Volunteers Help Run Cowtown Marathon


The races are scheduled for Saturday, February 25, and Sunday, February 26. | Image by NBC 5 DFW

The Fort Worth Cowtown Marathon will run for the 45th time this weekend, but this year it was made possible through the help of more than 3,500 volunteers. 

Over 20,000 racers hailing from every state in the U.S. and representing 11 different countries are expected to participate.

The event kicked off with the 2023 Cowtown Marathon Health and Fitness Expo at the Will Rogers Memorial Center
Amon G. Carter Exhibit Hall on Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Event organizers expected around 10,000 visitors on Friday and nearly 60,000 on Saturday, the second day of the expo, open from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Entry is free and open to all. All attendees can enjoy the interactive exhibits, learn about runner safety and fitness education, and check out the goodies offered by almost a hundred vendors on site. Registered racers will be able to pick up gear and information packets for Saturday’s races.

Check out what to expect at the expo here.

The races are scheduled for Saturday, February 25, and Sunday, February 26.

The Kids 5K for starts Saturday at 9 a.m. and is open to children of all ages. However, winner medals will be awarded by age group, according to the website.

The Adults 5K and 10K races will be held that same morning at 7:45 and 8 a.m. respectively.

Sunday will feature the Half Marathon, the Full Marathon, the Ultra Marathon, and the Healthy Hig Relay. All will start at 7 a.m.

All of the races for the weekend will begin and end at the Will Rogers Memorial Center on Lancaster Avenue.

Please refer to the website or spectator guide for more about the course maps, fees, rules, tracking runners, and other relevant information pertaining to the event.

With so much going on in such a short amount of time, it is no wonder that this year’s Cowtown Marathon needed so many volunteers to help run things.

David McDowell, who has been volunteering for the event for 12 years, told NBC 5, “I enjoy it. The people are terrific.”

While McDowell understands the excitement of the race as a former runner himself, he is happy to be on the sidelines, saying “It’s just sort of a diversion for me, I guess. For my retired life.”

That is not to say that volunteers don’t run their own kind of marathon.

McDowell explained to NBC 5, “Here it’s nonstop. We put in our steps in here. Believe me.”

All that effort is going towards a worthy cause: community spirit.

Moreover, as Heidi Swartz, the executive director for the Cowtown Marathon, told NBC 5, one of the races will be benefitting children in North Texas.

“The whole reason we put this event on is for our charity program,” said Swartz. “It’s C.A.L.F. which stands for Children’s Activities for Life and Fitness. And the proceeds from our event go back to that so that we are able to outfit kids with socks and shoes. We help train them. We help pay for their entry fee.”

As of February 24, the Cowtown Marathon had already raised a total of $25,306.13 for C.A.L.F., per The Cowtown Marathon page on Race Roster.

There is also a fair amount of cash up for grabs, not to mention the intangible accolades that come with winning.

The half marathon is the 2023 USA Track & Field (USATF) Half Marathon Championship. As such, runners may win USATF medals and USATF circuit points along with cash prizes ranging from $250 to $12,000, depending on their finish, as reported by The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Joseph Darda won the 2022 full marathon with a final time of 2:27:55, while Scott Preston finished second with a time of 2:48:02, per The Cowtown Marathon.

Virtual races have been going on since January and continue through April 1.

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