Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dallas White Rock Marathon

Just got back from running the Dallas White Rock Marathon on December 14th. What a great experience it was! It is a fantastic marathon. Great course and the volunteers were amazing. It was great to have Andy, Larry, and Joel there to run with.

Race day started out with a 4:00AM wake-up. Then we made our way into Dallas for the 8:00AM start. Parking can be an issue as it was for many this year who had to run to the start from vehicles that they had to leave due to traffic backups. It was really important to get there early to get into the lots. At 7:00AM I hosted an FCA Team Endurance meeting that was well attended by many individuals and we had a very meaningful devotion time to start our day. The confetti start is one of the best in the country. We had higher than usual temperatures and a strong wind to contend with the entire race. Larry Barthlow (Elite Runner Coordinator) was quoted in the Dallas Morning News as saying that his coach stated that "for every mile per hour in your face, it's minus 1.5 seconds [per mile]". Winning times according to the newspaper were 2:22:07 by Noah Serem of Kenya and 2:37:14 by Svetlana Ponomarenko of Russia. The winning times were the slowest since 2002 and 2006 for the men and women respectively. There were 6,360 marathoners, 7,000 half-marathoners, and 3,000 marathon relay runners. I also had a chance to visit with Barefoot Rick, a fantastic runner with many accomplishments.

A very special thanks to Sheri, Larry's wife, for the great photography. Below in the next two pictures, Andy and I are finishing the marathon together. (3:48:58) Andy did a great job (a marathon PR) and it was incredible to run with him!



Below, Larry is showing his great finishers medal and is happy that we had such a nice day to run the race! Larry is a fantastic runner, a great friend, and bakes a medal winning apple pie!


My apologies to Joel. At Blog time, I didn't have a picture to put in. Hopefully, I will get one soon.

For the most part, the race was well run. Registration and packet pick-up were very well organized as were the expo booths. I was interested at why some of the major shoe brands were not represented at the expo. It was really strange not to see them at a major U.S. marathon. I will always be curious at why a Sleep Number bed company was there instead of a running gear company. The expo did have a very good small display for those interested in cycling.

The race volunteers were some of the best I have ever seen. At the aid stations, there were always plenty of people to help and they were really into the race day with enthusiasm. The course was challenging but fair although the wind did make itself known quite well as we rounded White Rock Lake. Not the organizers fault though. The marathon has a great finish at the American Airlines Center. The crowd was large and very supportive. However two areas that race officials can improve on would be the after race food and also there was no designated meeting place for runners and their families as was advertised in race material. This caused lots of confusion.

But you know, when you have a great race, can be around great friends, enjoy outstanding weather, and be able to start your day with FCA Team Endurance, it doesn't get much better than that! I encourage all of you interested in running a marathon in Texas to sign up next year for the Dallas White Rock Marathon. Meanwhile Andy, Larry and I are looking forward to our next marathons: the Chevron Houston Marathon in January and the Austin Marathon in February.

Forward we go! May your roads and trails be happy and safe!

2 comments:

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Joel said...

great time Mick! Looking forward (a lot) to the Austin run.