Dallas Marathon weekend is almost here, but it may surprise some to find out that most participants’ goal is not to run 26.2 miles. Of the 25,000 expected runners, approximately 13,000 are registered for the half marathon distance. One of the more well-known half marathon runners will not be starting with the elites. Craig “Junior” Miller, host on The Ticket Sports Radio, will start at the very back of the last corral. He has taken on the challenge of being the “Last Man Running” and is raising pledges for donations to Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC) for each runner he passes.
Miller, a veteran of 10 marathons, was asked to serve as the “Last Man” only about a month ago when the original participant, 96.3 KSCS’ Mark “Hawkeye” Louis, sustained an ankle injury during his training.
“I’m happy to fill in for Hawkeye, although I haven’t been running much for the past six months so I’m a little worried about my fitness.” Miller says. “I’ve had to go on a crash, four-week half marathon training program. I’m afraid I’m about 5-10 minutes off my PR fitness, but I’m competitive and will run as hard as I can.”
Cotton Patch Café is the title sponsor of the Last Man Running program and has pledged to donate $4 for each runner passed, up to $25,000.
“We are thrilled to have Cotton Patch Café help us launch a new initiative that we plan to make a fixture of our December race,” said Kevin Snyder, chairman of the Dallas Marathon board of trustees. “I look forward to seeing Last Man Running grow as an annual highlight of our marathon and to further increasing donations to Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.”
Here’s the latest news and notes for those running the half marathon at this year’s Dallas Marathon weekend:
• Race day is Sunday, December 9. Starting ceremonies begin at 7:30 a.m., and the half marathon will start at 8:05, the same time as the full marathon and the 5-person relay.
• Runners can pick up their race packets at the Health and Fitness Expo on Friday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. or Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be no packet pick up on race day.
• The half marathon course is new this year, featuring a start and finish in Downtown Dallas. The half marathon course will follow the full marathon course for the first 7.5 miles. Runners will cross the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, run by the Design District and the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. After splitting from the full marathon runners, the half participants will pass Dallas’s newest urban green space, Klyde Warren Park, on their way to the finish. Runners can check out the course map on the race’s web site, www.dallasmarathon.com/course-info-maps.
• Average temperature on race morning is around 40 degrees Fahrenheit at the start and 50 degrees Fahrenheit by 2 p.m. However, Miller says that runners should ready for anything. “Pack for any kind of weather. It can be crazy here in December. You might get sun and 80 degrees, or wind and snow and 20 degrees.”
For more information or to donate to the Cotton Patch Café Last Man Running program, visit www.dallasmarathon.com/last-man-running.