DALLAS - If you want to see dedication, look no further than the runners of the BMW Dallas marathon. There are about 20,000 participants this year, according to marathon president Paul Lambert.
But few know the race like Rio King, who at age 75, was preparing to complete his 42nd straight Dallas marathon Sunday.
"That's right, 42 in a row," he said, as he warmed up. "I'm really ready. This is going to be ideal weather for me."
King hopes to be an inspiration for others.
"People can do more than they think they can," he said. "I feel kind of humble about it. I want to encourage people to stay active and keep active in whatever you can do best."
King dons a "lucky" white baseball cap, which he wears for every race.
Finishing every Dallas marathon since 1976 is more than luck. The Plano resident has learned, if you want to run with the best, you have to pace yourself. It's a hard lesson from the 1975 marathon that he didn't finish when a doctor said he showed signs of hypothermia partially through the race.
"I count on meeting those challenges. I know what to expect now, you know," said King.
He's served 10 years on the Board of Directors and made his mark. You may have heard of the infamous "Dolly Parton" hills, near White Rock Lake. King says he nicknamed them.
"Back in the 80s when I was running with the race director," said King. "[Now] they have guys out there dressed as Dolly Parton at the Dolly Parton beer station."
He's also learned a thing or two about crossing the finish line.
"Look good for the cameras," he laughed.
King says, it's been a good run, so to speak, and he plans to be back at it again next year.
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