DALLAS — Earlier this week, many in Texas were basking in spring-like temperatures that hit the 80s. But by Thursday, Texas was facing the same wintry blast that has slammed much of the U.S., bringing frigid temperatures, ice and snow.
The weather forced the cancellation of Sunday's MetroPCS Dallas Marathon, which was expected to draw 25,000 runners, some of whom had trained for months.
The course is too icy. Part of the route is right over the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, which was treacherous to drive Firday.
A number of participants arrived at the Dallas Convention Center on Friday to pick up their race packets, only to learn that the event had been scrubbed.
"We regret that the race will not go on as planned," Marathon organizers said in a written statement. "We are confident this decision is in the best interest of our runners, volunteers, spectators and the general public."
Ben Smith flew in from Amarillo Thursday night for the race.
“It was a lot of preparation," he said. "[I'm] Kind of disappointed I don’t get to run it and test myself.”
Smith has been training for this race for months.
”It was my first half-marathon, so I was really excited," he said. "I ship out for Navy in January. If I can survive the half, I can survive boot camp.”
The decision to halt the race was made by Dallas police commanders and marathon organizers, who concluded that the course would simply be too icy for the safety of runners.
It's the first time the Dallas Marathon has been canceled since 1971.
"I understand it's a beautiful course; I'm not familiar with Dallas, I assume the architecture is just gorgeous, so I'm a little disappointed at that," said runner Leslie Nixon.
Naomi Kassel was a little confused by the decision.
"I know that there have been worse conditions, like the Boston Marathon," she said.
But Rick Johnson is a running coach and says these conditions are not good for runners.
”I was excited to do it and train for it like I said, but at the same time with the weather, you kind of understand,” he said.
Rob Yates, 44, of the Dallas suburb of Rowlett, had trained for four months to participate in the half-marathon Saturday — his first time competing at that distance. His wife and three children were going to attend the race to volunteer and cheer him on, he said.
Now, "I'll probably be catching up on some work," Yates said, laughing.
Yates spent Friday at home with his children, who were outside pulling off icicles and wishing more snow had fallen. But Yates, originally from near Manchester, England, said he stayed inside with his wife.
"It's kind of unusual weather for Dallas, so they're just having fun with it," Yates said. "Me and my wife — adults are not particularly impressed with it."
Leslie Nixon came from Wichita, Kansas, and even though she can’t run, she still plans on celebrating.
”Got a nice room at Omni, eat well, and have a great steak and enjoy wine and food,” she said.
A Health and Fitness Expo that was scheduled this weekend in conjunction with the Marathon was also canceled by organizers.
It was not immediately clear whether runners would be reimbursed for their entry fees, the proceeds of which go to charity.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.