The saying goes that everything is bigger in Texas, and that couldn’t have been more true at Sunday’s Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas Half Marathon. With warmer-than-usual early-spring temperatures, thousands of runners laced up to take part in another edition of one of Dallas’ largest running events.Coming across the line first for the women in the 13.1-mile half marathon was Allison Mendez of Rockwall, Texas. The 28-year-old’s winning time was one hour, 19 minutes, and 45 seconds.
“I felt really good,” she said. “I didn’t really know the course, but I told myself that this was a piece of cake.” Mendez admitted that she talked with her friend through the first 9 miles. “I told myself to stay calm and cool. When I got to the first hill, people started dropping.” In the last 3 miles, Mendez said she made a hard move and asked the lead cyclist how she was doing. “She said, ‘You’re good.’” Despite the assurances, Mendez decided to keep pressing the pace anyway. The cyclist then said, “You can still walk and win the race.” But Mendez responded, “I’m not walking. I’m going to sprint!”
Second place in the women’s half went to Stephanie Andre of Bixby, Oklahoma (1:21:06), while third place was awarded to Lauren Versweyveld (1:23:01).
The margin of victory for the men’s half was much closer with Jacob Krolick of Commerce, Texas finishing with a time of 1:09:52. Second and third place went to Jonnathan Varela Obando (1:10:44) and Adam Waldum (1:11:13) respectively.
Krolick, who is 26 years old, coaches distance runners at Texas A&M Commerce. Along with winning Sunday’s race, Krolick managed to supervise his athletes in a Saturday meet at Texas Christian University.
“We usually don’t get back from meets until early on Sunday morning, but since TCU was close by, it allowed me to get this race in.” Krolick said that his effort wasn’t an over-exertion, and, despite the warm temperatures, he didn’t need any water along the way. “I wanted to be controlled and comfortable in the first three miles and run 5:10 pace. That worked.” He aspires to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials.