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Austin Marathon rescheduled, 3M Half Marathon canceled

Ryan Autullo
The 2021 Austin Marathon has been rescheduled for April and the 3M Half Marathon has been canceled, race organizers said Wednesday.

Next year’s Austin Marathon event has been moved from February to April due to concerns about spreading COVID-19 and will not include the marathon among its three race distances. The popular 3M Half Marathon also has been canceled.

The scheduling changes were announced Wednesday by High Five Events, the producer for both races. The company said it made the decisions after consulting with the city of Austin and Austin Public Health officials.

The Austin Marathon was scheduled for Feb. 14. It now will be April 25 and will include three distances — half marathon, 5K and 1 mile. The 26.2 mile marathon has been scrapped, presumably over concerns that warm spring temperatures will be a health risk.

The canceled 3M Half Marathon had been scheduled for Jan. 17.

“While this is disappointing news, we feel very confident in the April 25 date (for the Austin Marathon) based on our coordination with Austin Public Health,” High Five Events said. “The health, safety and well-being of our team, participants and volunteers will always be our first priority.”

Anyone registered for the 3M Half Marathon can transfer their registration to the Austin Half Marathon or defer to a following year for the 3M Half Marathon in 2022, 2023 or 2024.

The announcements follow an uptick in positive infections, a trend that local public health officials are concerned could accelerate with large gatherings for Thanksgiving and Christmas. On Tuesday, Travis County reached the highest number of active COVID-19 cases in a day since early August and the highest seven-day average of new hospitalizations since mid-August.

The last major running event in Austin was the Austin Marathon on Feb. 16, about a month before the coronavirus settled into the area and put an end to large gatherings. Canceled races included the Cap10k in April, Zilker Relays in September, Run for the Water in November and the Turkey Trot, which was scheduled for Thanksgiving morning.

The financial toll from rescheduling the Austin Marathon remains to be seen, although a hit can be expected from canceling the 26.2-mile distance. The 2019 race drew more than 16,000 participants from all 50 states and 38 countries, bringing $48.5 million into the Austin economy, according to the event’s website. That was an $11 million increase from the 2018 race.

Financial totals from the 2020 race were not available on the website.