This Sunday, December 12, is the 50th running of the Dallas Marathon (formerly known as the White Rock Marathon). The first was in 1971. Because our neighborhood is inside the route, we are pretty much trapped on Marathon Sunday morning. It may be a small inconvenience for some, but we look forward to watching. Some of our extended family members have participated.
One noteworthy participant this time will be Annabelle Corboy. She ran in the first one. Only two women participated that year; Ms. Corboy finished, the other one did not. She will be running again this year at age 74, though probably in the half-marathon (13.2 miles). That feat in 1971 — finishing a marathon— was a nevertheless a milestone. Before, and even for a while after 1971, if one saw a woman running outside wearing what is acceptable for today’s sport’s attire, their first thought would have been that she is in her underwear and being pursued by an assailant! Today, from my observations at White Rock Lake’s trail, more than half of the runners are female.
Like Ms. Corboy, I was inspired by Dr. Ken Cooper, the aerobics pioneer, and took up running for fitness and health that same year. Never ran a marathon, though — longest was 15 kilometers (@9.32 miles) and not close to the best time. Today, I’m a bicycle rider who shares the paths with runners, walkers, and roller-blades (and dogs, poop and all).
Reaction to the Covid-19 panic caused the Marathon to be cancelled last year. Doesn’t appear that the Omicron variant will affect this year’s running. Speaking of Omicron (the Greek short “o” appears the same as its English or Roman equivalent), there appears to be some controversy how it is pronounced. See here. Other Greek letters naming the Covid viruses’ variants have been passed over, some for fear of political incorrectness. I’m just waiting for the Omega (Ώ). The last.
Former Republican Senator and World War II veteran died last Sunday. He was laying in state in the Capitol Rotunda Thursday. Lieutenant Dole was severely wounded when he was with the 10th Mountain Division in Italy during the war in 1943. He lost the use of his right arm. Maybe he has it back. RIP.