Overall Rating
Overall Rating (13 Reviews)
4.5
(13 Ratings)  (13 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.7
SCENERY
3.2
PRODUCTION
4.5
SWAG
3.9
The 3M Half Marathon welcomes new runners and challenges old pros. The downhill to downtown course is a fast and fun race fueled by live music and cheering fans along the 13.1 mile USA Track & Field sanctioned course in the heart of Texas. Avid runners PR and newcomers finish … MORE
Local Historical Weather (Jan 19):
  2024 2023 2022 2021 2020
 
H (°F)  54  68  80  68  57
L (°F)  31  48  45  50  41
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Recent reviews

    There were three reasons I signed up for this race: the first was I knew there would be a ton of 3M products for swag, and I can't turn down … MORE

    There were three reasons I signed up for this race: the first was I knew there would be a ton of 3M products for swag, and I can’t turn down free office supplies; second, this was a milestone anniversary for the race, so I believed it would be a big deal; and third, a net downhill course. The 3M Half Marathon course is hyped as one of the fastest 13.1-mile courses in the country, and on January 21, 2024, over 6,300 runners from 46 states and 8 countries turned out to celebrate the race’s 30th anniversary.

    Regal Gateway Theater served as the starting line. I was so thankful on race morning that I booked a hotel within a block of the start. At the finish line, I’d board the shuttle, which I pre-booked for $10, and ride back to the Regal Gateway Theater. Convenient all around. Runners showed up in droves to the start in bathrobes and pajamas. The temperature was 38° F, and it was cloudy with a gentle 7 MPH breeze. I had a throw-away sweatshirt on over my two shirts, and planned to ditch it in the start corral. All layers discarded by runners were donated to charity.

    After the singing of the National Anthem, we hit the ground running promptly at 7:30 A.M. We headed out on Stonelake Boulevard and continued on it for the first mile, which was a consistent uphill incline until we hit Mile 2 and turned onto W Braker Lane. The irony was not lost on me that for a race with a slogan of “Downhill to Downtown,” we were beginning with an uphill. When all was said and done, although the course is net downhill, it was about 50% uphill. If you decide to register for this race, I recommend training hills. I underestimated the course, thinking it would be easy because it was net downhill, and I learned Austin has some pretty respectable hills. That being said, there was no opportunity for the course to get boring.

    Approximately every two miles, there were aid stations with water and Lemon Lime Nuun, porta-potties, and cheerful volunteers. There was no shortage of live music. During the first mile, the tone was set with Austin Taiko, a Japanese drumming band. Everett Wren greeted us at Mile 2.75 with his fantastic fiddle. As we prepared to cross U.S. Highway 183, we were treated to the steel drums of Inside Out Steelband, which infused the course with Caribbean vibes. Kupira Marimba, a Zimbabwe Marimba band, brought us joy during Mile 5. The 4411 played guitar for us when we passed Mile 6.65, a fun way to mark our halfway point. At the Mile 7 marker, we reached the “Energy Zone,” stocked with Gu Energy Gel, which I opted to skip since I was carrying my Huma gels. Austin Thaalam, an Indian Drumming band, was a fun surprise at Mile 9.6.

    Mile 8 to Mile 9 was all uphill, and during the struggle of managing that beast of a mile-long incline, I was really appreciative of the music. Not only did Mile 9 consist of Indian drumming, but we also had Shirley Johnson waiting for us at Mile 9.84 to lend us her support with her accordion. After the Mile 10 marker, I was extremely excited about the steeper grade downhill, and this was a downhill I felt comfortable enough to capitalize on at full speed. At Mile 12, we ran past the University of Texas at Austin, to the tune of banjo, string bass, and guitar, courtesy of the Stove Top Rangers.

    During the last mile, the crowds thickened, and the noise of the cheering spectators began to increase. As we rolled into downtown and crossed the finish line, the crowd support was amazing. DJ Gatsby provided the music for the finisher’s festival at San Jacinto and 11th Street, a block across from the Texas State Capitol. It was really cold at the finish, and I could barely feel my fingers when I grabbed a bottle of water and my free banana. The medal was super awesome, especially because it was commemorative of the 30th anniversary.

    My favorite part of this experience was the Expo. They give you SO much swag, all 3M products, it was great. I felt like I was hauling all of Aisle 3 from Staples in my swag bag! It was worth it, and you should take this as your sign to register for next year if you’re on the fence about it!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    aubreynetzel FIRST-TIMER '24

    Pros: Net down hill (NET - still has uphills), generous cut off time, several 3M freebies Cons: Very pricey half - I signed up months in advance and still ended … MORE

    Pros: Net down hill (NET – still has uphills), generous cut off time, several 3M freebies
    Cons: Very pricey half – I signed up months in advance and still ended up paying $150ish after tax/fee, packet pickup/expo was disappointing with amount of vendors seeing as you had to go and also pay for parking to attend, very few spectators throughout the course.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    2

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    ceceliasciuto REPEAT RUNNER '23

    This is a great course to run. Really flat(and downhill), lots of other runners. Decent crowd support and the weather is always nice and cool. MORE

    This is a great course to run. Really flat(and downhill), lots of other runners. Decent crowd support and the weather is always nice and cool.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    stacijwilliams FIRST-TIMER '23

    I selected this race for my Texas half for 50 states half marathon and am very happy with my choice. The expo was located conveniently downtown, and had some vendors … MORE

    I selected this race for my Texas half for 50 states half marathon and am very happy with my choice. The expo was located conveniently downtown, and had some vendors and photo ops. The race swag is top notch, with a long sleeved UnderArmor tech tee and assorted items from 3M.

    The course is net downhill, with decent elevation loss. The scenery at the beginning was not my favorite, but the course went through some neighborhoods before ending downtown. The volunteers were very enthusiastic and the entertainment along the course was unique. One thing to note is that the course seemed more secure/closed than some other recent races I have run. Roads were blocked well, with support from law enforcement to allow for traffic to proceed safely.

    There were a ton of photographers near the finish line, so I had a lot of great pictures taken. Photos were not included with race entry this year, so that would be an additional cost.

    Overall, a very well produced race. If I was local, this would be a must do annually.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    tdnewman FIRST-TIMER '23

    Have interested in this race for a few years, but was never able to go. Very well organized and good participation. Swag is good, especially if you like 3M products. … MORE

    Have interested in this race for a few years, but was never able to go. Very well organized and good participation. Swag is good, especially if you like 3M products. Course is a gradual downhill. Nothing extreme but makes for an easy run. Course starts in a more commercial area, but goes into a residential area that has good crowd support.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    korenann FIRST-TIMER '22

    I really enjoyed the point to point course. The community in Austin is top notch, everyone was out cheering us on. There was a lot of entertainment along the course, … MORE

    I really enjoyed the point to point course. The community in Austin is top notch, everyone was out cheering us on. There was a lot of entertainment along the course, which made it seem more like a party!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    atxhelix FIRST-TIMER '22

    This was my first half marathon. I thought this was a good half marathon to set a PR. It is downhill from North Austin and ends right at the capitol … MORE

    This was my first half marathon. I thought this was a good half marathon to set a PR. It is downhill from North Austin and ends right at the capitol with a beautiful downhill. I liked the event as a whole. (Since it is downhill from North Austin it isn’t very scenic) Also you get 3M swag which people may love or hate.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    2

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    samantha.r.legere REPEAT RUNNER '20

    This was my second year running this race, and I loved it even more! Between all the photo ops, UnderArmor race shirt, expo, freebies from 3M, and great volunteers, the … MORE

    This was my second year running this race, and I loved it even more! Between all the photo ops, UnderArmor race shirt, expo, freebies from 3M, and great volunteers, the race was great even before we got to the starting line.

    A few things really made my experience amazing this year:
    -Clear and frequent communication via email – helpful reminders about logistics, drop-off, timing, and gear check
    -GEAR CHECK! At the start of the race it was “feels like” 28 degrees. Ubering to the race, we had no idea how we would stay warm afterward… until we received that reminder email about the gear check. It was quick, easy, free, and well organized – and made our lives significantly easier!
    -Frequent and well organized water stops, with clear signage… including “Nuun,” “Gu,” “Water,” and “Medical Tent” signs that were easy to see! Volunteers were even yelling what they were handing out, so runners didn’t have to guess. It was fabulous. I honestly have not ever seen so many medical tent options, and it was nice to see the support.
    -Cheer squads! Many people cheering along the course.
    -Downhill race – kind of rolling hills, but with more downhill than uphill. It is a fast course! I will always recommend.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    Llewella REPEAT RUNNER '19

    I do not do well in downhill races and have only participated in this race several times because 1. the race swag is AMAZING and 2. it is local. The … MORE

    I do not do well in downhill races and have only participated in this race several times because 1. the race swag is AMAZING and 2. it is local. The race swag is out of this world. All 3M products. From post it notes, reflective tape, sand paper vacuum attachments, safety glasses, plus a spot on shirt and medal at finish. The race itself is a point to point. Plenty of start line parking. Then take a shuttle back to the start after the race. Shuttle is quick and not difficult. The race is entirely downhill, but the finish is on an uphill. Weird. My legs don’t like the transition! Fun race though!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    I really enjoyed this race, from the packet pickup/running expo to the post-race party. I would highly recommend it for anyone looking for a fast course and a good running … MORE

    I really enjoyed this race, from the packet pickup/running expo to the post-race party. I would highly recommend it for anyone looking for a fast course and a good running community.

    At the start this year, the temperature was 35 degrees. We definitely hadn’t planned for that, so I would definitely recommend anticipating colder temperatures in the morning! All in all, it was a good course that definitely had a bit of a hill around the end… but I would recommend it.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    blossoma19 FIRST-TIMER '19

    I really enjoyed this race, and not just because I had my first sub-2 and PR'd by 8 minutes over my half the previous month! It's a fast, net downhill … MORE

    I really enjoyed this race, and not just because I had my first sub-2 and PR’d by 8 minutes over my half the previous month! It’s a fast, net downhill and that’s hyped up a lot, but it is not without its uphill climbs, which really seemed to start in mile 10 and continue rolling right up through the finish. I liked that they had pacers in 5 minute increments, instead of every 10 minutes. Aid stations were well stocked and there were a lot of spectators along the course pretty much the whole way.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    mariaevasanders REPEAT RUNNER '17

    Well organized race, the course is all downhill, gradual, you finish at the State capitol of Texas! I had always wanted to do this race, so glad I finally did! … MORE

    Well organized race, the course is all downhill, gradual, you finish at the State capitol of Texas! I had always wanted to do this race, so glad I finally did! If you plan on doing this race, I recommend you stay in a hotel close to the start line, you get to sleep in and there is a shuttle that takes you back to the start after you finish. Enjoy Austin !!!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    M_Sohaskey Mar 18, 2017 at 4:16pm

    Austin is such an amazingly vibrant city, glad you finally got your wish to run there – and glad the organizers took advantage of the *downhill* parts of Hill Country.… MORE

    Austin is such an amazingly vibrant city, glad you finally got your wish to run there – and glad the organizers took advantage of the *downhill* parts of Hill Country. Congrats, Eva! LESS

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    MadelynMarino FIRST-TIMER '15

    I loved this race! If you are looking for a flat fast course and some serious swag this is your race. This race is sponsored by the 3M company which … MORE

    I loved this race! If you are looking for a flat fast course and some serious swag this is your race.

    This race is sponsored by the 3M company which equates to participants getting lots of goodies. I got everything from scotch tape to cleaning cloths.

    The course ran throughout Austin, starting North of the city and ending near the state capital building. The course was overall flat and mostly downhill. This made for a pleasant run. I am also raised because it became my new PR!

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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