The Lone Star State played host to over 15,000 runners at this weekend’s Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas Half Marathon and 5K. Conditions for both races couldn’t have been more perfect with start-time temperatures in the high 40s and sunny skies shining down on participants who lined up at the start line in the heart of Dallas.
Half marathoners ran a new course through Dallas’ Deep Ellum neighborhood, which is known for unique community displays of art. The iconic Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge was next before participants passed through the Bishop Arts District and then the Houston Street Bridge, where runners got their first glimpse of the city skyline. Bands and pom-pom-waving cheerleading squads lined the streets.
Reunion Lawn served as the new finish line for this year’s race and excitement was palpable as Benson Chesang of Kenya came down the final stretch to break the tape in the half marathon in 1 hour, 8 minutes and 45 seconds. Just nine seconds later, Dallas’ own Logan Sherman took second in 1:08:54. Third place went to Gabriele Zambrano of Fort Worth, Texas in 1:09:11.
“It was windy out there but that’s alright,” an animated Chesang said immediately afterwards. “I fell off at mile 8 and then started picking up and passing people. I picked up Logan [Sherman], and then passed him. Then he passed me, but I pressed it again.”
Chesang, who ran at the University of Kansas, was humble about his win. “I wasn’t really expecting to do it,” he said. “It was really exciting. It feels good. Not too bad at all. I wish I could win like this every weekend.”
The women’s race was must more decisive with 23-year-old Kelsey Bruce dominating in 1:18:10—over a minute ahead of her nearest rival.
“The course was hilly,” admitted Bruce, who attends nearby Dallas Baptist University and was the senior captain of her school’s cross-country team. “I looked at the elevation map. We had been doing hilly long runs so it wasn’t that bad. The game plan going in was to do my best.”
Second place in the women’s half marathon went to Whitney Bevins (1:19:17), while Melissa Christian took third in 1:19:53.
Blues Traveler jammed on stage at Reunion Lawn for medal-wearing participants and their families—a perfect send-off for a fun-filled weekend.