In spite of the temperatures hovering in the 30s, over 2000 runners were on hand for the inaugural No Limits Half Marathon and 5K benefiting Speedway Children’s Charities-Texas Chapter at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. The first-year event -- which was produced by the Cowtown Marathon organizers in a partnership with TMS -- featured runners from 13 states, including California, Florida, Illinois and Ohio.
Two-time Olympic silver medalist Darvis "Doc" Patton and three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford served as Grand Marshals for the event, with Rutherford waving the green flag at 7:45 a.m. The runners, who were anxious to get moving with the ever-present bitingly cold wind chill, went off in groups based on their race times and which race they were participating in.
Patton, a TCU graduate and Dallas native, was at the finish line waving the checkered flag for the winners. Reigning Cowtown Marathon champion Kolin Styles took the Half Marathon, running the 13.1-mile layout that took place over a majority of the venue's 1,500 acres in 1 hour, 11 minutes and 32.4 seconds. The 26-year-old from Weatherford ran at a 5:28-mile pace with the finishing lap coming on the 1.5-mile speedway and crossing the same start-finish line that has been crossed by NASCAR and INDYCAR race winners since TMS opened in 1997.
The Half Marathon overall female champion was 36-year-old Kami Banks, of Fort Worth. Banks completed the course in 1:33:13.9 to claim the women's title and also finish 10th overall. Clinton Blacksmith, a 21-year-old from Denton, was the Male Open 5K champion at 18:29.3.
"The sense I get is that they all liked it because it's different than running through a city course," Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage said. "You get to run at a big venue and like everything, we try to make a big deal out of it with Doc (Patton) here and Johnny Rutherford and starting it off in a big way. This is a big deal to them just like the races next week are a big deal to the NASCAR guys."
The races served as the "Go Green" kickoff event for next weekend's AAA Texas 500 NASCAR race weekend. To purchase tickets (including just released front stretch seats), visit here.
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