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Like father, like son: BMW Dallas Marathon winner Aaron Sherf makes his dad, a longtime competitor, proud

The Dallas Marathon has always been part of Aaron Sherf’s life. His dad, Cary, has completed the annual Dallas footrace 38 consecutive years.

On Sunday, Aaron, 30, of Norman, Okla., made his running poppa proud by winning the 49th edition of the BMW Dallas Marathon in 2 hours, 31 minutes, 21 seconds.

“It’s always fun to come back to Dallas,” said Aaron, who grew up in South Garland until his family moved to Arizona when he was six. “It feels good to finally win it.”

Conditions started cool in the mid-50s but quickly warmed into the 70s as the sun broke through the fog by mid-morning. Many of the front and middle of the pack runners set personal bests before conditions became more challenging.

Logistically, the race seemed to go smoothly, starting with a high-energy sizzle video and pyrotechnics at the start and an emotionally charged finish line, energized by Mark “Hawkeye” Louis, of KSCS, 96.3FM fame.

“Everything worked out perfectly,” said executive race director Marcus Grunewald. “I guess I have a race director’s high. I don’t want it to end, but at the same time, I’m looking forward to next year.”

Sherf, who placed third overall in 2016, found himself in fifth place at the halfway point. He said he intentionally ran a slower, more conservative pace to account for the unseasonably warm conditions. At Mile 16, he caught a glimpse of the leader.

That gave him the boost he needed to kick his pace up a notch. He secured the lead by Mile 18. Though he began to struggle at Mile 24, he credits relay runners including the boys high school relay anchor, Will Muirhead of Lovejoy for helping stay strong.

As he turned toward the finish line in front of Dallas City Hall, he saw the pedestrian bridge with a banner, notifying runners they were 100-meters from the finish line.

“Oh my gosh!” Sherf said. “It was so amazing. It almost turned into a track meet.”

(12/15/2019) Views: 495 ⚡AMP
by Debbie Fetterman
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BMW Dallas Marathon

BMW Dallas Marathon

The BMW Dallas Marathon is the result of the efforts of a pioneering group of brave Dallas runners, who had the foresight to establish an annual 26.2-mile race more than 40 years ago. In 1971, Tal Morrison – the official founding father of the marathon – placed a $25 ad in Runner’s World beckoning runners from around the country to...

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Sergio Mena is one of the favorites in the men's half marathon in Dallas and he will cap a rigorous and rewarding fall by running his debut half marathon

Commerce’s Sergio Mena will cap a rigorous and rewarding fall by running his debut half marathon Sunday.

Mena, 25, took his final two exams, Tuesday and Thursday, to complete his master’s degree in business administration at Texas A&M-Commerce. His parents came from Spain on Wednesday to watch him walk the stage at Friday’s graduation ceremony. He hadn’t seen them in 18 months.

“I have no idea how I’m going to do everything,” Mena said by phone last weekend. “I’m going to try to stay calm. It’s exciting.”

On Sunday, he will be among the favorites to win the runDallas BMW Dallas Marathon half. It won’t be easy. Missouri City’s Richard Powell hopes to defend his title. Powell clocked a 1 hour, 8 minutes, 9 seconds last year.

Former Rice standout Gabe Cuadra placed second overall at the October 2019 Koala Health & Wellness Houston Half in 1:08:16. Dallas’ Cody Campbell and Drew Wiles also hope to be in the mix. Campbell’s half marathon personal best is a 1:10. He’s using Dallas as a tuneup for his goal race, the Jan. 19 Chevron Houston Marathon. Wiles, a former Woodrow Wilson standout, won the Dallas Running Club Half Marathon last month in 1:09:19.

Mena grew up in Cuenca, Spain, about an hour from Madrid. He didn’t run competitively until age 16. He quickly progressed under coach Alberto Fernandez Gil’s tutelage, racing internationally and earning a scholarship to Eastern Kentucky University.

He completed his undergraduate degree in three years so he used his final year of eligibility to run at A&M-Commerce while working and studying for his MBA. He wasn’t sure he’d continue running after he used up his NCAA eligibility.

His former coach, Luke Scribner, persuaded him to join the Nomad Running Society, a local running group designed to be inclusive and bring liked-minded runners together. It helped renew his passion for the sport. He also realized that running provided structure to his days and balanced the stress of work and school.

“I need it,” Mena said of running. “I was doing it just for fun. I wasn’t caring how long or how many miles.”

In late summer, Mena decided to make the Dallas half his goal race. His training has gone well. He finished the eight-mile Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot in 41:47, just 25 seconds behind three-time champion Tyler McCandless, of Boulder, Colo., an Olympic Trials qualifier in the marathon.

(12/14/2019) Views: 485 ⚡AMP
by Debbie Fetterman
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BMW Dallas Marathon

BMW Dallas Marathon

The BMW Dallas Marathon is the result of the efforts of a pioneering group of brave Dallas runners, who had the foresight to establish an annual 26.2-mile race more than 40 years ago. In 1971, Tal Morrison – the official founding father of the marathon – placed a $25 ad in Runner’s World beckoning runners from around the country to...

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The BMW Dallas Marathon is the oldest marathon in texas starting 49 years ago

Nearly 18,000 runners will take part in the BMW Dallas Marathon this weekend. 

That is quite the turnout for an event that started 49 years ago with just a few hundred participants.

“It started as a grass roots effort with a bunch of running friends who decided they wanted to have a marathon,” said Mark “Hawkeye” Louis, the marathon’s vice president.

Now, it is the oldest marathon in Texas.  And while it has changed routes over the decades, the race still pays homage to its roots back when it was known as the White Rock Marathon.

Video from the Jones Film Library at SMU shows some of those early races, including the very first in 1971 when the route never left the lakeside.

“They’d just circle White Rock Lake two and a half times,” Louis said. “But today, people insist the route includes the lake. That’s the legacy of the marathon and the epicenter for running in Dallas.”

The tribute also poses some potential peril for runners. 

Running to the lake from the starting point, and high point, at Dallas City Hall means the return trip includes some uphill climbing.

But that's part of the fun of it all too, right?

The marathon will run -- pun intended-- Friday through Sunday.

(12/12/2019) Views: 482 ⚡AMP
by Chris Sadeghi
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BMW Dallas Marathon

BMW Dallas Marathon

The BMW Dallas Marathon is the result of the efforts of a pioneering group of brave Dallas runners, who had the foresight to establish an annual 26.2-mile race more than 40 years ago. In 1971, Tal Morrison – the official founding father of the marathon – placed a $25 ad in Runner’s World beckoning runners from around the country to...

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Dallas Marathon, Texas’ longest running and largest marathon continues title partnership with BMW global brand through 2023

The Dallas Marathon today announced a multiyear title sponsorship extension with BMW of North America and the Dallas-Fort Worth Area BMW Centers.

Texas’ longest running marathon and the largest annual sporting event in North Texas will continue to be known as the BMW Dallas Marathon through 2023.

“We are thrilled to be extending our title partnership with BMW for the next five years, which includes the Dallas Marathon’s 50th anniversary in 2020,” said Paul Lambert, President of the Dallas Marathon. 

”As one of the world’s most admired and distinguished brands, BMW has partnered with us in elevating our guest experience for the thousands of participants and spectators who travel far and wide to participate in our Marathon Weekend of Events.”

The Dallas Marathon was BMW’s first title sponsorship of a major U.S. running event when its partnership was launched in 2016. In just two years, BMW has coordinated several exclusive initiatives for BMW Dallas Marathon participants, including a chance to receive a VIP trip and entry to the BMW Berlin Marathon through its sweepstakes program.

Additionally, the Dallas-Fort Worth BMW Centers work with the Dallas Marathon in coordinating a series of free 5K social runs leading up to race weekend to help promote awareness and excitement throughout the local community. “BMW is looking forward to extending our title partnership with an iconic marathon that represents our brand very well in a major metropolitan market,” noted Craig Westbrook, VP of BMW North America. 

”Together, BMW and the Dallas Marathon will continue to fuel health and wellness and raise funds for the race's beneficiary the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.”

(12/11/2018) Views: 755 ⚡AMP
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Making his debut Colby Mehmen, was the winner at BMW Dallas Marathon

It was over halfway through Sunday’s BMW Dallas Marathon, and not much was going right for contestant Colby Mehmen, who was making his marathon debut.

The problems started days before the race, when Mehmen, a 24-year-old, Princeton, Texas, native aiming to earn an Olympic trials qualifying standard got sick, contracted a fever and started having issues with his asthma.

Then, though Mehmen managed to jump out to a commanding lead within the first 10 miles of Sunday’s race, he started hurting around Mile 16. Gage Garcia, the only other runner nearby, took advantage, chipping away at Mehmen’s lead before narrowly pulling ahead by Mile 20.

And quickly approaching was what Mehmen considered the toughest and most important part of course: the Winsted Drive Hill. But somehow, the very immensity of that challenge spurred Mehmen to victory: Mehmen fought hamstring pain, the daunting hill and a formidable opponent to regain a solid lead by Mile 22, catapulting him to a first-place finish in the Dallas Marathon with a final time of 2:22:40.

“When we hit that hill, I just tried to... take the lead and see what happened,” Mehmen said. “Around Mile 21 or 22, I finally got loosened up again, and just brought it home...I got a little bit of a gap on him and then tried to pull away.

“That was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do, with my hamstrings tightening up, to really pull away at the point.”

(12/10/2018) Views: 853 ⚡AMP
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Colby Mehmen will make his marathon debut at Sunday's BMW Dallas Marathon

Colby Mehmen hopes to earn an Olympic trials qualifying standard and capture his hometown marathon title in the process. "I think they go hand in hand," Mehmen said of needing a sub-2-hour, 19-minute finish. "I'm probably going to have to hit the standard to win it." Mehmen, 24, has spent the last five months living and working in Boulder, Colo., training at altitude to put himself in position to run well. He's been living in his camper van and working at the Boulder Running Co. He considers two-time defending champion Keith Pierce the favorite. "He has so much experience," Mehmen said. "He's the seasoned veteran. Speed doesn't always translate into the marathon. I might have it in the shorter races, but the marathon is a whole different game."   (12/08/2018) Views: 1,099 ⚡AMP
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John Wayne Walding a former Green Beret, who lost a leg in battle is running his first marathon at BMW Dallas

Sunday's BMW Dallas Marathon is an opportunity for Staff Sgt. John Wayne Walding, a former Green Beret Special Forces soldier from Frisco, to achieve what he once thought was impossible. "Any time I tell myself I can't do something, I like to prove myself wrong," said Walding, a below-the-knee amputee. "No matter what, put your mind to it, and you can overcome pretty much any obstacle." Walding says he learned the meaning of "I can't" when he lost his lower right leg on April 6, 2008, in the battle of Shok Valley in Afghanistan. The Dallas marathon serves as a colossal challenge to remind him and to show his four children that there's little in life he cannot do. "John didn't think he could run 13 miles when we started this, and he definitely didn't think he could run a marathon," said his coach Mo Brossette, who has worked with Walding for two years. "Once he changed his mind-set and understood that that was the limiting factor, everything became possible." Walding has spent the past decade preparing to tackle a full marathon. He couldn't have endured this most recent 16-week build-up without years of training, mentally and physically. "It's going to be one of the hardest things I've ever done," said Walding, 37. "I'm a glutton for punishment. You don't become a Green Beret because you don't like to sweat a little bit and exert some energy." (12/05/2018) Views: 883 ⚡AMP
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BMW Dallas Marathon defending champ Chandler Self wants to win again and run across the finish line this year

Through 24 miles, Chandler Self felt great, on pace to set a personal best and win her hometown marathon. She had more than a two-minute lead on her competition. But in the 25th mile, her quads locked up. "I remember thinking: 'This hurts so bad. The pain won't stop until I cross the finish line,'" recalled Self, a psychiatrist with the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. "I kept pushing, willing my body to keep going." With the finish line in sight, her legs buckled. They wouldn't budge. She tried to get up but collapsed again. And again. And again. A fellow runner gave her a hand up. Self's body was so depleted that she needed a lift and a forward shove to reach the tape. She fell forward across the finish line in 2 hours, 53 minutes, 57 seconds. "It was like getting the wind knocked out of my sails," Self, an avid sailor, said. "And sailing with no wind is no fun. You can't move forward." Video of the finish garnered international attention. People were captivated by one runner's compassion toward another. For Self, who will again be among the elite women next Sunday in the marathon, last year's race represents her most notable career achievement and one of her most humiliating experiences. "The main takeaway for me is that I can fall, and I can get back up again," Self, 33, said. "I'm going to get up and try to run the Dallas Marathon again and cross the finish line strong." Added Self's dad, a marathoner and competitive sailor: "That was a huge learning moment, to sit there 200 yards from the finish line and have your body just collapse on you. It's huge to realize that every once in a while, everybody needs a hand up. Even in winning, you didn't do it all yourself." (12/04/2018) Views: 1,061 ⚡AMP
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Keith Pierce Defends Title in Dallas

Keith Pierce, 37, of McKinney, Tex., led from start-to-finish on a brisk, sunny morning at the 2017 BMW Dallas Marathon, breaking the tape with a winning marathon time of 2:27:16. In successfully defending his title, Pierce – also the winner of the 2016 BMW Dallas Marathon – ran more than two minutes faster than his 2016 winning time in Dallas. (12/12/2017) Views: 813 ⚡AMP
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Gut-wrenching finish at Dallas Marathon

Chandler Self was the first woman to cross the finish line at the 2017 Dallas Marathon, clocking 2:53:55. Self staggered, and at some points fell, throughout the final 50m of the Texas road race. High school runner Ariana Luterman, who was running in the event’s relay, aided Self over the final stages of the race and ultimately across the line. (12/11/2017) Views: 842 ⚡AMP
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Grammy Nominee J. Ingram to run in BMW Dallas Marathon

Country music artist and 2018 Grammy nominee, Jack Ingram will join local media personalities for the 2017 Last Relay Team Running, a contest that helps raise money for Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, the lead beneficiary of the 2017 BMW Dallas Marathon, Half Marathon and SMU Cox School of Business Relay, Sunday, December 10. (12/06/2017) Views: 848 ⚡AMP
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BMW Dallas Marathon course guide

For Sunday's BMW Dallas Marathon, race organizers are turning back the clock. A newly designed marathon course is reminiscent of the 1984 White Rock Marathon. Special contributor Debbie Fetterman highlights the notable changes and offers her course description, five best spectator venues and five landmarks along the route. (12/06/2017) Views: 1,146 ⚡AMP
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2017 BMW Dallas Marathon Announces Elite Ambassadors

Two of the biggest names in American long-distance running, Meb Keflezighi and Shalane Flanagan, are coming to Dallas for the 2017 BMW Dallas Marathon, Half Marathon and SMU Cox School of Business Relay, December 8-10. Throughout the weekend, four-time Olympian Keflezighi and recent New York City Marathon winner Flanagan will appear at events around the city, including the start and finish line on race day Sunday, Dec. 10. (11/29/2017) Views: 1,018 ⚡AMP
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