Austin Marathon Preview

Austin Marathon Preview

Austin Marathon Preview

Feb 17, 2017 by Dennis Young
Austin Marathon Preview
The 2017 Austin Marathon will be live and all-access on FloTrack on Sunday, February 19. The men's and women's full and half marathons begin at 7:00 AM Central time on Sunday. 

A $10,000 purse is on the line--$5,000 each for the men's and women's marathons.
Place Amount
1 $2,000
2 $1,500
3 $800
4 $450
5 $250
It will be a rainy and humid morning in Austin--forecasts are for humidity over 90% and rainstorms. Additionally, the course is difficult, so Sunday morning will not be about hitting marks. It will be about athletes battling against each other for the win. Below, we break down the top athletes in the men's and women's marathons.

Men's top contenders

Course record: 2:14:02

Name Marathon PR Half Marathon PR
Mario Macias 2:15:56 62:50
Daniel Bishop 2:27:51 72:00
Matt McCurdy 2:28:59 N/A
Rio Reina 2:30:25 65:41
Mark Pinales Debut 64:45
Isaiah Samoei Debut 66:24
Jared Carson 2:40:25 67:02
The top two contenders in the men's race are Macias and Pinales. This is the debut for Pinales, a 2015 Texas alum who has taken well to the roads in his year and a half or so since graduating. He ran 64:45 for a half marathon in November 2015 to qualify for the Olympic Trials, but was injured and couldn't make it to the starting line in Los Angeles last year. The 23-year-old won half marathons in San Antonio in December and here in Austin in January, and will look to continue his winning streak on his home turf.

Though Pinales's half converts in the 2:15 range, he'll face a challenge from some veteran marathoners. 36-year-old Mario Macias has only raced once in the last two years, but his 2:15:56 marathon PR is by far the best in the field. And if Macias doesn't start, or the tough conditions and marathon distance take down Pinales, 26-year-old Daniel Bishop and 39-year-old Matt McCurdy have run well under 2:30.

Also making his debut will be Isaiah Samoei, a former Division II All-American for Eastern New Mexico. Samoei was a 14:04 5K runner on the track in college and ran a 66:24 half marathon last year.

Women's top contenders 

​Course record: 2:36:26

Name Marathon PR Half Marathon PR
Allison Macsas* 2:39:58 73:02
Chris Kimbrough* 2:42:54 75:32
Lauren Smith Stroud* 2:53:21 74:52
Kristina Aubert Debut 74:56
Fernanda Bau Debut 75:05
*Olympic Trials qualifier
Macsas is the clear favorite here, as she finished an impressive 22nd at the Olympic Trials marathon in February 2016. She's also the only woman in the field to have ever broken 2:40. However, Kimbrough is likely the only person lining up on Sunday morning to have ever set a world record. The 47-year-old mother of six ran a 6:28 beer mile in November 2014 to break the then-world record by 14 seconds:

This is Kimbrough's first marathon since the Olympic Trials in April 2008.

Macsas has been preparing for the race unconventionally, as her job is guiding running tours all over the world. When she's on the weeklong tours, her training is unstructured and unmeasured; when she returns to Austin, she returns to high mileage and hard workouts.

One surprise challenger to Macsas could be Kristina Aubert, who ran for Arkansas State and did a postgraduate year at Arizona in 2015. She ran 33:47 for 10K on the track that year, meaning she has serious potential on the roads. This is her marathon debut.

The Austin Marathon broadcast begins at 6:45 AM Central time on Sunday, February 19, live and all-access on FloTrack.