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Race for the Prize: In March, Dallas Will Get Its Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon On

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So the "major announcement" at Dallas City Hall this afternoon was the unveiling of a new annual running event: the Rock 'n' Roll Dallas Half Marathon. It's set for March 14, 2010, and organizers -- which include the city, the White Rock Marathon and the Competitor Group, the latter of which runs Rock 'n' Roll half marathons across the country -- guesstimate it'll draw some 15,000 runners each year. San Diego, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Chicago and Seattle are already among the cities hosting the Rock 'n' Roll runs.

"It gives a lot of visibility to the city of Dallas," Leppert told Unfair Park after the announcement in City Hall's Flag Room. "It brings people to see all the great things that are happening in Dallas, and hopefully they'll come back time and time again." The race will kick off at the Dallas Convention Center with a two-day Health and Fitness Expo, and proceeds from the half-marathon will go to Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.

California marathon runner and 50k record-holder Josh Cox brought some star power to the event, making cracks about his 2004 appearance on The Bachelorette (he's now married) and giving Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle tips on running shoes (Kunkle, who has run 35 marathons, inquired about Cox's bright-red not-yet-for-sale Newtons).

Since rumors of Cox doing a running demo on a treadmill didn't pan out (sigh), the only entertainment was his exuberant props to the Rock 'n' Roll marathon events for promoting health and wellness, running for charity and spicing up their races with live local bands, food and cheerleaders.

"From the food on the course to the music every mile, they make it a party," he told Unfair Park, wearing the white grin that Bachelorettefans might remember from the show. "Running is a gift you give yourself, but it's treated like a punishment. I played soccer, and it was always like, 'Cox, you're late, two laps!' What these guys at Competitor have done is make it fun."

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