Members of the White Rock Running Co-Op last spring tackled the Rock n' Roll Half Marathon. That's Preston Hollow resident Danny Hardeman and White Rock area residents Meredith Stratton, Allyson Gump, Corby "The Snake" Davidson, and Chris Stratton.

Yes, it is tough to think about running a marathon when it’s 100+ outside, unless you’re the type that likes to do this sort of thing, but the organizers of the Dec. 4 MetroPCS White Rock Marathon and Dallas-area runners are getting the ball rolling …

First of all, registration has opened. You can get discounts for registering early. You don’t have to run 26.2 miles; there’s a 5k, half marathon and 5-person marathon relay option.

Once you sign up, you’ll need to train. (Unless you want to be like these guys.) Five months of training for a marathon is optimal, which means the time is now! You can find high-end training programs locally at Run On! (locations in Far North Dallas, Preston Hollow and the White Rock area), Luke’s Locker (there’s a big new store near SMU), or you could join the Dallas Running Club where members get one free White Rock race entry per month and access to a relatively inexpensive marathon or half-marathon training program. The Cooper Aerobics Center has a 5 Months to 5 Miles training program for those entering the relay.

In our neighborhood, there are also free running groups with built-in training programs, such as the White Rock Running Co-Op, which is simply a network of people who love to run and who are training for a fall marathon with one another’s support— there are sub groups ranging from newbies to advanced runners. The co-op generally meets twice a week or more. Learn the bulk of what these guys have to offer by joining the WRRC Facebook group.

White Rock Lake is a hot spot for fall running events including the Dallas Running Club Half and the MetroPCS White Rock Marathon

This year, for the second year, The Rock will begin and end at Fair Park and organizers say they have made some improvements to the marathon-weekend experience. For example, it’s now free for runners to park at the Friday-Saturday race expo. OK-that should be a given, but good start.

As always, the race benefits the phenomenal Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. This year, 17-year-old Natalie of Coppell, TX will serve as patient champion.

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