Cotton Patch Café Last Man Running
Craig “Junior” Miller, local host on The Ticket sports radio, will serve as the Last Man Running. He plans to run the Dallas Half Marathon starting at the very back of the last corral along the start line, raising pledges for donations to Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children for each runner he passes. Cotton Patch Café will serve as title sponsor of the pledge promotion.
John Itati of Kenya Runs for a Repeat Win
John Itati, age 38 of Kenya, returns to Dallas to defend his 2011 full marathon title. Itati won a rain-soaked 2011 MetroPCS Dallas White Rock Marathon with a time of 2:17:21. He experienced a strong year of training and expects to run sub-2:15 on the new Dallas Marathon course. Fellow Kenyan James Kirwa, the 2010 champion in a time of 2:18:40 and last year’s runner up, also returns in 2012.
Best of the Best – Cooper Complete Elite High School Relay
Sixteen of DFW’s top high school cross country runners will form a relay team to challenge the elite athletes in the full marathon. 10 boys will run two-mile legs, while six girls each run a one-mile leg. Three Highland Park siblings – twins Natalie and Laura and younger brother Adam (all are also patients of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, the race’s beneficiary) – will run the miles through Turtle Creek and Highland Park to much fanfare. Six participating teens return from the 2011 High School Relay Team (which defeated Kenyan John Itati at the finish line), including anchor leg Cameron Villarreal of Arlington Martin. Only bragging rights are on the line if the HS Relay team crosses the finish line first. If the top marathon finisher beats the HS Relay team, he receives an additional $1,500 in prize money.
West Dallas Loop Spectator Contest
Charity spectator teams will be demonstrating spirit during the morning of the Dallas Marathon. Teams will be assigned locations where they can stand along the West Dallas Loop to cheer on marathon participants. The West Dallas Foundation will award donations of $2,000, $1,000 and $500 to the top three spectator teams based on creativity, noise, spirit and positive impression.
X Factor’s Panda Ross
Lovable X Factor contestant Panda Ross will sing the National Anthem on race day.
Back on My Feet
Michael and Terry share a unique friendship. In February 2011, Michael was living at The Bridge, a shelter in Dallas aiding the homeless. Terry, a local volunteer, met Michael through the new Dallas community program Back on My Feet. The four- to six-month program forms running teams from four homeless shelters, motivating participants to become self-sufficient. Michael and Terry will be running their first marathon together on December 9.
Volkswagen asked their @VWfollowers why they run using the hashtag #TeamVW. The first 150 respondents were given a free entry into the 2012 Dallas Marathon and selected to be a part of TeamVW. Not only will they have exclusive access to the TeamVW tent at the post-race party, they might also see some of their tweets chalked on the racecourse. Chalk stenciling will be applied to streets along the Dolly Parton Hills near White Rock Lake, and will display TeamVW’s tweets inspiring participants as they near the end of their race.
National Black Marathoners Association
Not only is the Dallas Marathon this year’s site for the NBMA’s southwest regional gathering, the race also helped make their new coach training program possible. Jaulik Watkins, a member of the NBMA, along with nine fellow members, entered a coaching clinic to learn how to train amateur runners. The NBMA expects the free training program to attract hundreds of black Americans meeting to condition once a week starting in late November.
Cigna Volunteer Training Program
Cigna, a global health service company and title sponsor of the Cigna Mayor’s Race 5K presented by Oncor, partnered this fall with Dallas Independent School District’s Lorenzo De Zavala Elementary School to host training runs with students in preparation for the December 8 race. Former mayor of Dallas Laura Miller and members of the Dallas SWAT team joined in for the Saturday morning fun.
Sanden International Team
CEO of Sanden International Mark Ulfig wanted to inspire a healthy lifestyle in his office. That’s why he put together an entire health and wellness program for his employees centered around the Dallas Marathon. Some of his employees have lost significant amounts of weight due to training for the race.