One of the best-managed marathons in the United States has landed a new title sponsor. Race director John Conley announced yesterday that the Austin Marathon would now be known as the AT&T Austin Marathon for the next scheduled edition on Sunday, February 18, 2007, with sponsorship support coming from AT&T Texas.
"This new sponsorship allows us to take the Austin Marathon to a new level that will completely redefine our runners' experience," said Conley through a prepared statement. "The Austin Marathon has grown steadily each year, and bringing strong corporate sponsors like AT&T Texas to the event ensures that growth and innovation remain hallmarks of the marathon."
First contested in 1992, the Austin Marathon, which also offers a half-marathon, has earned a reputation as a well-managed race under Conley's supervision. With a point-to-point course which drops 137 meters from start to finish, the race also helps athletes achieve faster times. In fact, in the 2006 edition held last February, 11 of the top-20 men achieved personal best times. The course records are 2:11:14 by Mukhamet Nazipov of Russia set in 2001 and 2:30:39 by Tatiana Borisova, also of Russia, set in 2004.
The 2006 edition had 5654 finishers, with the half-marathon adding another 4064 finishers; organizers estimated the economic impact on Austin at $5.5 million. The race is owned by the Austin Marathon Foundation, a not-for-profit created in July, 2005 with the mission of organizing a world-class marathon that unites the community, brings national attention to the region, promotes health and fitness, and benefits both local and national charities.
"Austin is proud of its Marathon and we welcome AT&T Texas as a new sponsor," said Austin mayor Will Wynn. "Part of the magic of Austin is that so many of our citizens use the marathon as a way to stay in shape year round. We are looking forward to next year's race and encourage more Austinites to participate in this great Austin event.”