For the first time in 36 years, The Dallas White Rock Marathon has a title sponsor, changing the name of the 26.2 mile race scheduled for December 10, to the WELLSTONE DALLAS WHITE ROCK MARATHON. At a press conference Aug. 29, on the Scottish Rite Hospital lawn (the beneficiary of the marathon), marathon board Chairman CHUCK DANNIS, Race Director MARCUS GRUNEWALD, Dallas Mayor LAURA MILLER, Gender Challenge sponsor, Dr. KENNETH COOPER, and marathon Founder TAL MORRISON, announced Dallas’ marathon joining the ranks of Chicago, LA, New York, and Boston. This year the marathon will also be strongly directing people to register for the race on line at www.runtherock.com. There will be “some” places to register in person, such as at the CCCD’s Half Marathon and a few other select races. Otherwise, almost all of the registering for the marathon this year will be done using a computer. …Dannis won 3rd in the Clydesdale division at the Olympic distance Chicago Triathlon on 8/27. KRISTEN WARNER also did the race. “I had a really good race. I was back to running and my bike was great. For once the swim wasn’t the best, but I got through it. People are just retarded sometimes. With being along the harbor wall, the new swimmers just seemed to get in the way. My bike was the best part though and I was pretty ecstatic to be running without pain or just pain from not enough training.” Her splits were 29:52 swim, 1:14 bike (20.4 mph), 55:59 run (9:01min/mile) for a total time of 2 hours, 45 minute, and 7 seconds. “The best I’ve ever had was a 2: 47 last year on the same course, but my swim was 3 minutes faster then. And the fastest split on the bike I’ve ever had is 19.8mph for an Olympic distance. I wasn’t too far off on the run as I’ve done 8:34 miles before for an Olympic distance, but I think the course was short for that one.” …MINDI RICE was awarded by The Road Runner’s Club of America, “My Favorite PE Teacher.” At the web site, http://rrca.org/publicat/footnotes0906.pdf, Rice is pictured running, above a statement of how she began running last summer, and ran her first ever 15K in 59:32 at a Lake Grapevine Runner’s and Walkers club run. It was the fastest by a female since records began in 1996… Cyclist MIKE KEEL found funny and appropriate the model name of a water bottle given at the clinic, “How To Manage Your Ride” he was doing at the Hotter ‘n’ Hell Hundred bike rally, 8/26. It was called the “ Little Big Mouth.” …THE ELVIS RUN, usually run August 8 to commemorate the birth of The King, has been moved to October 28, Reverchon Park (Turtle Creek Blvd. and Maple Ave)…A new local sports magazine will grace newsstands in January. According to former running sports agent, TROY JAMES who is putting it together with Tiago Properties, the monthly will include sports, politics, and entertainment. James and elite runner DEBBIE ARZOLA gave birth to a boy on Sept. 2… Local marathoner/triathlete MICHAEL SMITH is included crossing the finish line at the Ironman Arizona on the web site, www.ironmanarizona.com #23 under “Images.” Smith jokingly commented, “I had my back waxed for this photo, but that’s as far as I’ll go.” …On July 23, KEVIN DUNN, training for the Vineman Ironman Triathlon, rode 112 miles and then ran 22 miles. By itself, that is a brutal day of training. To make it seem almost impossible, Dunn did the entire bike ride at White Rock Lake, and the entire run on a treadmill. Dunn was a manager for the Tom Landry Center, but left to join the Seminary in California.
DOUG JONES, 53, who sold commercial real estate in Texas and lived in the Dallas area during the 1990’s, was killed Saturday, August 12, when his Toyota Landcruiser hydroplaned during a rainstorm in Parleys Canyon, Utah.
“I trained and raced with him in the early 90’s. We used to meet at his house every Saturday and run,” said trainer partner, TOM HULSEY, showing a picture of them together at the 1992 Tri Guys Stonebridge Triathlon. “We competed in several triathlons together.” Logan Jones, one of his five children, remembered his father Tuesday as a man who loved God and the outdoors. “He had a great love for the outdoors,” Logan Jones said about his father. “He was a very active human being.” Douglas Jones had gone cycling with a group of friends the day he was killed, he added. “He’s very big into biking,” Logan Jones said. “He was an athlete in all aspects, marathon, triathlon and he was into skiing.”
Fifty Marathons in Fifty States in Fifty Days
SAM THOMPSON, who once lived in the Dallas area and ran the Dallas White Rock Marathon, came back on August 17 to run the DWRM course again as part of a 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days tour to highlight the problems that still exist after Hurricane Katrina. LAKE GRAPEVINE RUNNERS AND WALKERS (LGRAW) member MARTY METZGER sent out a message to recruit people to run with Thompson, that lead off with, “Think YOUR summer is hectic?”
Besides his girlfriend, KRISTEN SELLEREIT, a registered dietitian watching over his caloric intake, local runner MICHAEL SMITH, who is also working toward completing 50 marathons in 50 states, and several others from the area, accompanied Thompson for his Dallas run, including the LGRAW members. It was a chance for the city, its running population, and the marathon to shine. And it did. DWRM race director MARCUS GRUNEWALD rode in a support vehicle providing fluids and gels, while DWRM Board Pres. CHUCK DANNIS rode his bike alongside for part of Thompson’s run. “I was honored to have played a small part in Sam’s endeavor,” said Grunewald, “and will hopefully be able to invite him back to our expo in the future to sign copies of his book about his running. He ran an unbelievable 3:38 in this weather. I believe that is in his top 5 marathon times for the 48 marathons he has run so far, and I don’t think he will be running any quicker in New Orleans tomorrow.” Dannis offered the runner a free entry and room if he returns to run the DWRM race on December 10. The pack of runners commented it was like offering the winner of a spaghetti eating contest a free spaghetti dinner. “Awesome,” Smith commented after running with Thompson. “I wish all my Thursday runs were that much fun.”
Questions abounded about Thompson’s different marathons, as the pack ran around the lake. (“What were the best marathons, other than Dallas?” Birmingham and Cincinnati. “Most people to run alongside you?” Twenty-five, the entire way, in Birmingham. “How many shoes have you gone through?” Eleven. “How many calories a day do you need?” Five-thousand. “What was the worst weather?” Alaska. Rain and 40 degrees the whole course. “How are you traveling?” By car.) All were of good spirit, offering positive reinforcement, and encouraging Thompson and his endeavor.
After running one his top three times (3 hrs., 3 minutes), Thompson wrote this on his web site (50in50in50.com): “We found Marcus Grunewald, the race director, and a whole crew of folks from LGRAW. It was great to see such a crowd, and with the temperature already way up there even without the sun yet, we got going without too many pleasantries. Marcus was fantastic- he led us through the entire course flawlessly, and blocked traffic whenever necessary. A fresh crew of local runners jumped in around mile 7, and ran a good bit with me. We cruised around White Rock Lake, and fortunately had great shade most of the way. I kept my pace pretty steady and finished up strong right back where I started at the American Airlines Center, with a great crowd of folks there to cheer me on from Rhodes (they had set up an awesome water stop complete with donuts in the middle of the race, but I unfortunately had to pass it by), from the LGRAW running club, and a few others too. The race director gave me a finisher’s medal and shirt and all kinds of stuff, and I got to eat a few of the donuts I’d missed earlier.”
ANGELA TORTORICE is a local marathoner who ran with Thompson during the beginning miles and recently finished running a marathon in 50 states last year that took her over six years to accomplish. “I think it is awesome. I did two marathons over the weekend and I can barely walk. I don’t know how Sam did it. It had to not only be extremely physically challenging, but I am sure a lot of it was mentally challenging. It is very impressive. I am most impressed by the speed he was able to do these marathons in continuously. I really would have expected him to slow down a bit. Doing 48 marathons [including Dallas] at a 3:45 pace after 47 previous marathons each day is a phenomenal task. The hardest part beyond just physically getting up with tired sore muscles day after day is the thought of logistically getting from marathon to marathon. I think he really did a lot right. His girlfriend is a dietitian so she helped with proper recovery in regards to his recovery drinks and meals, plus he received daily massages that worked out some of the kinks. Both of these are extremely important in endurance events.” Go to Thompson’s website for more details 50in50in50.com PTN
Who’s Marking White Rock Lake?
JILL BEAM, Dallas Parks and Recreation Director, was dressed appropriately for the race directors meeting she called at Winfrey Point on August 22. Beam, dressed in equal amounts of black and white to play referee between the public, Councilman GARY GRIFFITH, the Dallas Police Dept., and cyclists and runners, sent out over 100 letters requesting the presence of members of any running or cycling group that uses the lake for competitions or training. At the meeting, 18 people attended representing six organizations: Lukes, CCCD, Dallas Arboretum, Run On, Thurston Racing, and two high schools. Ken Ashby, the most recognized measurer of races in north Texas was also in attendance. Glaringly absent were the Leukemia, Muscular Dystrophy and charity organizations, whose leadership changes often. Although Beam says that more than one person has complained about the markings at White Rock Lake, inside police sources say it is one man on the west side of White Rock Lake (most of the race markings and all the races start on the east side) with an email address who complains about new running group markings at the lake. When investigated, more times than not, the markings are spray painted from utility companies. The markings done by running groups are in the minority and done per City of Dallas regulations. Almost all of the run markings are done in chalk, also per order of the City of Dallas, though rain has been scarce to wash them away. What is at the core of the problem is the permanent spray paint markings made by a variety of other people for a variety of reasons not aware they are breaking the law, that residents feel is unattractive to their lake.
Prior to runners and then cyclists coming to the lake to train, and much later, race, White Rock Lake had fallen on hard times. With crime and undesirables being attracted to the close proximity of nearby liquor stores, the paved road that encircled the entire lake in the early 1980’s without barriers, and the nooks and crannies for people of unscrupulous character to do what they do, the lake bottomed out about 1985.
With more and more runners and then cyclists being attracted to the scenery and convenience of the 9-mile loop, the lake began to look up. Crime went down; undesirables were chased away and property values rose, making lake front real estate some of the most sought after in the city now.
Beam brought up the idea of one starting point for all races to reduce the markings. Several groups voiced opposition due to the different distances and variety. Presently races start at Norbuck Park, Big Thicket Cabin, The Bath House, the Stone Tables, Sunset Bay, and Winfrey Point. Beam said Norbuck Park is fine as it is, easing the two high school representatives in attendance. One person complained, “There are nine nails in a row,” along the road in front of Winfrey Point, though the nail heads are all that show, and the nail markings are on the far side of the two-car lane wide road.
Those present pointed out there is a $200 deposit to Dallas Parks and Rec for groups to use the lake and an additional $150 per person the group expects.
Beam asked for ideas on marking the distances around the lake. The city has had three sets of marking in the past 20 years. For years beginning in the mid-1980’s, there were yellow mile marks. They eventually faded and were not replaced. In the early 90’s, the city installed 3-foot high 3×3” wooden stakes. They were all mowed down by city mowers within a year. Next, the city put one-foot square cement blocks. The mowers managed to hit and dislodge most of these, as well. Movable posts were suggested with DP&R to look into it further.
Griffith issued the statement, “Permanent markings need to stop,” through Beam. Griffith, who is running for mayor and a big backer of the $2.2 million dollar bridge paralleling Mockingbird Lane that he didn’t know was too small, also said, “In the history of the world there hasn’t been a single cyclist who has ever stopped at a stop sign.” Beam was also told by Griffith, “No new running groups at the lake.” Beam explained that what races and groups are there now, is all there will be. The city is no longer allowing any other running group to use White Rock Lake.
Also at the meeting was Dallas Police Officer JIM BAILEY of the Special Events Office. He said he felt the markings and lack of communication had lead to accidents between cyclists and runners during the summer. But he also hit on a sensitive subject to both runners and cyclists. “I’d like to see the [Mockingbird Bridge bike and hike lane] back.” Applause filled the room. Bailey suggested the runners and cyclists come together to win back Dallas only bike lane, that was lost when the new paralleling bridge was built.
No Shows at Races
The ROCKWALL SPRINT TRIATHLON, August 27, was won by couple MICHAEL and NATALIE LINAM. Natalie’s maiden name of NALEPA would be more familiar to DFW runners. This is the same world class runner who has lead many races including The YMCA 8 Mile Turkey Trot. Michael won by six minutes and Natalie won by three minutes.
The Rockwall race also showed a common problem among popular races. Approximately seventy-four people registered for the race that filled up, but did not show at the start line, taking precious race slots away from others (www.doitsport.com). “That kind of [upsets] me,” said multi-sport champion, SHELIA NATHO. That is a pool swim race, which fills up pretty fast. So for them to sign up and not do it, well, that takes away from the folks who really wanted to do it. I am just amazed at the number of names that appear there. This happened to me earlier in the season. There was a pool swim at a triathlon out at Grapevine that I could not get into as it was full.” AARON PATEL, known for carrying the US flag throughout races, was registered and did not show because he was attending the Canadian Ironman Triathlon in Penticton, British Columbia, that day. WALT HARTLEY was also registered but was unable to attend because of a bike crash. “I was finally ready to make a comeback after getting to where I could run three times a week, still not fast but at least 7:00 miles. Then, the weekend before Rockwall, I went down pretty hard in a crash at the North Richardson Bike Mart ride during a sprint. Nothing broken, but still beat up and unable to even walk without a noticeable limp three-four days later.” Race Director JACK WEISS was also wondering why people would not show to a race after registering. “I really can’t explain it. We do note that on average we have an eight percent ‘no show’ rate and for that reason we took 450 registrations, [hoping] that way we’d get 400. In fact, 382 started. It is startling to see, at $50.00 a ‘pop,’ folks don’t show up.”