Big D Marathon
As of Sunday April 15, 2012 I am proud to say I have ran my fourth marathon! The Big D Marathon was held in Dallas Texas. We started at Fair Park (home of the Cotton Bowl), took a tour around White Rock Lake, ran through scenic neighborhoods in North East Dallas, then looped back around to finish at Fair Park once again.
Pros & Cons
Overall, this marathon was well done. I thought that the volunteer support and police escorting was very well done. Even with the conditions being rainy, there was tremendous support for the runners. There were plenty of fluid stations and aid stations were well organized in case of any emergency. The course was one of the most scenic I have run, and for that reason I enjoyed running it in spite of the conditions.
On the downside, there are many other things that could have been done better. Firstly, my biggest complaint is that the mile markers were off, especially towards the end of the race. Mile marker 22 was missing, and the expectation was that the marathoners would calculate their miles based on the half marathon signs. Now, I know thats not that big of an expectation, but at previous races there have always been signs for both marathons and half marathoners, even when they are running the same course. Secondly, the race clock was off by a minute. From the start of the race the timing team were having issues with there equipment, by the end of the race my watch and the race clock were off by a minute! Thats too much to even consider a lag in me pushing the start button on my Timex Chrono.
About the Course
This was by far the hardest of the four courses I have run. In total, I think there were 16 hills. Now these hills weren’t you average hills, many were in plus of a 30 degree incline. The weather, being raining (not too windy), made these hills that much harder. Going up the hills was tough, but even on the way down you couldn’t take advantage of gravity because you were afraid to slip.
My overall finish time was 3:49:51. Though I am not too happy about the time, I can’t complain either. Given the course conditions and my distractions in training for triathlons, it’s not too bad.
Summing it all up I honestly enjoyed this marathon. I got to see all of White Rock Lake, a very scenic Dallas, and many people making a change in their life. Especially when the marathoners met up with the half marathoners, you could see many individuals, who you would not normally see, running (or walking) to complete a common goal and change their lives for the better. I would recommend the half marathon to anyone, and the marathon to those runners who have already completed a marathon and are working to improve their times.