After months of preparation, it was finally here! BMW Dallas Marathon Weekend.! The We Run Things Training Program started preparing for this weekend back in August with a few education sessions on proper footwear, nutrition, and injury prevention. We took a week off for the Labor Day holiday then the real training began! It was a long training period: 14 weeks of dedication that included many good runs and a few tough ones! But now that the weekend had arrived, all the training was about to pay off… UNTIL the bomb scare at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center threw a wrench into things. Fortunately, it ended up being a prank that caused the Health and Fitness Expo to shut down Friday night so there was no packet pickup or other fun that comes along with a marathon Expo!
Saturday started off early! Since many were not able to pick up packets the evening before, we got there early to avoid any long lines. The unpredictable Texas weather gave us a chilly start in the low 30’s. Saturday was the first part of the BMW Dallas Weekend Series, the Coors Light 5K and 10K. We had 6 people in the 5K and 2 in the 10K. Our 5K crew mainly consisted of weekend series participants (people running on Saturday and Sunday) with 1 first time race participant! In the 10K we had 2 from our training program running their first race of this distance. For these two ladies, it had all come down to this race! They were a bit nervous but we knew they would do well and that they did! They both not only finished the race but beat their training times and are now feeling confident about moving up to longer distances!
Throughout the day, race participants visited the Expo which
was now back on track. Picking up bibs, seeing names printed on the specialized BMW car, and signing names on the #RunBMWDallas wall all built excitement for the races ahead. Later in the day many of us met for a pre-race dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe in conjunction with the National Black Marathoners Association. We handed out our custom race shirts and had a great time socializing and sharing last minute race tips before heading home to rest and prepare for the next day’s activities.
The BIG day had finally arrived! After months of training and anticipation, it was finally here: Marathon Sunday! Sunday started off early and a bit chilly as well. We met inside the convention center to see each other, offer last minute encouragement, take pictures, and stretch before we headed out to the corrals or relay buses for our respective races. This year was the second year we had 30+ people in various events (34 to be exact). In the full marathon (26.2 miles) we had 7 runners with 4 of them being first-time marathoners. In the half-marathon (13.1 miles), we had 12 runners with 2 being first-timers. In the marathon relay, we had 10 runners spread across 3 teams.
As we waited in the convention center with the race time start time approaching, people began to take pics, say prayers, meet with their teams, and mentally prepare for a great race. The upbeat, positive, encouraging atmosphere was perfect to set the stage for some great results. It was already shaping up to be a great day! This year the BMW Dallas Marathon committee made some changes to the course. The starting point was in a different location and we started running in the opposite direction from last year’s course. The relay legs were different lengths, the Full Marathon course went the full distance around White Rock Lake, and there seemed to be quite a few more hills than last year! Nonetheless, we were prepped and ready to conquer the course and we did!
Hours later, every single one of our participants crossed the finish line, received their medals, and celebrated in front of city hall talking about the race and all that comes with an event like this. We had a great time enjoying the weather, the overwhelming support from our run club, and the excitement of finishing our races injury free! In the midst of all the excitement, we learned that 3 of our members were on a Top 5 relay team in the co-ed division! “Joint Forces- Run Up” was comprised of 3 WRTRC members and 2 November Project Dallas members. They killed the Marathon Relay with a time of 3 hours and 20 mins.
We also had 3 runners (Rachel, Spud and Matt) finish the half in under 2 hours all within seconds of each other (1:54) and a Full Marathon PR (Kelli with a 4:43 finish). Speaking of a PR, this was Kelli’s 4th Marathon of the year and 2nd in little over a month! An incredible feat considering her first marathon was in March of this year! Truly an amazing story!
All in all, the BMW Dallas Marathon Weekend 2017 was an overwhelming success and people are already excited about next year! 2018’s race is going to be even better as we encourage more runners to participate, create goals, and push for new PR’s!