Feb 17, 2014 09:26AM
● By Anonymous
The modern marathon runner can endure plenty of obstacles. A grueling 26.2-mile race certainly should not be attempted by the faint of heart. But even die-hards breathed a sigh of relief this past December when icy road conditions caused the cancellation of the MetroPCS Dallas Marathon — after all, running outdoors in freezing temperatures is one thing. Running in temperatures nearing the single digits is another.
Fortunately, Fort Worth’s Cowtown marathon, already the biggest multi-race in Texas, offered discounted rates for those affected. The move was met with widespread interest from the running world as registration rates soared, swelling the ranks of runners signing up for the race way past last year’s participating levels.
This means great things not just for the anticipated 30,000 runners lacing up and their admirers, but also for the children of North Texas.
The 36-year-old race, a fundraiser for Cowtown Children’s Activities for Life & Fitness (CALF), offers plenty of opportunities for the young and young-at-heart to take part, including the Cook Children’s 5K on Sat., Feb. 22, held at the same time as the 10K and half-marathon races.
The Cowtown CALF program emphasizes the importance of good physical fitness in the community by working with local schools and community centers in teaching proper running, training and nutrition to area youth in preparation for a lifetime of fitness. Indeed, more than 3,300 youths received grants to participate in the race in addition to the training offered year-round.
For those who prefer their exercise in non-running form, the race still encourages participation! You can pick your own spot to cheer on the runners, many of them average North Texans, as they attempt an iconic feat of human achievement, or you can join in on one of the many activities planned along the way.
Head to Will Rogers Memorial Center to take part in pre-race activities and offer words of encouragement to racers, or move 10 kilometers down the race path to Billy Bob’s famous music hall where you’ll be joining U.S. Marines and Boy Scouts as they offer their own “hoorahs” to the racers. Near Sundance Square, you can stop to witness the fleet-footed pass the 10-mile mark, or head further into the marathon for our personal favorite watching party, located at Fairmount Park, where the Historic Fairmount Neighborhood Association will be hosting Pancakes in the Park. At mile 19, Prevent Blindness and Southwest High School invites you to join them at Foster Park to say howdy to the runners. Or head all the way to end of the race to witness the ultimate in athletic endurance as runners make their way past the finish line to the embrace of glorious metallic blankets and well-earned pancakes and beers (for the 21-and-up only, of course), located at Will Rodgers Memorial Center.
However you choose to participate in Cowtown, you can be sure you’re supporting an event that provides a lifetime of athletic lessons for area youth through the ultimate in athletic achievement.