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Marathon benefits soldiers, veterans and military families

Pam LeBlanc
CASA of Travis County hosted the CASA Superhero Run, costumed 5K run and Kids 1K run. Carter Johnson, 4, powers his way to the finish line at the Kids 1K fun run.

Central Texas runners can add a new marathon to their race calendar.

Race directors announced that The Army Marathon will take place on April 21, 2013. The inaugural point-to-point, 26.2-mile course begins in Killeen and ends in nearby Temple. Runners who prefer shorter distances can tackle a 5K instead.

Entry fee is $75 for the marathon or $25 for the 5K. Register for both races at

The marathon, produced in partnership with Scott & White Healthcare, is expected to draw thousands of athletes. Proceeds from the event will be donated to charities that benefit active-duty soldiers, veterans, military families and survivors.

"With pending budget cuts, we must find the resources required to provide needed services to the men and women that have and are continuing to serve this nation in uniform," said Lt. General Don Jones, USA, Ret., who heads the marathon's advisory council.

Organizers chose April 21 for the race to commemorate the April 19 anniversary of the "Shot Heard Around The World" — the 1775 Battles of Lexington and Concord that signaled the beginning of the American Revolution.

The weekend will include an expo at the Bell County Expo Center and finish line activities for the runners and the community at large.

Adventurer guest speaker

Just climbing Mount Everest wasn't enough, so in May, alpinist Hillaree O'Neill scampered up its neighbor, Lhotse, less than 24 hours later.

O'Neill will speak at the fourth annual North Face Speaker Series on Monday at the Kleberg Stage in Zach Theatre, 1421 W. Riverside Drive.

The presentation begins at 7 p.m. A VIP reception benefiting Westcave Preserve starts at 5 p.m.

When O'Neill made her climbs earlier this year, she joined an elite group of alpinists who have climbed two 8,000-meter peaks in a single push. She's the only woman in the club.

Named by Outside Magazine as one of the most adventurous women in sports, O'Neill has also skied from the 8,000-meter Himalayan summit of Cho Oyu in Tibet, throughout the Andes, on volcanoes in the Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia, and in the tight couloirs of Baffin Island.

General-admission tickets are free; reserved seating is $8. Pre-show reception tickets are $20 and include reserved seats at the presentation and a reception with O'Neill. All reception ticket sales benefit Westcave Preserve.

The Preserve is an integral part of the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge and has been recognized as one of Central Texas' premier sites for viewing the endangered Golden-Cheeked Warbler.

A question-and-answer session will follow the presentation.

For more information, visit

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