What’s better than running a half marathon?
How about double dipping, logging two in one day? One in Dallas, elevation 430 feet above sea level, the nightcap in Mexico City, nosebleed elevation of 7,382 feet.
Mimosas in the morning, hop aboard a plane, tequila shots at night with a couple 13.1-milers tossed in for exercise.
That’s what nearly 50 runners – including one from London – will undertake Sunday in what’s dubbed as the Locos Challenge. First the participants will hit the streets of Big D for the Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas Half Marathon.
After a flight to Mexico’s capital, they’ll run at night in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Mexico City Half Marathon. Here’s a glance at three Dallas runners who’ll be combining their passions for running and travel.
Apodaca was in line to pick up his medal at last year’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas when he overhead runners talking about being in a hurry to catch a flight. Apodaca was headed out of DFW on race day, too, but for work.
Hearing about last year’s half marathon daily double that was coined the “Tex Mex Challenge,” Apodaca thought, “Wow, that’s crazy. Absolutely crazy.”
Added Apodaca, who works in financial software, “It’s been in my head ever since.”
Said the 42-year-old, “I’m just going to think of it as a marathon with a chance to hydrate and rest and fuel in between.”
Apodaca has friends in both cities. He’ll run with Texans in Dallas and Hispanics at nearly 1½ miles above sea level.
Apodaca began running regularly nearly two years ago. It proved cathartic after a relationship breakup.
“I’ve always been that person sitting on the couch, watching TV,” he said. “I’m active now and I don’t want to stop. This (the Locos Challenge) is a new experience. This is something new and farfetched and crazy. It involves a passion I love.
“When people ask me, ‘Why do it?’ my question to them is, ‘Why aren’t you doing it?’”
Nearly nine years ago, just shy of turning 39, Walker was playing baseball on the Fourth of July with nephews and someone video taped the bash. He was a middle-distance runner in high school but work, family, stress, life got in the way and he packed on some pounds.
Watching the video, Walker said to himself, “Who’s that that guy? And it was me.”
At 5-feet-8, he weighed 190 pounds. Days later he signed up for a 5K.
“I promised myself I would not turn 40 and look like that,” he said.
Months after turning 40, he ran his first marathon. He’s run a dozen now and weighs 155 pounds.
As for pulling off the Locos Challenge it’s a natural for Walker, now 47. He’s a software developer and for the past year has spent about one week a month working in Mexico City.
“I love the culture,” he said. “The food there is amazing. But really, it’s the people. They’re so accommodating. With all the things that are going on politically (President Trump vowing to build a wall along the Mexico border), I’ve found I’ve always been welcome.
“I get legitimate questions. How do I feel? How do they feel? You get candid conversations. What does it really mean to you and me? But I’m met with nothing but open arms.”
Given the altitude, Walker offers one tip to runners headed to Mexico City: go slow.
“I try to do three or four runs every time I’m there, and it’s a struggle every single time,” he said. “I run one or two minutes (per mile) slower. You have to respect the altitude.”
A distance runner in high school, Krogulski resumed pounding the pavement five years ago when he dated a woman who loved to run. The man fell hard, for running, that is.
He ran Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas in 2012, is in his third year as a Rock ‘n’ Roll Global Tour Pass member and from 2015 through this year figures to knock off 34 Rock ‘n’ Roll events.
“I love traveling to different cities,” he said.
Come Sunday, his eye will be partly on the clock, partly on soaking up the day and enjoying the experience. His half marathon PR is 1:40:52, set two years ago at Dallas, which he hopes to break Sunday morning.
As for Mexico City, he wants to enjoy the culture.
“Meet new people, rekindle relationships with people I haven’t seen in a while,” he said.
As for running in general, his goals are two-pronged. One is to run fast. With a 3:51 marathon PR, he hopes to one day qualify for Boston.
He also practices yoga and is a CrossFit regular.
“I like inspiring others,” he said.