The InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival & Races include more than 3,000 volunteers that serve in various roles taking tickets, driving shuttles, crewing for pilots, and more.  For the fourth year in a row the Craig Ranch Running Club has stepped up to go the distance in a capacity that includes 13.1 miles. This trained group of runners, led by Captain Rick Johnson, will provide on-site support as the Pace Team for the Plano Balloon Festival Half Marathon participants.


If you’ve never run a half marathon then you probably don’t understand why other runners would need volunteers to actually run alongside you. However, there are thousands who started with a 1k and eventually find themselves at the starting line of a half marathon. They likely trained with a group and will be prepared for the challenge. But, maybe they have a personal goal in mind. 

2018 PBF Races Half Marathon Pace Team

2018 Plano Balloon Festival Half Marathon Pacers! #PBFRaces #PlanoBalloon Pace Captain Rick Johnson1:30 Karl Huchthausen1:30 Nick Thorp1:45 Charlie Demaret1:45 Scott Manis1:50 Danielle Walker1:55 Julia Xia2:05 Amy Pickle2:05 Mark Trayer2:10 Tracy Boyd2:15 Aiming Herrington2:15 John Lawson2:20 Marisa Sifuentes2:25 Melody Ongayo2:35 Myriam Iglewski2:40 LaVette Murphy2:45 Gladys Evans2:50 Bonita Rogers2:55 Brandy Comba2:55 Lynda Tilley3:00 Rosalind Buchalski3:00 Kristy Begshaw3:30 Bhagya VeeraraghavanFloater Ed SteinkampSweeper Ann Marie Sims

Posted by PBF Races on Thursday, September 20, 2018


The Plano Balloon Festival Half Marathon has a course limit of 3 1/2 hours. For a few, staying under that is a triumphant miracle in itself because, it might be an achievement they never imagined.  For others, time is merely a number to chase a little harder with each race.


You could show up to the starting line, put in your ear buds, and start that journey alone. At mile six you’ll think about how you should have started training a month earlier.  At mile 10 you’ll want to slow down because it’s hot and humid and you’re sweating buckets of water. Suddenly your playlist shuffles and “Drag Me Down” starts to play and you briefly imagine throwing your phone as far as you could. But then you’d have run more to find it and that would be a waste of time. At least if you stay on the course there is a sparkling medal at the finish line. Finally, the end has come and you take a selfie to post as proof of your success.


OR, you could show up to the starting line with the pace team. They are a healthy tribe of humans who have trained and experienced the gnarly courses, the torrential rain, the hotter than Texas races, and continue to push each other to improve. On this day, they came to help you do better. It’s far better than a little voice in your head because they are real.  They won’t stop and more importantly, they won’t let you stop. Pick your pace. Introduce yourself. Join the tribe. Complete the journey and share the adventure.


We are so thankful that the Craig Ranch Running Club continues to participate in our event each year. It is our hope that the runners also appreciate their tenacious willingness to serve as volunteers for the half marathoners. The CRRC has 1,637 members on the closed group on Facebook but they are very welcoming to like-minded new members:

2018 Plano Balloon Festival Half Marathon Pacers

1:30 Karl Huchthausen
1:30 Nick Thorp
1:45 Charlie Demaret
1:45 Scott Manis
1:50 Danielle Walker
1:55 Julia Xia
2:00 Daniel Flick
2:05 Amy Pickle
2:05 Mark Trayer
2:10 Tracy Boyd
2:15 Aiming Herrington
2:15 John Lawson
2:20 Marisa Sifuentes
2:25 Melody Ongayo
2:35 Myriam Iglewski
2:40 LaVette Murphy
2:45 Gladys Evans
2:50 Bonita Rogers
2:55 Brandy Comba
2:55 Lynda Tilley
3:00 Rosalind Buchalski
3:00 Kristy Begshaw
3:30 Bhagya Veeraraghavan
Floater Ed Steinkamp
Pace Captain Rick Johnson
Sweeper Ann Marie Sims


This year the Plano Balloon Festival Races will include a record setting number of nearly 5,000 runners. If you’re thinking of a last minute registration, keep in mind that the 10k is sold out and there is no race day registration. All runners must register online:


If your running club is interested in volunteering with the Plano Balloon Festival Races, please contact Eric Lindberg, the Chief Running Officer of On Your Left! Marketing & Events.

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