Sunday, December 10, 2017 • Austin, TX • Course Map
Organized and run by Texas’s Austin Runners Club, the Decker Challenge Half Marathon makes its 39th annual running this year, along an out-and-back loop course that takes runners on a hilly route through the South Texas countryside, from the start and finish line areas at the Travis County Expo Center all the way around Decker Lake and back.
Run on paved surfaces throughout the course, the race features views of the scenic lake for virtually the entire way around, and finishes back at the expo center starting area.
From the Expo Center, runners head out along Decker Lake Road for a brief stretch and then onto Decker Lane, where they make a sharp right turn and head northeast along the road.
During the first mile, runners hit a few small hills and then begin to hit the rolling hills of the race’s early stretch along Decker Lane, as well as strong winds that often blow along this stretch of the course. And while the hills in this part of the race are relatively long, they are also gradual and not too taxing.
As runners make their way from the mile 3 to the mile 4 marker, they make the turn from Decker Lane onto Lindell Lane, the scenery changes from the wide-open highway feel of Decker Lane to more tree-lined and scenic stretches along Lindell — also, thankfully for the runners, the winds typically die down by the time you reach this point in the race.
The hills keep coming along Lindell, sometimes steeper and more challenging than in the early going, and as runners approach roughly the half-way point in the race, they reach the hill known as Blue Bluff, the course’s first significantly challenging hill.
Taking the long hill over the mile 6 marker, runners continue on along Bloor Road to the turn onto State Highway 130, as the course levels off for a stretch to give runners a breather. After the halfway point in the race, the course resumes its rolling hills, with both long and gradual uphill and downhill stretches. The turn onto the frontage road along 130 also brings some challenging hills that past participants say will test your race preparation thoroughly.
The final few miles of the race include perhaps the most difficult stretch of the course, as runners hit the most daunting (and long) hill in the race around the mile 10 marker.
While many participants, by this point in the race, decide to throw up their hands in defeat and simply walk up the hill rather than run it, many others decide to attack it and say it’s a satisfying final challenge of this hilly race.
Race Weather & Climate
Located in the South Texas hill country, just over a three-hour drive west from Houston and about 80 miles from San Antonio, the city of Austin typically experiences mild to moderately cool and sometimes cold weather conditions in the early winter, with occasional frozen precipitation.
In December, temperatures range between 43°F and 64°F — on the day of the race (Dec. 10), the average low is 44°F and the average high is 64°F — while precipitation amounts average about 2.4 inches for the month.
- 8:00 AM – half marathon
- 8:15 AM – Brown Santa 5K
- $65 – $100 for the half marathon
To reserve your spot in the 2017 running of Austin’s Decker Challenge Half Marathon or Brown Santa 5K race, register online at the event website here.
Official Race Website
Ever run in the Decker Challenge Half Marathon? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.
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