- 3 miles/5K, 6 miles/10K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon, Relay
- Road Race
This event was truly an adventure from beginning to end.
This was the first year that the Dallas Marathon incorporated a 5K and a 10K into their weekend and based on the race day experience I wouldn't have been able to guess that. Everything was so well run. The packet pickup for the weekend took place at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center in Downtown Dallas not too far from the race start and finish line. I expected it to be busy as I knew this was a big race weekend. What I encountered when I arrived as truly shocking.
Imagine my surprise when I walk up the the convention center from the adjacent parking lot and find hundreds of people standing outside up and down the street outside the entrances to the convention center and a lot of emergency vehicles outside with lights flashing. Turns out there was a suspicious bag found inside one of the other halls and it forced an evacuation. After waiting outside for more than an hour the race organizers sent out messages via social media that the convention center was closed for the evening and that packet pickup would take place starting at 6am the next day. Race day.
This made me a little anxious because I was already concerned about arriving early enough to find parking close by but not so early that I'd have to stand around in the cold or sit in my car for too long. Turns out that packet pickup was very well-organized and it took no more than a couple of minutes to get all of my things.
I was left with plenty of time to store my gear and warm up before heading to my corral. The pre-race speech wasn't overly long and we were even treated to a small cameo by Shalane Flanagan, who ended up running with all of us!
It ended up being a little cold, 31 at race time, but it was a sunny day and overall it was a gorgeous morning. There were several aid and music stations along the way and aside from one decent size hill around mile 4 the course wasn't very difficult. The one issue I had was that just after this hill the 5K and 10K course intersected so things got really tight, really quickly. I had to expend a lot of energy and added a bit of distance to my race by having to weave back and forth across the street to get by all of the 5K racers. Once it thinned out again things became a lot easier to navigate and there was a decent straightaway that lead to the finish line. The volunteers did a great job with medal distribution and the snack box handed out was pretty decent. The race t-shirt that wasn't available the day before because of the convention center closure was easy to obtain at the expo and is a very nice shirt.
I ended up with a PR on this course and will want to do this again next year. The only question is whether I will want to do the 10K again or the Half.