Author: ARC Information

Austin Half Marathon – Race Report from a Distance Challenge Finisher!

Amber at the Distance Challenge tent

Photo courtesy Amber Wadey

Two years ago I ran my first half marathon right here in Austin. I joined Team LIVESTRONG, created my own training plan, and did everything I could do to prepare, but I remember worrying about everything that was out of my control. What if it’s freezing or pouring rain? What if traffic or road closures make it too hard to park? What if I’m not feeling well, or my alarm doesn’t go off? The beauty of running your 2nd or 3rd (or 7th) half marathon is that eventually those details don’t bother you anymore. I know I can go the distance and I’ve logged miles in every kind of weather. I’ve learned that with a little planning, the logistics always seem to work out.

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Kayleigh’s Distance Challenge

Just over a year ago, Distance Challenge alumni Sandy Williamson submitted her story through our “September to Remember” contest and won two free entries into the Decker Challenge. When Sandy and her daughter Kayleigh decided to Dare the Distance together, nobody could’ve predicted where the journey would take them. With one race to go, Sandy shares their remarkable story with the ARC.

Sandy and Kayleigh

Sandy and Kayleigh
Photo courtesy Sandy Williamson

In April, my daughter and I travelled to Galveston for the Diva 5K. It was our first test to see how Kayleigh would handle a race with a strict cut-off time. She finished under the required time and the next week we started training for her first half marathon. Kayleigh has ITP and Graves’ Disease, and two weeks later her platelets hit a critical low of 15. It was a life threatening level. Even with steroids and a platelet transfusion, they did not increase so the decision was made to remove her spleen. The surgery normally takes 45 minutes to an hour, but in Kayleigh’s case it only took 20 minutes. Normally, they keep a patient for 24 hours, but she was released 5 hours later. That’s when I knew I had Wonder Woman for a daughter.

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3M Half Marathon – Distance Challenge Race Report

Amber Wadey registered for the Distance Challenge after realizing that she perfectly fit the profile for the “average” DC runner. She participated in an ARC member interview earlier this year and we’ve asked her to let us follow along as she runs the series by contributing her race reports to our blog. We hope you enjoy sharing her journey!

Amber's 3M stats

Image courtesy Amber Wadey

This is the first race report I’ve contributed where I don’t feel like a newbie. I ran the 3M last year and came in right at my goal time of 2:05. I registered for this year’s run soon after and told my training partner that next year we’d go even faster; perhaps even break 2 hours! After the Decker Challenge I was feeling strong but had a little more trouble moving from recovery back into training than expected. I blamed the holidays, weather, allergies, work and school for limiting my time and focus. Somehow I managed to stick with my training plan (even when my daughter insisted I could skip) and everything started coming together in the final week leading up to the 3M.

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Decker Challenge – Race Report from a Newbie

Amber Wadey registered for the Distance Challenge after realizing that she perfectly fit the profile for the “average” DC runner. She participated in an ARC member interview earlier this year and we’ve asked her to let us follow along as she runs the series by contributing her race reports to our blog. We hope you enjoy sharing her journey!

Amber's Decker pic

Image courtesy Amber Wadey

Before I started writing up these blogs for the ARC, I had never written a race report. I thought it might be a good idea to read a few race reports from previous Decker Challenge finishers to help me prepare for the event, but all the reports I found were by athletes who run 6-7 minute miles and focus on nutrition and pacing on a completely different level than me. My goal for this run was to average 10 minute miles and finish without injury. I did learn a few things, like apparently the big hill at mile 10 is called “Quadzilla,” but I hope my post will inspire more average runners to give this event a shot!

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Run for the Water – Race Report from a Newbie

Amber Wadey registered for the Distance Challenge after realizing that she perfectly fit the profile for the “average” DC runner. She participated in an ARC member interview earlier this year and we’ve asked her to let us follow along as she runs the series by contributing her race reports to our blog. We hope you enjoy sharing her journey!

amber_r4tw

I’ve lived in Austin for over a decade and friends have been telling me about Run for the Water for years, but I have NEVER been ready to run 10 miles by early November. Even these past couple of years as I’ve been training for half marathons, the Turkey Trot has been the kick-off for my longer distance training runs. Of course, in previous years I have never considered myself a “real runner.”

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Run Free Texas 8k – Race Report from a Newbie

Amber Wadey participated in an ARC member interview as the first person to register for the 2016-2017 Distance Challenge, after realizing that she perfectly fit the profile for the “average” Distance Challenge runner. We have asked her to let us follow along as she runs the series by contributing her race reports to our blog. We hope you enjoy sharing her journey!

aw-race-report-1-photo-1

I’m a new member of the Austin Runners Club, #daringthedistance for the first time. I have two small kids and work full-time so I don’t have a ton of time for group runs, but I like to say what I lack in training I make up for in enthusiasm! Getting back into running after taking most of the summer off has felt great. I kicked off the season last month at the Marathon Relay and have been so excited to get the Distance Challenge started with my first 80’s 8k.

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2015-2016 Distance Challenge Recap

How far did I just run? Who is running with me? How much pizza have I earned? These are questions that every runner struggles with from time to time. To help you along, we’ve put together this infographic about what our Distance Challenge participants have accomplished this season.

Thanks to all our awesome participants for making this a great running season and a great Distance Challenge!

distance challenge infographic

Top 10 Reasons to Run Decker

December 6th is the 37th annual Decker Challenge Half Marathon. Here are ten good reasons to sign up and get running!

Decker+ARC
  1. Dare the Distance: Decker is the third of six races of the Austin Distance Challenge. Net proceeds of the Distance Challenge will benefit The Trail Foundation.
  2. Parking: Who has time to worry about parking on race day? There’s plenty of room to park on the Expo Center grounds so you’re sure to get a spot.
  3. Whatever the Weather: We know you’re not fair-weather friends, but no matter what the weather is on race day, we’ve got you covered (and heated!). The Travis County Expo Center will be available to all runners and spectators both before and after the race. In fact, all of our post-race festivities are held inside.
  4. Gear Drop: Have you ever found yourself overdressed for a race? We’ve got a clothing drop at mile 2. You can toss your outer layers to us, and we’ll bring them back to the Expo Center for you to claim after the race. (Pro-Tip: We aren’t responsible for any lost items, so think twice before chucking your favorite jacket!)
  5. Post-Race Expo: After your race, check out the race expo inside the Expo Center. We’ll have vendors like Believe and Train, Aspire Beverages, and more!
  6. Post-Race Treatments: There’s nothing like getting pampered after a long run. We know this all too well, and so do our friends at Austin Sports Therapy who will be there with free treatments for all finishers!
  7. Free Beer: We say this from experience–there’s no better way to celebrate finishing a race than with a nice cold beer. That’s why we’re excited to announce Adelbert’s Brewery as our 2015 beer sponsor! Just head back inside the Expo Center after you finish–your free beer awaits.
  8. Free Race Photos: While we’re on the subject of great freebies, we don’t know a lot of people that buy race photos–even when they turn out great. That’s why we’re offering free race photos at Decker, courtesy of AzulOx Visuals. Photographers will be out on the course and at the finish area, so you can grab a few friends and let our professional photographers capture those post-race smiles. Of course, you are free to take all the selfies you like!
  9. Call Your Shot! There’s something inherently motivating about announcing a goal. New for 2015, we’re giving you the opportunity to Call Your Shot! In the days leading up to the race, we’ll email you a link where you can predict your finish time at Decker. The two male and female finishers that come closest to their called shot will win a free pair of New Balance running shoes! In case of a tie, the winner will be whoever runs the most even pace.
  10. Hills, Hills, Hills: Mention Decker Challenge to anyone and you’re sure to hear about the hills. We’re the toughest half marathon in Austin and proud of it! Get ready for rolling hills and prepare for the infamous climb at mile 10. After all, there’s nothing cool about bragging to your friends about doing something easy!

Register for Decker today and mark your calendar for December 6!

The Decker Challenge is presented by:
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