It is a great race for a personal record if you are used to races in the Texas Hill Country; it is all cement though so it was hard on my knees.Because the temperature dropped from the 70s on the day before the race to the 30s for race day there was no ambiance, almost no spectators. It looked like they had a nice post-race party planned. The volunteers at the water stations were very nice but they didn't seem to know exactly what to do; or maybe it was just the weather. The police were really supportive and encouraging, and did a great job at indicating us which way to go and at keeping drivers away from the runners. You really need to arrive early to park quickly; if you get there 30 minutes before the race the queue for parking gets really long and a little chaotic. They charge for parking, this time around it was 8 dollars!!! Another runner told me that she got charged $10; and some other people complained that after they had paid other parking attendants tried to charge them twice; so make sure you keep your ticket. The medal is really beautiful and so is the t-shirt.
First let me say that I love how everything was color coordinated. Each race had different colored bibs and the distance signs for each race were respective of the bib color. Since all the races ran the same course and just turned around at different spots I loved knowing exactly which signs represented the half marathon distance. This was an out and back course that started and ended at the Irving Convention Center and down onto the Campion Trails (for the half and the full). There were plenty of aid stations and someone constantly in an off-road vehicle monitoring all areas of the trails to make sure runners were okay and on track. The trees provided nice shade and it was relatively flat throughout the trails. The beginning and ending parts of the courses (all distances), had rolling hills. If you any hill you went up, you would run down on the way back in and vice versa. Parking as super close, but you did have to pay $5 to park in the grass lot. I really don't like paying for parking in general, but for a race I've already paid for and to just park in a field, I wasn't very thrilled about that. But it is what it is, I was just happy it was close. The medal was absolutely gorgeous and there were a few vendors after the race, but just your typical ones. A chiropractor, church, running store and a local fitness program. Nothing worth really sticking around for. Overall, I would do this race again pending there is a new medal out that is equally as beautiful as the 2015 one. The scenery is just gorgeous, even if it is an out and back course.
I've run this race multiple years and the 2015 race I PR'd! The course is exceptionally flat so this is a perfect race if you're looking for a great qualifying time. Or, if you're doing the full, for a BQ. The race is still small enough to feel community but large enough to have great vendors post race and fantastic support. Sad we moved out of state as this was one of my favorite races.
I have run the half two times and the full once. I think this is a great race. The course takes you to all the different areas of town. The race is well supported and a lot of fun. The only annoying part is the organization keeps changing the name, so dont be discouraged if you dont find the event right away or the event has a different name from the listed one. The race is worth the trip to Dallas!