Inaugural course took the runners past and through many of the landmarks of Texas Motor Speedway
FORT WORTH, Texas - (October 27, 2012) - Reigning Cowtown Marathon champion Kolin Styles added another achievement to his burgeoning running resume Saturday, Oct. 27 as he captured the overall title for the inaugural "No Limits" Half Marathon Benefiting Speedway Children's Charities-Texas Chapter at Texas Motor Speedway.
Styles, a 26-year-old from Weatherford, Texas, dominated the half-marathon competition as he ran the 13.1-mile layout that encompassed a majority of the venue's 1,500 acres in 1 hour, 11 minutes and 33 seconds. He ran at a 5:28/mile pace to outdistance half marathon runner-up Ray Martinez, of Mansfield, Texas, by 5 minutes, 18 seconds.
"I probably do one marathon a year and then a couple of really fast halfs," said Styles, who won The Cowtown Marathon in February. "I do some halfs just to train, but I was actually really training for this one because I was told it was a really fast course. Granted, I know the competition isn't as tough as some races, but I know it will in years to come with this only being the first year. But to run 1:11 by myself, it is a pretty quick course."
The course took the runners past and through many of the landmarks of Texas Motor Speedway such as the Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track, Lil' Texas Motor Speedway, the infield road course, Speedway Club building, Tony Stewart Bridge, Burnout Alley, Pit Stop Park and on the concourse beneath the vast frontstretch grandstands of the state's largest sports venue.
The overwhelmingly favorite leg of all the competitors, including Styles, was the finishing lap coming on the 1.5-mile speedway and crossing the actual start/finish line that has been crossed by NASCAR and INDYCAR race winners since 1997.
The major category winners also went to Victory Lane and received a black felt Charlie 1 Horse cowboy hat with their medal and lanyard affixed, and fired the six shooters just like next Sunday's winner of the AAA Texas 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race will get to enjoy for his accomplishment.
"Just physically being on that track was the coolest part," Styles said. "Victory Lane - that was very cool, too. I never did anything like that before so it's cool to do something new like that. Other than that, getting to go places that you wouldn't normally get to go during a race, like in here (Victory Lane) and the garage. It's cool to see all that stuff."
The "No Limits" Half Marathon overall female champion was 36-year-old Kami Banks, of Fort Worth. Banks completed the course in 1:33:14 to claim the women's title and also finish 10th overall. Kelly Brown, of Fort Worth, was runner-up with a time of 1:34:59.
Gary Anderson, a 51-year-old from Fort Worth, was the "No Limits" Half Marathon Male Masters champion with a time of 1:23:43, which also placed him third overall. Lesley Burke, a 46-year-old from Mansfield, claimed the Female Masters title with a time of 1:38:46.
In the 5K competition, Clinton Blacksmith, a 21-year-old from Denton, Texas, was the Male Open champion at 18:30 while Cortney Savage, a 32-year-old from Argyle, Texas, was the Female Open champ at 24:48.
The Youth 17-and-under champions were 16-year-old Sam Frosch (19:57), of Aledo, Texas, and 12-year-old Rebecca Warden (21:52), of Ardmore, Okla. The Masters champions were Chris Lipscomb, a 54-year-old from Walters, Okla., at 19:29 and Laura Russo, a 55-year-old from Flower Mound, Texas, at 23:50.
The first-year event, which was produced by The Cowtown Marathon organizers in a partnership with Texas Motor Speedway, drew over 2,000 runners for its half marathon and 5k events despite temperatures in the mid-30s for the race start. The event attracted runners from 13 states, including as far as California, Florida, Illinois and Ohio.
The runners also were treated to a visit by two-time Olympic silver medalist Darvis Patton and three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford, who both served as Grand Marshals for the event. Rutherford gave the green flag to the field and Patton waved the checkered as well as presented the champion's medals in Victory Lane. The races served as the "Go Green" kickoff event for next weekend's AAA Texas 500 NASCAR tripleheader race weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.
"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 and of course Victory Lane with the winners with the six shooters and the whole deal. That's how you ought to do it. This is a big deal to them just like the races next week are a big deal to the NASCAR guys."
Patton, a Dallas native who brought his silver medal from this summer's Olympic Games in London to the delight of many of the competitors, was impressed with the venue and the uniqueness of the event.
"Texas Motor Speedway is a monument not only in the Metroplex, but the U.S. It's right up there with Cowboys Stadium and the Rangers stadium," Patton said. "To get an opportunity to see the venue from I-35 is cool enough, but to be able to get inside and run on the track that the cars race on - it's a special moment. I asked several runners and everyone is already looking forward to coming back next year because they said it was a great course. It's open - usually they are kind of crowded - so they loved it and want to come back next year and I'm hoping to come back too."
Full results from Saturday's "No Limits" Half Marathon & 5K Benefitting Speedway Children's Charities-Texas are available on NoLimitsRun/com.