UT students were among the 17,000 runners taking part in the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K, which carved a course through campus on Sunday.
The marathon has been an annual event since 1992, raising funds for nonprofit organizations in the Austin Gives Miles program. The course stretched across Austin, running past landmarks such as South Congress, the UT Campus and the Texas Capitol.
Chemical engineering freshman Karen Sculley woke up at 6:30 a.m. to support her friend, Daniel Li, a Plan II and economics freshman.
“This is absolutely insane what he’s doing,” Sculley said. “I know this is very important to him … we just want to be here to give him support on his big day.”
As Daniel Li made the last turn in front of the Capitol towards the finish line, he stopped to high five Sculley and his other friends as they cheered him on. It was Li’s first time participating in the half marathon.
“Oh man, the adrenaline is just incredible,” Li said. “It’s not gonna be the fastest time … (but) I’m super grateful for my friends showing up.”
Architecture junior Andrea Puente said she had run the half marathon before, but this was her first year without her parents and siblings running by her side.
“I’m usually not nervous, but I was this year,” Puente said. “I usually (run) it with my brother, who was also a UT student who graduated. So it’s my first year running it alone. … There was no moral support for me in the morning, so it was harder.”
Computer science senior Keegan Black said he chose to sign up for the marathon as part of a bet with his roommate.
“I’ve always wanted to run, but I’ve always felt like I’m bad at it,” Black said. “That’s my excuse, but at some point I made a bet with my roommate where if I don’t finish a marathon by the time I graduate, I owe him $500, and if I finish a half marathon, I only owe $250.”
Black said he plans to run another marathon before he graduates to pay the other $250. Black said although the bet gave Black the motivation, the marathon was a goal he had been working toward.
“Making a bet … really helps me,” Black said. “It’s not as much about the money, honestly. It reminds me that I should be working on this.”