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Despite Ice Storm, Dallas Marathon Runners Are Hopeful About Sunday's Race

Stella M. Chávez
Rene Humphries is running in her first Half Marathon on Sunday. She says she hopes it isn't cancelled, especially since she had to pull out of the race last year after a knee injury two weeks before the event.

More than 20,000 runners from 25 countries are planning to run in Sunday’s MetroPCS Dallas Marathon, but icy conditions are not helping ease their nerves. These runners have put in months of training and plan to show up at the starting line no matter what -- unless the race is canceleddue to the winter storm.

(UPDATE: Since this story first aired and was posted online, the marathon has been canceled due to the ice storm.)

Renee Humphries stopped by the Luke’s Locker store near SMU Thursday, looking for cold weather gear to wear during Sunday’s race. City and race officials have said the event will go on, but a final decision could be made as late as Saturday. Humphries says she’s ready.

“This is my second year trying to get it done,” Humphries said. “I’m trying not to focus on weather complications. I’m just focusing on the race, on the run itself and hoping for the best.”

Humphries lives in Campbell, an hour northeast of Dallas. She’ll be running in her first Half Marathon. Her journey began three years ago as she was about to turn 40. She changed her diet and began working out, and by last December she was ready to race.

Then she wrecked her knee and had surgery just two weeks before the Dallas Marathon. She cheered on loved ones from the sidelines instead, sutures and all. She says that experience has helped her deal with the unpredictability of this weekend.

“Injuring myself last year has also taught me how to be patient and you know, what happens happens,” Humphries said. “I just have to keep smiling and keep truckin’ through it.”

Michael Doran of Allen says this will be his fourth Dallas Marathon. He’s been training for the past six months and says he prefers the cold over the humidity of last year’s race. Just to be safe, he looked for a pair of gloves that would keep him warm on Sunday.

He says he’d be disappointed if the race were canceled and will likely find another race to run in within the next couple of months. He feels especially bad for anyone who’s traveling from out of town. Last year, New York canceled its marathon after Hurricane Sandy.

Runners, he says, have to be flexible.

“Geez, you go into every marathon worried about every little aches and pain and then they end up going away and then you end up getting blindsided by something totally different,” Doran said. “So it’s just part of the mystery and challenge of the sport.”

Renee Humphries agrees.

“We might have to find some ice skates, but we’re gonna do it,” she said.

Stella M. Chávez is KERA’s immigration/demographics reporter/blogger. Her journalism roots run deep: She spent a decade and a half in newspapers – including seven years at The Dallas Morning News, where she covered education and won the Livingston Award for National Reporting, which is given annually to the best journalists across the country under age 35.