Allison Macsas (Photography by Austin KilCullen)
With the cheers of her hometown crowd behind her for every step, Allison Macsas unleashed a dominant performance to claim her second consecutive victory at the Austin Marathon.
Like last year’s run, Macsas burst onto Congress Avenue with no female competitors in sight and surged into the finish line for a final time of 2:43:12. The performance was a pleasant surprise for the Rogue Running standout who didn’t expect to demolish her goal of running under the 2020 Olympic Trials standard (2:45:00).
“Someone asked me before if I was trying to get my Olympic Trials qualifier today and I said it’d be impossible on this course, but I did by a few minutes so I’m thrilled. It couldn’t have gone any better. I’m so happy,” Macsas told The Loop.
Macsas has competed at the Olympic Trials twice in her career. She was 45th in 2012 and 22nd at the 2016 national championship. After winning Austin last year in 2:48:17 despite humid race day conditions, Macsas went on to run a 2:39:42 personal best at the 2017 Vancouver Marathon. Sunday’s performance marks Macsas’ first marathon since May of last year and her first race of 2018.
Not too long ago, Macsas contemplated dropping out of the race altogether. The stress of her upcoming wedding, her full-time job as a Rogue Expeditions tour guide, and a potential move to Colorado all weighed heavily on her. But Macsas made the commitment and is now thrilled with the result of racing in her hometown.
“There’s nothing like racing here in Austin. I tend to travel and chase cold weather, but there’s nothing like seeing your friends all over the course. There were people out there which made me laugh the whole time. There’s nothing more that I could ask for in a race,” she said.
Behind Macsas, Ashley Paulson of St. George, Utah finished second in 2:46:12. D’Ann Arthur, a Redondo Beach, California native who ran alongside Macsas for the first 10 miles of the race, closed for third overall in 2:49:38.
In the men’s race, Joey Whelan of Spring Branch, Texas returned to claim his second consecutive victory on the streets of Austin. Three weeks ago, Whelan dominated the 3M Half Marathon with a win in 1:09:06. On Sunday, the 27 year-old broke the tape yet again with a winning time of 2:21:37.
Joey Whelan (Photography by Austin KilCullen)
Whelan led the men’s field for the majority of the race with impressive consistency and blistering splits of 32:59 for 10K, 1:09:47 for the halfway point, and 1:56:06 for 35K to beat runner-up Craig Leon (2:23:35).
Whelan had only competed in one marathon prior to Sunday (2:25:04 at the 2017 Buffalo Marathon). His Austin winning time beat his previous personal best by a whopping three and a half minutes, and the victory over Leon marks a significant breakthrough for the Syracuse grad. In December, Leon posted a personal best of 2:13:40 at the California International Marathon, and he has finished top 11 at the New York City Marathon and the Boston Marathon twice.
David Fuentes (Photography by Austin KilCullen)
Behind Whelan and Leon, Daniel Bishop closed for third (2:26:28) and David Fuentes finished fourth overall (2:27:52). The top five performance marks Fuentes’ first marathon in an impressive comeback from foot surgery.