UPDATE: See photos on our Facebook page (and become a fan of Advocate while you’re there!)
Running legend Tal Morrison was at White Rock Lake Saturday hosting the Tal Morrison Classic 15K and 5K. Morrison founded the Cross Country Club of Dallas in 1969. Today it’s called the Dallas Running Club and has 4,000+ members. He also founded the Dallas White Rock Marathon, which still runs each December, and The Half, a half-marathon held each November at White Rock Lake.
Funds raised each year at The Half (now called The DRC Half), as well as other Dallas Running Club events and through private donations, go toward the Tal Morrison scholarship fund for DISD students who run high school cross country, running club board member Chris Stratton says.
Saturday, Morrison, 89, presented $12,000 worth of scholarships: $3,000 each to Jonathan Maldonado from Thomas Jefferson High and Andrea Melendez from Hillcrest; $2,000 each to Jose Puentes from North Dallas High and Selene Salina from Samuell High; and $1,000 each to Jesus Estebane from Sunset High and Sharvell Davis from A. Maceo Smith High.
The highlight of my morning (aside from crossing the 15K finish line) was spending a few minutes chatting with Mr. Morrison who told me about his experience running the Boston marathon when he was in his 50s. He says that as he was running, he remembers asking a group of spectators—college kids—how far it was until to the infamous Heartbreak Hill, and “they told me I’d already run over it,” he laughs. He finished that marathon in 3 hours, 15 minutes — not too shabby.
And … this just in: The Dallas Running Club was selected best running club in Texas and the DRC Half Marathon was selected best half marathon in Texas for 2009 by Competitor magazine. Kudos!