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Allie Kieffer makes quick work for her 3M Half Marathon win, while Joseph Gray wins a close one

World-class runner Allie Kieffer keeps a low racing profile here in Austin, but when she does race, she wins.

A last-minute entry in this year's 3M Half Marathon, Kieffer took advantage of ideal running conditions Sunday morning — mid-40s and clear — to add another victory to her Austin racing résumé, while Joseph Gray, a World Mountain Running champion, topped the men’s field.

Even though Kieffer has a perfect record in Austin, Sunday's 3M win was somewhat of a redemption for her. Running in the highly competitive Barron Collier Companies Naples Half Marathon last week in Florida, she went off course, losing her lead and placing fourth.

“I took a wrong turn at the Naples Half, so I couldn’t cross the line first,” Kieffer said. “So today I was thinking, ‘I want to win.' I was feeling pretty competitive.

“I wasn’t intending to race today,” she added. “Initially I was just going to pace it with a friend, but I couldn’t find him at the start.”

Kieffer took off from the starting line on Stonelake Boulevard in North Austin at a brisk pace of 5 minutes, 52 seconds per mile, with Karen Bertasso-Hughes and Shannon Gaden about 50 yards back. Kieffer hit the 5-kilometer split in 18:14, with Bertasso-Hughes just nine seconds behind.

The 3M race is known for its “downhill to downtown” course, and Kieffer worked every downhill. By the 10K mark (36:31) on Great Northern Boulevard, she had a 23-second lead on Bertasso-Hughes.

“When I took the lead around 3 miles, I just didn’t look back,” Kieffer said.

She stepped on the gas after the 15K mark (9.3 miles) on Shoal Creek Boulevard, dropping the pace to 5:50 a mile, gaining more than a minute ahead of Bertasso-Hughes in the process. Kieffer crossed the finish line on San Jacinto Boulevard in 1:16:24, leaving Bertasso-Hughes and Gaden to battle for second. Gaden prevailed 1:17:00 to 1:17:49. Caroline Brooks came in fourth in 1:17:53, with Elizabeth Laseter rounding out the top five in 1:18:04.

“Allie was so far ahead that we were just racing for second place,” said Gaden, a newcomer to Austin by way of Denver. “I was able to catch her (Bertasso-Hughes) around 10 miles.”

“I’m really happy. … I felt surprisingly good. I needed to win this race,” said Kieffer, who plans to run the Ascension Seton Austin Half Marathon next month and is looking to run an Olympic Marathon Trials qualifying time next fall at the BMW Berlin Marathon.

The men’s race featured a stirring duel between Colorado Springs’ Gray and Austin’s Mitch Ammons, a 2024 Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier.

Gray, Ammons and University of Texas ace Kobe Yepez formed the lead pack in the early miles, passing through the 5K mark together in 15:17. But after that it was a two-man race as Gray and Ammons pulled away. Ammons took the lead at 10K, passing the mark in 30:33, just six seconds ahead of Gray. But by 15K (45:52) they were stride for stride, with 2019 3M champ Michael Morris moving into third place ahead of Yepez.

In a sprint to the finish line, Gray edged Ammons 1:04:23 to 1:04:27. Morris, the track and cross-country head coach at San Marcos High School, took third in 1:06:07, with Al Maeder fourth in 1:06:31 and Yepez fifth in 1:06:51.

“This was my first race of the year. Actually my first race in a while, so I wanted to be smart and run a progressive effort,” said Gray, a dominant figure in Colorado’s mountain running scene. “Mitch is a strong runner and made it an honest effort.”

Approximately 4,500 runners finished the race, the fifth in the Austin Distance Challenge. The sixth and final event is the Austin Marathon on Feb. 19.

“I found out two minutes before the race that there was a champion mountain runner entered, who’d gone 1:03 for the half-marathon," Ammons said. "We were yo-yoing back and forth the whole way. He’d pull ahead on the uphills, and I’d lead on the downhills. It was a lot of fun. My time was a personal best for me by more than a minute, and I wouldn’t have run this fast if it weren’t for Joe. He pushed me a lot. I really, really tried to catch him on the final straight. I gave it everything I had.”

(01/23/2023) Views: 239 ⚡AMP
by Brom Hoban
3M Half Marathon

3M Half Marathon

Welcome to the 3M Half Marathon! This year join over 7,000 fellow runners in Austin, Texas to run a personal best at the 3M Half Marathon. 3M Half is a fun and fast stand-alone half marathon boasting one of the fastest half marathon courses in the country. You’ll enjoy a point-to-point course with mostly downhill running that takes you past...


Will Nation and Sarah Jackson claim 3M Half Marathon titles

“The 3M Half Marathon has been good to me,” Will Nation said after crossing the finish line downtown Sunday in first place.

Nation and fellow Austin runner Sarah Jackson notched solid victories on the point-to-point downhill course, besting a field of some 6,000 runners.

Nation, a former Texas track and cross-country standout, first won the Half Marathon back in 2015, just after graduating.

“That was my first road race and first half-marathon,” Nation said of his 2015 win. “So it was my introduction into road racing. Today was the first time I’ve run 3M since then.”

Nation and Samuel Doud took it out fast from the start on Stonegate Boulevard at Gateway Shopping Center, flying through the first mile in 4 minutes, 50 seconds. The pair quickly broke away from the chase pack, which included Longhorns runner Kobe Yepez and John Liddell of Wauwatosa, Wis., and hit the 5-kilometer mark in 15:25.

When they passed the 10K mark on Great Northern Boulevard in 30:51, it was clear that it was a two-man race, as Nation and Doud had nearly a minute on the rest of the field. Just before the 8-mile mark on Shoal Creek Boulevard, Nation put the hammer down, and by the ninth mile he had a 30-second lead on Doud.

“We ran together for around 7 or 8 miles,” Nation said. “I was feeling good, so I decided to test my legs, and I pulled away.”

Nation averaged 4:56 a mile, breaking the tape in 1:04:36, while Doud cruised home second in 1:05:40. John Rice, a recent UT graduate and a two-time track and cross-country All-American, took third in 1:06:34, ahead of Yepez, who clocked 1:06:52. Liddell rounded out the top five in 1:07:54.

“I came here to run a fast time.” said Doud, who ran for American University in Washington. “I’ll be running the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon on Feb. 20, and I’m hoping for an Olympic qualifying time.”

Nation, who ran a personal best of 2:13:24 at the California International Marathon in December, also has his sights set on the Austin Marathon. “It’s good to get a race effort like this in before the marathon, because it’s really kind of a short window between now and then,” he said. “I’d love to win the hometown marathon.”

Jackson was a last-minute entry in the women’s race but wasted no time establishing a big gap on the rest of the field. The 2020 Austin Marathon champion moved into the lead right from the start and passed the 5K mark in 17:54, more than a minute ahead of Jaclyn Range of Ohio. Taking advantage of the cool weather, Jackson averaged 5:47 a mile in what amounted to a solo effort. By the 10K mark (35:42), she was nearly two minutes up on Range.

Jackson, who like Nation was coming off a fast time at the California International Marathon (2:42:27), finished in 1:15:47, a personal best for the half-marathon distance. Range took second in 1:18:37, ahead of Diane Fisher of Ohio, who posted a 1:19:13. Mary Reiser of Baltimore was fourth in 1:20:24, and Austin’s Katy Cranfill took fifth in 1:20:54.

“I went out a little fast and just tried to hang on. I was really in the zone today and felt really smooth,” Jackson said. “I’ve run 3M every year since high school, but this is my first win. You can just cruise on the downhills on this course and use them to your advantage. That’s why I love this race so much.”

The 3M race is known nationwide as one of the fastest half-marathon courses in the country, attracting runners from all over the nation in search of speedy times.

“I ran my best half-marathon yet today,” Range said. “My teammate Diane Fisher and I are both from Ohio. We’ve been running in the snow and cold, so this was a chance to come here and run. Conditions couldn’t have been more perfect."

(01/24/2022) Views: 612 ⚡AMP
by Brom Hoban
3M Half Marathon

3M Half Marathon

Welcome to the 3M Half Marathon! This year join over 7,000 fellow runners in Austin, Texas to run a personal best at the 3M Half Marathon. 3M Half is a fun and fast stand-alone half marathon boasting one of the fastest half marathon courses in the country. You’ll enjoy a point-to-point course with mostly downhill running that takes you past...


3M Half Marathon is prepared for the Largest Field in 25-Year History

One of the largest privately owned event production companies in the United States, is making final preparations for the 25th annual 3M Half Marathon presented by Under Armour on January 20th. With registration numbers nearing 7500 participants, this will be the largest field in the event’s history.

“I'm excited to return to the 3M Half Marathon and defend my title against the largest field in their history,” said Jess Harper, 2018 3M Half Marathon female champ (1:15:45). “This event has been an Austin staple for 25 years and I'm ready to help them celebrate their anniversary!”

Participants will receive their 25th anniversary Under Armour participant shirt and world-famous swag bag filled with useful 3M products at the Expo & Packet Pick Up. Race day begins near The Domain in north Austin. Thousands will run the predominantly downhill course in search of their PR, cruising through beautiful Shoal Creek Blvd., historic Hyde Park neighborhood, and the world-renowned University of Texas at Austin before finishing near the Texas State Capitol in downtown Austin. 

“The 3M Half Marathon has been a staple running event in Austin for 25 years and we’re proud to feature the largest field in the event’s history,” said Stacy Keese, co-owner of High Five Events. “Working with great sponsors like 3M, Under Armour, nuun hydration, Fleet Feet Austin, and Ascension Seton will ensure our 25th anniversary is a memorable event for participants, spectators, and volunteers alike.”

(01/15/2019) Views: 1,126 ⚡AMP

3M Half Anticipates Largest Field in 24-Year History

With registration numbers nearing 7000 participants, this field is expected to be the largest in the race’s history. The race will feature a competitive elite field, benefit Girlstart, and highlight thousands of runners racing for their half marathon PR. “We’re thrilled to host a record-breaking number of runners at 3M Half Marathon, especially those running towards a half marathon PR on the streets of Austin,” said Stacy Keese, co-owner of High Five Events. (01/15/2018) Views: 1,172 ⚡AMP
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