Austin Distance Challenge participants will collect pieces of this magnet at each of the six races in the series.

Want to conquer this year’s Austin Distance Challenge, hosted by the Austin Runners Club? Better sign up soon.

The series of six local races leads up to the Austin Marathon and Half Marathon in February. The races increase in distance as the series progresses, making it a natural component of many runners’ training programs.

Participants sign up for the series (separate from signing up for each race), registering for either the full or half track. Awards are given for overall, masters and age groups. Registration for the series is $55 here.

The first race is the Run Free Texas 8K on Sept. 27.

Proceeds will benefit The Trail Foundation, which protects and enhances the Ann and Roy Butler hike and bike trail around Lady Bird Lake.

That cool circle at the top of this post? It’s a collection of magnets. Distance Challenge participants get the center piece at packet pickup, and collect the surrounding pieces after they complete each race.

They also get a long-sleeved tech running shirt, a one-year membership in Austin Runners Club, use of the Austin Distance Challenge hospitality tent at the finish of each race and entry into door prize drawings at each race. Most importantly, everyone who completes the series gets an Austin Distance Challenge running jacket.

Here’s the race lineup:

Run Free Texas 8K – Sept. 27Run For The Water 10 mile – Nov. 1Decker Challenge Half Marathon – Dec. 6Rogue Distance Festival 30K and 10K – Jan. 10, 20163M Half Marathon – Jan. 24, 2016Austin Marathon & Half Marathon – Feb. 14, 2016