Talk about a half marathon and most people will picture elite athletes, some of whom could be professionals or Olympic-caliber. And some of the 12,000 participants in the March 22 Humana Dallas Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon would fit that category, but there were also those running their first race, those running for charity, and those who had suffered a stroke or lost a limb. All shared a commitment to better health and a determination to reach goals.
The weekend festival of racing kicked off Friday with a free Health and Fitness Expo and continued with Saturday’s 5K and Sunday’s half marathon. People from all 50 states and several countries participated in the Dallas half marathon, and Olympic medalist and running legend Deena Kastor was on hand to pace Saturday and Sunday’s races.
The fastest woman in the race was Lauren Versweybeld, a local resident celebrating her 26th birthday whose winning time of 1:19:14 was a personal best, and the fastest man was Emil Dobrowoloski of Poland, whose time of 1:04:41 was also a personal best.
The winning performances are impressive, but the weekend festival offered something for everyone and not just the elite athletes. There were opportunities for walkers and runners of all ages and abilities to complete goals, reach milestones, inspire health and give back to others. Participants were not only improving their own fitness but many were walking or running for a cause through Humana’s partnership with Charity Miles, a free app that lets people of all levels of fitness choose one of 25 charities that will receive 25 cents for every mile completed.
The weekend of healthy, fun activity ended Sunday with a post-race concert where the participants – and those who cheered them on – could celebrate their success in getting fit, giving back and inspiring others to begin their own journey to better health.