Half Marathon Filled With Charity, Memories

By Greg Janda and Randy McIlwain
|  Sunday, Mar 27, 2011  |  Updated 9:45 PM CDT
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Runners in the <a title=Dallas Rock N Roll Half Marathon ran for personal victories, charity, and the memory of a fallen friend." />

Randy McIlwain, NBCDFW

Runners in the Dallas Rock N Roll Half Marathon ran for personal victories, charity, and the memory of a fallen friend.

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Honoring Mark Austry

Dozens of runners are dedicating their race to the memory of a man who died at last year's Dallas Rock 'N' Roll Half Marathon.
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More than 14,000 runners are resting after Sunday morning's Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon in Dallas.

Mexican Olympic athlete Carlos Cordero Gomez was the first to cross the finish line for the men in one hour and three minutes.

Local Melissa Cook from Flower Mound finished first for the women with a time of one hour and 17 minutes. Her husband, Andrew Cook, also did well, placing second in the men's race.

In addition, Dallas Cowboys legend Troy Aikman finished the race in one hour 48 minutes and 11 seconds. He was running for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation.

"It was a perfect day for running," said Aikman. "My mom is a breast cancer survivor, so it’s wonderful that Komen does such great work raising a lot of money and bringing awareness to breast cancer. To have the half marathon here and to get so many people to participate, and to the people who came out to support the event along the way, was amazing. There were no real dead spots for 13 miles. Dallas is a great place and I’m glad its home for me."

The breast cancer foundation was only one of many causes represented in this morning's race -- others ran to remember a life lost.

Christian Beca was one of dozens running in memory of Mark Austry who collapsed and died after completing this race last year.

"He just truly was an inspiration and I've never run before but this is something that I felt in my heart I had to do for him, so that's why I'm out here," Beca said.

Austry died of myocarditis, a disease that causes inflammation and scarring of heart tissue. Beca says he just wants to sound an alarm about the silent killer that took his friend.

"I knew even though it was going to be a struggle for me, that it was something that I felt for him I owed that to him," Beca explained. "This is something that can hopefully bring light to a serious illness that a lot of young people have lost their lives because of it."

The third annual Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas Half Marathon benefiting Susan G. Komen for the Cure is set for Sunday, March 25, 2011.

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