trail Foundation, the nonprofit organization that is responsible for so much of the wonderful improvements on Austin’s beloved Roy and Ann Butler Hike and Bike Trail.
Watch AFM as we bring you news and results each month from the AFMDC. We’ll see you at the IBM Uptown Classic 10K!
What are you waiting for? The male and female winners of the Distance Challenge will be featured in AFM!