There’s a saying that everything is bigger in Texas, including at this weekend’s Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas Half Marathon and 5K, where more than 15,000 runners from all over the country and the world will toe the line in the Lone Star State’s third largest city.
One of the best American distance runners of all time, Ryan Hall, a two-time Olympian and the American half-marathon record holder will also be lacing up his shoes in Dallas. But Hall, who is 33 years old, won’t be at his usual place at the front of the pack. Instead, the 2:04 marathoner who recently retired from competition will be giving back to the sport by assisting the 7:00 per mile pace group in Saturday’s 5K and then the 8:00 mile pace group in Sunday’s half marathon.
“This is one of those things I haven’t gotten to do in my career,” Hall, a former All-American at Stanford University, told the Dallas Morning News last month. “It’s fun to run with people and help other people achieve personal bests and have great performances.”
Along with his blazing half-marathon record and his Olympic showings, Hall has also demonstrated world-class performances at the London, Boston and the New York City Marathons. His American-leading marathon time was clocked in Boston back in 2011 when Kenya’s Geoffrey Mutai went on to win in 2:03:52. Hall placed fourth that year.
Besides retiring, Hall, who is married to professional runner Sara Hall, recently went through another major life transition: becoming a father. Last September, the Halls adopted four daughters from Ethiopia.
Fatherhood has been consuming the time that Hall would normally have spent training, and he is looking forward to his half-marathon pacing duties with a bit of caution—noting that he hasn’t run that far since he retired. Still, Hall says he’s thrilled to be part of the experience.
“I can’t wait to be in Dallas with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series for what is sure to be a huge weekend with two days of running and endless entertainment,” he said. “The Dallas running community is huge and I am really looking forward to being out on the course with my peers.”
The fun kicks off bright and early on Saturday with the Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll 5K at Fair Park. And on Sunday, it continues with the half marathon starting at 8 a.m.
True to any Rock ‘n’ Roll event, wall-to-wall fun and entertainment awaits runners from start to finish. Live, local bands will be playing along the course and high school cheerleading squads will be out waving their pom-poms at the runners as they make their way through the scenic parts of Dallas along a new course—starting at Young and Lamar Street and finishing at The Lawn at Reunion. Half marathoners will pass through the hip Deep Ellum neighborhood, across from the iconic Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, to the Bishop Arts District and Houston Street Bridge.
The Rock ‘n’ Roll weekend festivities will culminate at the finish-line festival on Sunday where the ‘90s rock group Blues Traveler will jam for runners and their families.
“It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to run with a legend like Ryan Hall and we are thrilled to have one of America’s greatest be a part of race weekend in Dallas,” said Tracy Sundlun, SVP and co-founder of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series. “With a new course and the addition of Ryan we are confident that this will be another epic year in Dallas.”