UT students tackle new Austin Marathon course

Bevyn Howard

Several Longhorns will join the crowd of runners set to burn a combined 52 million calories at the Austin Marathon this Sunday.

Jake Wohleb, music composition sophomore, is participating for the first time this year after being inspired by his father’s marathons. Wohleb said this experience is especially rewarding because people are sponsoring miles of his run to benefit the Dell Children’s Medical Center through Texas THON.

“This time last year I could barely run a 5K and hated running,” Wohleb said. “But if you get out there and take it at your own pace, anyone can find a reward for it.”

Marathoners will run the 26.2-mile race that will finish in front of the Texas State Capitol, where they will celebrate their achievement with medals, music and drinks from the beer garden. Wohleb said he is looking forward to hearing the live bands playing alongside this year’s brand-new course.

“I’m actually not planning to run with (headphones) so I can experience that live music,” Wohleb said. “(This year’s course) takes you through Austin’s best features like UT campus, Tarrytown and East Austin that I don’t think were featured in previous years.”

The course will run through the UT campus along the Drag and Dean Keeton Street, resulting in possible lane closures from 6 a.m. to as late as noon, according to the Austin Marathon website.

With the race less than one week away, Anthony Ferraro, a coach for Longhorn Run, said it is important for runners to taper their training to ensure they feel fresh for the big day.

“You won’t lose a lot of conditioning in the last week so it’s important to take it easy,” Ferraro said. “You’ve already done the hard work, so get ready to have fun and enjoy the race. You’re not running to win the marathon, but to compete against yourself and to improve upon yourself.”

Runners will also participate in the 5K and the half marathon in downtown Austin on Sunday. For Rebeca Llamas, architectural engineering sophomore, this will be her third time running the Austin Half, a race she said is one of the hardest courses she has run.

“The Austin Half is always the one that punches me in the gut (because) the course is incredibly hilly,” Llamas said. “But by the time I finish, I always feel better than I did in the beginning, no matter how far I run.”