Current records show the Austin Marathon, which is produced and directed by Conley Sports, dating back to 1992, when Alberto Puente won the event in 2:24:00 and Kay Jones took the women’s race in 3:13:13. But the race has a longer history–dating back more than 20 years.
Before AT&T, before Freescale, before Motorola, and before the Internet was a staple of our culture, there was an event known simply as the “Austin Marathon.” And there were a couple of winners who deserve mentioning.
“Those early races (’86, ’87, ’88) were all called Austin Marathon, however, in 1989, the year director Mark Beers managed his fourth and final race, it was officially called The State of Texas Marathon (still run in Austin, mostly on the old course, I might add),” said Tommy Cornelison, one of Austin’s great runners at the time. “The YMCA was not the official sponsor of these races, as they were for some of the Texas Relays Marathons. ’86 was sponsored by Phidippides and was called the Austin Marathon,” he added.
It may be simply that the early winners were “pre-digital,” so their names and times could not be easily catalogued. But whatever the reason, Cornelison would like to humbly add his name, along with several others to the list of marathon winners. And whether those names get “officially” added or not, let’s recognize them.
1986 Male: Fred Klinge of Missouri in 2:26:12
Female: Anne Flanagan of Austin, TX in 3:22:44
1987 Male: Jason Shear of Austin, TX in 2:35:30
Female: Rose Garcia of Brownsville, TX in 3:25:52
1988 Male: Tommy Cornelison of Austin, TX in 2:30:59
Female: Andrea Ray-Smith of Austin, TX in 2:54:36
1989 Male: Jim Thorpe of Houston, Texas in 2:28:05
Female: Andrea Ray-Smith of Austin, TX in 2:59:23