Guess what Austin race made Outside Magazine’ s list of 10 Most Iconic Races in the US?

Racers begin the 3M Half Marathon on Jan. 25, 2015. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Racers begin the 3M Half Marathon on Jan. 25, 2015. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Quick, name the 10 most iconic running races in the United States. Outside Magazine did, and Austin’s 3M Half Marathon made the list.

That puts it in pretty rarefied air, considering the other races on the list – the New York City Marathon, Bay to Breakers, the Boston Marathon, the Chicago Marathon, the Carlsbad 5000, the Fifth Avenue Mile, the Badwater Ultramarathon, the Western States 100 and the Peachtree Road Race.

Here’s what the magazine said: “More under-the-radar than any other race on this list, Austin’s 3M is a favorite among those looking to run their fastest half marathon. The point-to-point course from north Austin to the finish in front of the Texas State Capitol includes an average elevation drop of 41 feet per mile, according to race director John Conley.”

Conley, head of Conley Sports, which puts on the 3M Half Marathon as well as the Austin Marathon and Half Marathon, was caught happily off guard by the race’s inclusion.

“To be in the same company as Bay to Breakers, the Chicago Marathon and the Badwater Ultramarathon, yeah, it’s amazing. It’s really humbling,” he said this morning. “The 3M Half Marathon is one of those events that is easy to overlook because we don’t have world record holders, there’s not a lot of external glitz to it. But it’s a screaming fast downhill course that when people run it, they can’t stop talking about it.”

Participation in the race has been on the upswing the last two years, and Conley expects about 7,500 to register this year.

Registration is open here. Entry fee is $95 until Nov. 20, when it increases.

“People are discovering it,” he says. “It’s not unreasonable to expect that in a year or two it’ll be a 10,000-person race.”

The race, established in 1995, is set for Jan. 24 next year.

To see Outside Magazine’s entire list of “Most Iconic Races in the US,” go here.

Author: Pam LeBlanc

Pam LeBlanc writes about fitness and travel for the Austin American-Statesman. She has worked for the Statesman since 1998 and written her weekly fitness column, Fit City, since 2004.

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