DALLAS (Nov. 17, 2016) – Two of America’s top competitors from the Rio 2016 Olympics – Desi Linden and Meb Keflezighi – and American record holders Deena Kastor and Ryan Hall headline the elite ambassador field appearing at the 2016 BMW Dallas Marathon on Sunday, December 11. Race organizers announced that Linden, Keflezighi, Kastor and Hall will have leading roles in the race’s starting ceremonies, hand out medals to participants crossing the finish line, and be available for photos and autograph signings with fans during the BMW Dallas Marathon Health & Fitness Expo.
For each of the four elite ambassadors, returning to the BMW Dallas Marathon in 2016 carries a personal significance. Keflezighi, Linden and Kastor ran in the Dallas Marathon’s Duo to Rio Relay in 2015 alongside seven other Team USA hopefuls, with Kastor’s team taking the top finisher spot. Two months later, Linden and Keflezighi (along with Dallas Marathon Duo to Rio participant Jared Ward), punched their tickets to the Rio 2016 Olympics with commanding performances at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. Linden went on to place 7th in the marathon during the Olympics. For Keflezighi, Kastor and Hall, 2016 marks the third year in a row they have each taken part in Dallas Marathon race weekend festivities. Ryan Hall ran in his last event before announcing a retirement from professional running at the 2015 Dallas Marathon, competing in the inaugural Pro Relay Challenge.
“We are honored to have a group of true icons and role models in American running join us for BMW Dallas Marathon race weekend this December,” said Paul Lambert, president of the Dallas Marathon. “Meb, Desi, Deena and Ryan will each help make Sunday, December 11, a day BMW Dallas Marathon participants, volunteers and spectators remember for many years to come.”
Linden, Keflezighi, Kastor and Hall will each serve as an honorary starter for a specific participant corral on BMW Dallas Marathon race morning, offering words of encouragement and hype, and counting down the official race start for runners participating in the 46th running of the BMW Dallas Marathon, Half Marathon and Behringer Relay. The race starts in downtown Dallas, with runners assigned to one of four starting corrals (A, B, C or D).
For a detailed schedule of public appearances by BMW Dallas elite ambassadors, follow the BMW Dallas Marathon on Facebook or download the BMW Dallas Marathon app for iOS or Android devices. Additional elite athletes participating in BMW Dallas Marathon include Olympic Trials qualifier and Dallas-native Becky Wade, who will speak at the Health & Fitness Expo on Friday and Saturday, and a to-be-announced group of professional runners sponsored by HOKA ONE ONE that will run on race day.
For more information or to register as a participant or volunteer, visit bmwdallasmarathon.com.
2016 BMW Dallas Marathon Elite Ambassadors
Desi Linden, 33, was the first female American finisher at the 2015 Boston Marathon in a time of 2:25:39, placing fourth overall. She owns a lifetime marathon PR of 2:22:38, set at the 2011 Boston Marathon where she placed second. A member of Team USA in the marathon at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, Linden trains with the Hanson-Brooks Distance Project team based in Michigan. Linden placed 7th in the marathon at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Meb Keflezighi, 41, is the only athlete in history to win the New York City Marathon, the Boston Marathon and an Olympic medal in the marathon. In 2014, he became the first American in 31 years to win the Boston Marathon, with a personal-best time of 2:08:37. Meb qualified for his fourth Olympic team in 2016, running for Team USA in the marathon at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Deena Kastor is the overall U.S. record holder in the marathon and half marathon, posting times of 2:19:36 and 1:07:34, respectively, in 2006. In 2014, she continued her decorated competitive career, breaking U.S. Masters records in both the 10-mile and 20K distances. The 25-time U.S. champion earned a bronze medal in the marathon at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens with a time of 2:27:20. Today, she trains with and serves as president of the board of directors for Mammoth Track Club, which counts many of the nation’s top distance runners among its members.
Ryan Hall posted the best-ever American time in the marathon and represented the U.S. in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic games, before retiring from professional running in 2016. Hall is married to Sara Hall, also a professional distance runner, and together they operate the nonprofit Hall Steps Foundation, which funds mentoring and running programs for at-risk youth. The couple recently adopted four young girls from Ethiopia, who have developed a love for the same sport that first brought their parents together at Stanford.
Wade, 27, is a Dallas native living and training in Houston. She won her debut marathon in 2013, with a time of 2:30:41 at the California International Marathon and set a half marathon PR of 1:12:18 at Houston in 2015. Wade was a four-time NCAA Division I All-American distance runner at Rice and competed in the 2016 Olympic Trials. She recently published the book Run the World: My 3,500-Mile Journey Through Running Cultures.
About the BMW Dallas Marathon
The Dallas Marathon is a nonprofit organization with a focus on promoting health and physical fitness through running events and related activities. Dating back to 1971, the organization hosts year-round events culminating with Dallas’ largest and Texas’ oldest running marathon: the BMW Dallas Marathon. Now in its 46th running, the marquee race attracts runners from across the globe and hundreds of thousands of spectators to Dallas’ largest single-day sporting event. The BMW Dallas Marathon racecourse highlights iconic Dallas landmarks and is recognized as the official marathon of the city of Dallas. Since naming a primary beneficiary in 1997, the Dallas Marathon has donated more than $3.8 million to Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. For more information, visit dallasmarathon.com.
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For more information, race weekend media credentials or interviews, contact Greg Miller at email@example.com or 214-891-7668.