Race Report Series for:
Marathon #25 (overall #38) – Rock ‘n Roll San Antonio Marathon
Marathon #26 (overall #39) – BWM Dallas Marathon
Marathon #27 (overall #40) – Houston Running Festival
Deck the halls with… jing-a-ling-a-ling-a-ling-a… LOL
It has been a tradition that every year during December (since 2012), I run a marathon decked out with Christmas gear, including bells, tinsels, and starting last year, portable speakers playing Christmas music. Well, it’s that time of the year again, and perhaps one of the reasons why this is my favorite holiday of the year…
New this year for the outfit: in addition to the garland and bells, I also have battery operated Christmas lights as well as a bluetooth speaker that blasted Christmas music… Bringin’ on the holiday spirit!
Series #2: BMW Dallas Marathon – December 11, 2016
Summary & highlights:
MetroPCS Dallas Marathon (now sponsored by BMW) was my first ever Marathon on 12/9/12, and will be my 26th full marathon.
I had signed up for this race, knowing that it was going to be my last year having easy access to DFW on a given weekend. After all, this was the first marathon which I ran with a bunch of jingle bells, and people were saying “Merry Christmas” the whole time.. bringing on the Christmas spirit during a race…
This was also my friend from Mission Point Christian Church, Valentin’s first ever half marathon!! He had been training with the Soler Sports social run on Sundays (with Charysse, me, and a few other people), but hadn’t been in the last few weeks due to school. But I was pretty sure that since he was able to run a 10 miler one time on water only around Alamo Heights, he could finish the half. I was so encouraged when he decided to sign up for the half marathon in Dallas, as it was refreshing for him to leave town as well.
It was a little chilly while we got to the start line, but it quickly warmed up as we started and temperatures started to rise. I ended up pacing Valentin for the first 7-8 miles of the Marathon, and by mile 10, we split. Temperatures continued to rise as we approached White Rock Lake, and the spectators were scattered intermittently throughout the course. As we were approaching the Santa Fe trail and left, there were a couple of short but steep hills, and the rest of the way was flat to the finish.
My Christmas gear for the BMW Dallas Marathon consisted of the red canadian Maniac shirt. I happened to have some leftover red tinsels from last year, as well as the green tinsel from Rock ‘n Roll San Antonio. This time I used a different fanny pack, knowing that it would not rain and I could take out the speakers from the ziplock bag… As far as the Christmas lights, I used THREE sets, two on my shirt (one routed on the left side of the body and one to the right) and one in my pants. However, because this hydration pack did not have any pockets, I had to use cable ties to strap down the speaker AND the battery packs on the two sets of lights I was using.
At the Expo, 12/10/16
Left: Me, Valentin, and another brother JC from the DFW church of Christ came to the expo with us.
Center: serial foam rolling… LOL
Right: The Dallas Marathon expo has a list of statistics of every year’s race on display… it’s pretty cool. Of note, 2013 was cancelled due to icy conditions the entire weekend.
We loaded ourselves with fat and intestines at a Korean BBQ place in Dallas (with Valentin, Vo, and Denise) before the marathon…. smart idea lol
Left: cow small intestines, in the process of being cooked
Center: beef bacon (??) and marinated chicken breast
Right: Beef kalbi and pork belly
At Mockingbird Station
Left: what a random surprise I ran into the current principal of my high school (J.J. Pearce, Richardson ISD)! I chatted with him a bit and some of the teachers who taught my classes were STILL there!! lol
Right: Valentin and I – this was his first time taking the DART rail lol…
At the start line, Griffin St & Lamar St, Downtown Dallas
Top left: Valentin and I getting ready
Top right: ran into Frank.. I met him during the Allen’s New Years Double last 12/31!
Bottom left: ran into Bobby and Laura (other maniacs) – they looked really familiar, and apparently I met them at a few of the trail races and when our mutual friend Clyde ran his 200th marathon on Memorial Day earlier this year…
Bottom right: ran into my former classmate from medical school Ellen! She’s now doing Anesthesia in Dallas.
Left: fireworks at the start line…
Right: Getting our race game on…
First few miles…
Top left: Leaving downtown Dallas (I-45)
Top right: Washington Ave
Bottom left: Lemmon Ave, uptown
Bottom right: approaching Turtle Creek Blvd
Left: Val still goin…
Center: a gradual uphill onto Cedar Springs St
Right: crossing US 75 out of Highland Park
Left: Naked cowboy… lol (I think I remember him from last year!!)
Center: Lower Greenville Ave
Right: Half / Full split point
After the halfway point…
Left: The 13.1 timing mat
Center & right): southbound (return segment) around White Rock Lake…
More random ppl… just for kicks!!
Left: some random lady with her family, also dressed up as the Christmas tree… how coincidental!!
Center: this lady running the relay said she wasn’t gonna let me pass her when she completed her leg, so I was like, let’s run together and bring you in LOL
Right: finally saw my friend Craig (from Denver) whom I met when I ran Reno this May. I wasn’t able to catch him at the finish line afterwards, but glad to hear that he will be doing Rock ‘n Roll Arizona next January. He wished me a congratulations on getting a job in El Paso, and reminded me that I was so worried about not getting a job when I was up in Reno.
And I had to pause and (subconsciously) think… thank you Jesus! It didn’t even seem like that long ago since Reno… and now, I have a job and future lined up… God is good.
On and beyond the Santa Fe Trail…
Top left: aid station with clif shots
Top right: people had the death march going on close to mile 20…
Bottom left: Random sign… I had to take a pic bc it was funny at the time ha
Bottom right: Leaving the Santa Fe trail near the next relay exchange point
My perspiration is your inspiration… LOL
More random pics with random ppl… Tis the season to dress up apparently ha
The last few miles…
Left: Approaching into Downtown Dallas
Right: So there were these two girls that seemed to stick together. The one in the gray shirt was obviously in pain, and while I was blasting my Christmas music, I could hear her trying to sing to it and keep her mind off the race. I was tempted to leave them behind and keep on running, but somehow God sent a message that conveyed to me otherwise. So, knowing that this person is in pain and was holding on to something, I decided to help them pace as they both pushed through it. I never got a chance to talk to them or get their names, not even at the finish line, for she was too emotional to even talk to anyone, and I don’t blame someone for doing so! The whole point of dressing up and jing-aling-aling-a-ling-lol is so that people can get a good laugh at it, and bring on some holiday cheers, and perhaps help them mentally. While it does bring some attention to myself, I try to deflect that by not making a big deal out of it or just saying “Merry Christmas!!” back. Anyways…
At the finish line
Left: finished… and it was HOT
Center: That lady who ran the leg of the relay said she’d find me at the finish and she did!!
Right: At the finish line, I saw everyone gathered together in groups… and for a moment I felt a little down.. where are my other friends when I finished? As I was getting my beer from the beer tent, I ran into Laura again! She invited me to join Bobby and her, and the 3 of us chatted for a while and connected before I took off… Cheers for new friendships but too bad I’ll be on the other side of the state next year…
Top left: some Beatles cover band playing at the finish area…
Top right: The BMW Dallas Marathon medal – it’s alright I think, not spectacular
Bottom: Valentin had finished his first half marathon in 2:23… a huge congratulations to my brother in Christ and a baseline to improve from now on!! I am very happy that both he and Mathias, among my two closest brothers in the church, have both completed a half marathon distance this year… Valentin was waiting at Mockingbird Station, therefore I took the light rail back from West End, and we took off back to San Antonio.
This was a good day, and I am grateful for all the holiday cheers that I was able to give, and feel blessed with the ability to encourage others while simultaneously running a marathon along the way… running is a mental thing, and anything that provides encouragement and worthy of praise would help….
Up next: Series 3 – Houston Running Festival