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Texas Big Star Half Marathon and 5K Benefits Local Non-Profits

All photos are courtesy of the Texas Big Star Half Marathon and 5K.

If you enjoy running even when nobody is chasing you, you’ll be happy to know that North Texas’ premier charity running event will again be held in Frisco. Runners get ready… it’s Texas Big Star Half Marathon and 5K season!

The first and only endurance race in Frisco, the fourth annual event will be held on Saturday, April 13, with start and finish at the Collin College Preston Ridge Campus. In addition to the Half, runners can compete in the 5K, and since last year, there’s a 1-mile fun run/walk.

This event is undeniably Frisco – it was created by Julie Simon, a graduate of Leadership Frisco program of the Frisco Chamber of Commerce. Her husband Paul is the Race Director, and they helped establish the North Texas Community Giving Foundation, through which the event raises money for local non-profits.

With a little help from their friends around Frisco, they’ve made Texas Big Star a signature event for the running community in Frisco and beyond.

The event has been a success from the start, allowing the North Texas Community Giving Foundation to award over $190,000 in grants to local non-profits in the first three years of the race.

In the first year, the half marathon attracted 1750 runners. Because of the impact of the race on the city of Frisco, the Foundation was honored in February 2018 as Nonprofit of the Year by the Frisco Chamber of Commerce. I asked Paul what he’s most excited about for 2019 event.

This year we have the privilege of having Baylor Scott & White Sports Performance Center as our title sponsor. SPC is a state-of-the-art facility at The Star. We’re excited to partner with SPC and introduce our runners to SPC’s ability to help people of all levels of fitness move better, perform better, and recover faster.

In addition, they’re launching a new initiative called BigStarSub2. A big milestone for a lot of runners is to break the two-hour barrier on a half marathon.

To help runners do this, there will be additional pacer groups, with paces two and a half minutes apart between 1 hour and 50 minutes to 2:10. This is in addition to having pace groups every five minutes from 1:35 to 3:00. Paul says,

The reason for the increased number of pacers in this range is to have seasoned runners who can help encourage and pull along runners to keep them around the 2-hour mark. Rather than falling back 5 minutes off your pace, we’re going to having pacers there to catch those runners and help them hold their pace. I’m not aware of a race that has this concept.

With this goal in mind, local business Epic Carts will also be providing a 2-hour pace cart with a running clock and music. Despite several well-established half marathon races in the DFW area, Paul and his team are not afraid of dreaming big.

Our goal is to become one of the largest half marathons in DFW. With that kind of growth come challenges with logistics. We’ll have more runners on the road, so we’ll need to work with the city to ensure runner safety while disrupting city traffic as little as possible. Our partnership with Collin College provides us a great location to expand our current finisher fest so we look forward to continuing to increase the size of our after party!

Speaking of Finisher Fest, Frisco’s version of the race after-party, there will be about 20 different vendors displaying their wares, as well as live music by Party Machine, a band produced by Emerald City. Rock and Brews will provide food, and Rotary Club of Frisco will be flipping pancakes.

To make sure the youngest visitors have something to do, InTouch Credit Union will be providing the Kids’ Zone with a bounce house and other entertainment for the kiddos. The emcee of the event will be Ashley Miller from the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Registration for the half is $85, while the 5K is $40 and the 1-mile fun run is $20. All the details about packet pick up, course maps, start times, and more can be found on the Texas Big Star website.

This is the part of the article where I share with you, dear readers, that I will be competing in the 5K, so feel free to compare your time to mine (no doubt favorably). I still have some training to do, but not nearly as much as the athletes competing in the half-marathon; they’re serious and determined because running for two hours without stopping is no joke.

But, if you’re just a recreational runner who thinks 5K is a good enough challenge, you might be joining just for fun and to push your own personal limits. Wherever you might fall on that spectrum, consider these:

Lifestyle Frisco Tips for Texas Big Star

Tip #1: Finish strong. You’ve been running for longer than you’d like to admit, and everything hurts. But you just made that last bend and you can see the finish line. There’s no point in saving any energy now, so give it all you’ve got left and push yourself across the finish line in style. More about that next.

Tip #2: Finish with a pose. There will be photographers, some even with a camera not attached to a phone. You may have friends or family waiting and cheering for you at the finish line. There’s nothing more anticlimactic than a photo of you crossing the finish line looking at your wrist, trying to stop the race timer on your GPS watch. Take this moment to strike a pose; arms raised in a V is always a popular choice, but you can put your own spin on it.

Tip #3: Stay after and have fun. Show off your finisher medal, say hello to sponsors who made the event possible, make some friends. Because you chose to take part in the Texas Big Star race, you’re cooler than you think.

2019 is sure to be the biggest and best yet. Don’t miss out on this local charity race, with big race feel.