marathon, people with true grit, running

Big D Marathon: windy, sunny, hilly and hotter than hell

The halfway point at the Sunday, April 10 Big D Marathon looked like a war zone. The heat wind and hills were brutal. The crowd support consisted mainly of runners' family members and friends.

Marathons are tough, no matter how you shake it. But marathons in 80+ temps (add a little sunshine and 30 mph gusts of wind) are a whole different ballgame. Yesterday’s Big D Marathon was just that kind of day. Anyone who ran this, or its half-marathon counterpart, or even gave it a good shot, are total badasses in my book.

The Big D is generally a tough race not only because of the warm Dallas weather but because, in my observations, the organizers don’t do a very good job of publicizing the event — that makes for angry commuters giving off bad vibes, and a pitiful excuse for crowd support.

My parents live in the Lochwood area of East Dallas, and they said they received no notice. Several other neighbors I spoke to verified that they had no warning. There was a drum corps playing nonstop at a water stop in a residential area … 8 a.m. on a Sunday. That’s not good public relations.

Anyway, back to the race: the results are here. Impressively, 700 people managed to finish the whole 26.2 in the allotted six hours. The winning time was 2:51 by Jonathan LeJune, 22. The female winner, Nicole Studer, 29, went 3:15. Those relatively slow winning times ought to give you an idea of the conditions out there. Only 62 of the 700 came in under 4 hours. More photos and reports of grit and studliness after the jump:

Here's the male leader a block from the 14-mile marker. It was at least five minutes before anyone else came along. He was the only sub-3-hour marathoner of the day.
This tough-as-nails chic held onto the female lead and 6th overall.
My buddy Jason Mayes was one of the few to complete the race in under four hours. The photo is blurry because I was threatening him ("I will post a pic of you walking if you stop!")
Another friend, Nick Polito (yellow) paced his bud Michael Bordelon to a 3:23 finish. Michael collapsed at mile 26 and clawed his way across the next couple hundred yards to the finish. He spent the night in the hospital but is healthy today.

4 thoughts on “Big D Marathon: windy, sunny, hilly and hotter than hell

  1. Christina. You are right on. I think a race like this is fine if you set people’s expectations. If it is known and marketed as a “hell run” then people will approach it as such. Instead they market it as a nice jog through Dallas in bloom. I feel like same effort would have gotten me at least 10-15 minutes faster at a more sane course like Chicago.

    -Michael Bordelon

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