Gomez, Cook Win Second Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas Half Marathon
Hall of Fame Quarterback Troy Aikman completes race benefiting Susan G. Komen for the Cure®; sold-out event attracts nearly 14,000 runners; Bret Michaels rocks post-race concert
By Dan Cruz, Competitor Group
DALLAS – (March 27, 2011) – Cool, overcast skies greeted nearly 14,000 entrants for the second Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas Half Marathon on Sunday morning. Amongst the largest half-marathon field in Dallas history was NFL legend Troy Aikman, the three-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. Aikman, who completed the half-marathon in 1 hour, 48 minutes, 11 seconds, was inspired by his personal connection to the event’s charitable tie with Susan G. Komen for the Cure®.“It was a perfect day for running,” said Aikman, who was participating in his second half-marathon. “My mom is a breast cancer survivor, so it’s wonderful that Komen does such great work raising a lot of money and bringing awareness to breast cancer. To have the half-marathon here and to get so many people to participate, and to the people who came out to support the event along the way, was amazing. There were no real dead spots for 13 miles. Dallas is a great place and I’m glad it’s home for me.”
Mexican Olympian Carlos Cordero Gomez made his first road race in the U.S. a memorable one, taking the lead from the start to win the men’s half-marathon in 1:03:58. Gomez, 34, set the tone early, commanding a huge gap with a 4:36 opening mile and 5K split of 15:01.
“It was tough running out there all by myself, but this was my first race in the U.S. and the bands and cheerleaders along the course were great. I loved it,” said Gomez, who finished 32nd in the marathon at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and is preparing for the upcoming Virgin London Marathon.
Andrew Cook of nearby Flower Mound finished second in 1:07:27. But it was his wife, Melissa Cook, who was the champion of the house on Sunday, winning the women’s race in 1:17:09. Her time was 21 seconds better than runner-up Melisa Christian, a 2008 & 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier who finished third at the race last year. Collectively the Cooks brought home $3500 in prize money.
“I feel good, this was my longest race since having a baby just eight months ago,” said Cook, 31, who was an 8-time All-American at Texas A&M. “I loved the course, I thought it was fair. The first eight miles were rolling, and then it’s all downhill here from there. The weather was great and the scenery was nice. I live out in the suburbs so to come and run downtown was a lot of fun.”
Starting in downtown Dallas at City Hall, the scenic course led runners past the American Airlines Center, through the picturesque Highland Park neighborhood and concluded with the finish at Fair Park. Participants, along with friends and family, celebrated at the Finish Line Festival with an energetic performance by rock superstar Bret Michaels.
More than 600 participants ran on behalf of Susan G. Komen Marathon for the Cure®, raising $300,000 to fight breast cancer. Seventy-five percent of the funds raised through the Dallas event stay in the region to fund innovative research and local community programs supporting breast cancer education, screening and treatment.
Also participating in the 13.1 mile event was Jeff McMahon, keyboard player for Tim McGraw’s band the Dancehall Doctors, with a time of 1:51:49, while Miss Texas USA 2011 Ana Rodriguez crossed the finish line at 2:10:30. Biggest Loser Season 5 contestant and country music artist Dan Evans also completed the half-marathon in 3:28:16. Evans, whose album “Goin’ All Out” debuted at #7 on the Billboard country music chart, will perform during the finish line concert at the Country Music Marathon in Nashville on Saturday, April 30.
The third Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas Half Marathon benefiting Susan G. Komen for the Cure® is set for Sunday, March 25, 2012.
2nd Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas Half-Marathon
Dallas, TX, Sunday, March 27, 2011
1) Carlos Cordero Gomez (MEX), 1:03:58, $1000
2) Andrew Cook (TX), 1:07:27, $1500*
3) Jerry Faulkner (OK), 1:07:35, $300
*Includes local and Texas-only prize money
1) Melissa Cook (TX), 1:17:09, $2000*
2) Melisa Christian (TX), 1:17:30, $1100*
3) Megan Skeels (TX), 1:20:58, $700*
*Includes local and Texas-only prize money