March 22, 2015
DALLAS – Over 12,000 runners took to the chilly and scenic streets of the “Big D” today at the Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas Half Marathon. Of all the competitors hitting the pavement one got the treat of a lifetime by winning the race and setting a personal best on her birthday of all days.
Fort Worth resident Lauren Versweyveld prevailed in one hour, 19 minutes, and 14 seconds. The 25-year-old, a graduate of Olivet Nazarene University, defeated second-place finisher Jen Frankmann (1:21:15) by over two minutes. Third place in the half marathon was awarded to Melissa Christian of Dallas, Texas (1:23:38).
“I didn’t really know how I’d do going into it,” an elated Versweyveld admitted about how she felt she’d do before the starting gun sounded. “I was hoping for a PR since it was my birthday. The weather ended up being perfect for a PR. The crowd support was great. I love the Rock ‘n’ Roll races; they are so much fun. I loved the bands at the mile marks.” Versweyveld says she’s next setting her sights on the Country Music Nashville Marathon & 1/2 next month. “I’m looking forward to that race, too,” she said.
The men’s race was much closer—a duel actually—between Polish runners throughout the scenic parts of one of Texas’ largest cities. The 25-year-old Emil Dobrowoloski, a 2:14 marathoner, won in 1:04:41. Fellow countryman Jacub Nowak (1:04:59) was close on his heels and good for second. Third place went to Christian Zamora of Mexico who ran 1:08:21.
Runners got a new course this year with a start at Lamar Street and Young Street and mid-run highlights including Pioneer Plaza, Deep Ellum, Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, and Dealey Plaza. The finish line was located at the American Airlines Center where the Dallas Mavericks play. Pop singer Eric Hutchinson serenaded the festive crowd at the finish-line festival with songs from his widely popular Sounds Like This album. At the finish line itself, were the always-smiling Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders who gave finishers countless pom-pom salutes.
Dallas was full of action this weekend. Along with the half marathon on Sunday, a 5K was held on Saturday. Making a splash on both days in both races was arguably the greatest female American distance runner of all time, Olympic medalist and American marathon-record holder, Deena Kastor.
Kastor took part in the Remix Challenge by pacing the 8-minute-per-mile group in the 5K yesterday as well as the 1:45-finishing-time group in the half marathon today. “I love pacing the 8-minute group,” Kastor recalled of her duties. “It was an enthusiastic bunch. It was a real honor to pull many of those people to personal bests. It was great to help them extend outside of their comfort zones and what they thought was possible. Any time you can do that together is amazing.” Kastor relishes the bonds she formed with the runners and the shared stories. “I am much more inspired running with them than if I had run my own personal pursuit. It was such an awesome morning.”
Presale for the 2016 Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas Half Marathon is now open through Sunday, March 29. Visit runrocknroll.competitor.com/dallas/ to register and for more information.
2015 Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas Half Marathon Results
Name, Age, Hometown, Time
Men’s Half Marathon
- Emil Dobrowoloski, 29, Poland, 1:04:41, $750*
- Jacub Nowak, 25, Poland, 1:04:59, $500*
- Christian Zamora, 35, Mexico, 1:08:21
- Benson Chesang, 31, Irving, TX, 1:08:22, $1,000**
- Logan Sherman, 29, Dallas, TX, 1:09:00, $750**
Women’s Half Marathon
- Lauren Verswweyveld, 25, Fort Worth, TX, 1:19:14, $1,250**
- Jen Frankmann, 30, Richardson, TX, 1:21:15, $750**
- Melissa Christian, 38, Dallas, TX, 1:23:28, $500**
- Amanda Mangelsdorf, 30, Dallas, TX, 1:23:37, $250**
- Cassie Carroll, 30, Frisco, TX, 1:24:08, $100**
*Includes time bonus
**Includes Dallas Metroplex