If you like running and happen to do it at a lot of races, medals and t-shirts start to accumulate over time.
Most amateur runners will tell you that some medals mean more to them than others. Maybe it's the first finisher medal they earned for finally going a particular distance, or maybe it's from that one time they came in first in the over-40 set.
Some people display them proudly on fancy holders, some shove them into drawers, and others donate them to someone who needs them more. Whether you love them or give them a big eye roll is a kind of personal thing, one that can become contentious in online forums or during early morning training sessions.
All we'll say is that this year's finisher medal for the annual Rock 'n' Roll Dallas Half Marathon on March 19 is...
So Dallas, y'all.
The Rock 'n' Roll Marathon series includes 31 worldwide running events put on in 9 countries by the Competitor Group, a private company. The events vary slightly; some cities feature full marathons, whereas Dallas' race weekend features a 5K and half marathon.
Rock 'n' Roll races tend to be more expensive than local races, but personal experience dictates that they also tend to be well organized and professional.
Think of it kind of like eating at a hole-in-the-wall versus the Wolfgang Puck restaurant at the top of Reunion Tower.
That's not to mention that entries and other perks can be earned for those willing to fund raise for the event's charity, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
There's also a free concert
In keeping with the rock 'n' roll theme, each of the events generally have live bands and other types of entertainment along race routes, as well as a headlining artist (which varies from city to city) at the post-race party. In Dallas, that means Austin-based songwriter Bob Schneider will take stage on Reunion Lawn for the free party, bringing his blend of hard-to-pin-down bluesy, folk rock to the after party festivities.
Don't want to run but still want to see Bob? The concert is free and open to the public.
Thinking about running?
The Dallas half marathon course is mostly flat with the exception of a decent rise around mile 9, which quickly drops after mile 10, giving runners a nice descent to the finish. It runs through Downtown, Deep Ellum, Trinity Groves and Bishop Arts neighborhoods.
With an annual event date in March, the weather is usually ideal. It's totally possible to P.R. -- that is, to achieve a personal record when it comes to covering the distance in a certain amount of time. Registrants get all the usual road race things like a commemorative t-shirt, aide stations, enthusiastic fans along the course, a post-race party with snacks and live entertainment.
There's also a two day challenge with a special Remix Medal for those who run both the 5K at Fair Park on Saturday and the half marathon (which begins and ends downtown) on Sunday.
Now time for some #realtalk
It's easy to cultivate a feeling of "been there done that" with home town races, especially if you train on the same streets throughout the year. But, that sparkly Ball medal is the absolute most. Add in Bob Schneider, and... well, that's how they pull you back in.