The Dallas Rock n Roll Half Marathon is still one of my favorite races! Even though it was unseasonably warm and the race series itself seems a bit too commercialized, it’s still my favorite. What do I mean by commercialized? Everything seems to cost… marathon expo parking – $10 –$15 or if you were lucky like I was… parked on the street a half mile away for $3 in quarters. A half mile walk never seems far anymore. :) The runner tracking was an extra cost as well, whereas some races it’s free. Then again, the cost is probably absorbed by the race fees.
Cairo, Briana, and I enjoyed the expo. We hung out with good friends, Jeff, Felix & Felix’s family. The expo seemed to be the right size. There were also the right mix of freebies, sales, & other booths. Check out our little video below of the expo:
Cairo and I were hyped for the race on the morning. It might be hard to get that teenager up for a training run, but he’ll get up for a race. :) Unfortunately, he was fighting a funky illness from the week where he aches and pains. This played into the race along with the heat.
It was great to carpool with the Frisco Running Club peeps. Taking pre-race photos and getting psyched with veteran & newbie Half Marathoners is always a favorite! I love the way that start is staggered for the Dallas Rock n Roll Half Marathon. It’s like you’re at the front of the line. They start each corral off as if they were the head of the line. :)
We started the race off with Felix and some friends from the Frisco Running Club. My plan was to start the first couple of miles at 8:20 and then stick to 8:00 and below for the rest of the race. I was a bit a head of the pace originally thought of, but I felt good.
Do I Stay or Do I Go!?!
Cairo was hanging well until mile 3.5 in Turtle Creek when he tapped me on the shoulder. He wasn’t doing well and needed to take a break. A million thoughts ran through my head as I made the decision to press on without him. Knowing that this was his 4th Half Marathon since November, I knew that he’d know to go to the medics if needed or he could stop/DNF when he’d see my wife at mile 7.5 I felt bad for him as he’d been sick for most of the week. He gave me a check-check thumbs up as I ran off.
The hills and heat got me as I pushed to see Ursula and Briana at mile 7.5. I knew that I just had to get to them and then I could have a short recovery from the hills. I didn’t originally plan to stop, but it felt so good to do so. After I stopped, I was reenergized knowing that I had the worst part of the race behind me. It wasn’t all down hill to the finish, but it was definitely so much better than the first half.
Check out the video below to see the break at Mile 7.5 and after the race. Shhh… yes, I relieved myself at the median of Mockingbird & Greenville. I guess it’s one of those things of being a guy runner. I did it as discretely as I could. It’s funny hearing my wife & daughter comment on my little break. Sorry to anyone that took offense to this… it was a spur of the moment thing.
When I was finishing the race in the last 1.5 miles, I could see Dean & Luke – another father/son duo from the Frisco Running Club. It was so cool seeing them. As I approached them, it was so touching to see them hold hands for awhile. Dean was encouraging his 13 year old son Luke throughout the finish. I ran with them briefly, but was very intent on getting another PR. I pushed as hard as I could during the last mile or so. I thought I might have kicked too early, but once you hit the chute of spectators, they bring you home. I love the cheers of the crowd!
I was so happy to knock off 39 seconds of my PR with a time of 1:46:00, but it was kind of bittersweet as I was worried about Cairo. I got a text from my wife that he was going to try to finish in 2 hours. 2 hours came and went and I didn’t see him. I tried to stay close to the finish line, but the race volunteers were trying to keep that area clear. Finally, I felt someone hug me and tear up. It was a worn out 16 year old. It was all that I could do was to give him a fatherly hug and tell him that he did it! He pushed through wanting to stop and completed what he started. He learned a huge life lesson during those 2 hours and 8 minutes. We got him some medical attention for the cramping and then found Ursula & Briana.
We didn’t stick around for very long as we were ready to get out of the heat. One of the cool giveaways at the end was Jimmy John’s Sandwiches! Yummy! It was so much better than the post-race food at The Woodlands Marathon. One thing that is a bummer about Fair Park is the far trek that you have to make for the spectator parking. It definitely felt like a mile or so to get to the car.
Even though there were thousands of runners it was so cool to see running friends and Twitter friends that I only get to see at race events like this. It was definitely a fun and challenging event on so many levels!