Star Local News: Local residents hosting Wounded Warrior Half Marathon

By Chris Roark | Star Local News | | June 3, 2012

Tom Ryan and Dan Jones have combined two of their biggest passions — running and charity — and turn it into an annual event.

The Flower Mound residents are co-owners of Dallas Athletes Racing. Each year, the organizations hosts 15 racing events. Next up is the Wounded Warrior Half Marathon, which will take place June 10 at Williams Square in Las Colinas.

The event will feature a half marathon, as well as a 10K race and an escorted Military Mile Fun Run. All of the money raised will go toward The Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, which provides financial assistance and quality of life solutions for Marines, Sailors and other military personnel assigned to Marine Forces, injured in post 9/11 combat, training or with life threatening illnesses and their families. Money will also go to ReserveAid, a nonprofit organization committed to providing financial support to the families of Reserve Service Members from all services, who have been called to active duty and are experiencing financial difficulty.

“Charities are in need,” Ryan said. “This is a result of our love for charitable work.”

Much of the race will take place along Campion Trails in Las Colinas.

Ryan said there are about 3,000 participants expected, which is nearly double the participation from last year. There were 1,200 participants in 2010.

Registration packets are available at various locations in the Metroplex, including Luke’s Locker Colleyville, 5505 Colleyville Blvd. in Colleyville on Friday. Packet pick-up and registration is also available on race day at the event.

Following the race, there will be a party with food, drink and live music provided by Texas-born country music recording artist Dave Roberts, as well as a Captain Cobra pilot with the Marines who served in Afghanistan. The event will honor the nation’s men and women of the military and raise money for those who have been injured on duty.

Ryan is a 20-plus year triathlete, four-time Ironman finisher and was voted the “Triathlon Coach of the Year” by “Competitor Texas Magazine” in 2005 and 2006. He launched Dallas Athletes Racing in 2001 as a one-time children and family triathlon produced with his wife, Vicki, their two daughters and Grandma. The mom-and-pop event was a huge success, and Dallas Athletes Racing was born.

As the company continued to grow, Ryan needed more help. He called Jones, a childhood friend from Nebraska, and urged him to move him and his wife and three children to Texas. Today, Dallas Athletes Racing remains grassroots with Jones and Ryan active in every area.

Other races Dallas Athletes Racing hosts include the Texas Man Triathlon, the largest event of the 15, as well as the Get Healthy Texas 5K in January, the Disco Sprint and Olympic Triathlon in July and the Monster Denton Triathlon in October.

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