Have you registered for one of the Plano Balloon Festival Races? If not, you’ll want to sign-up soon before your spot is gone. If you have registered and live in the metroplex, you can pick-up race packets from the Plano Running Club at the Plano Event Center at 2000 E. Spring Creek Parkway in Plano. They will be in the Spring Glade room on the east side of the building at these times:

Thursday, Sept 20 – 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Friday, Sept 21 – 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Saturday, Sept 22 – 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM

“We try to participate in as many local events as possible,” says Plano Running Club member Shirley Barbaro. “Plano Balloon Festival is the biggest and most well-known event taking place in Plano each year. I cannot think of a better opportunity to serve our community than volunteering in some way.”



The 5K and 1K races are set for Saturday, September 22, 2018 at 7:30 a.m. and the Half Marathon and 10K races will be held on Sunday, September 23, 2018 at 7:00 a.m.  All registration is done online in advance, paperless and cashless. There is no walk-up registration. Additional packet pick-up dates and times are as follows:

Saturday, Sept 15 – 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Sunday, Sept 16 – 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM
at Academy Sports and Outdoors, 4045 N. Central Expressway in Plano.

“There is something for everyone including the kiddos,” says Barbaro about the festival and races. “It’s a fun atmosphere. Lot of activities and entertainment for the entire family. Of course, there are the balloons!”


Plano Running Club
Plano Running Club

The Plano Running Club was formed by a small group of Luke’s Locker runners following the Legacy Drive store’s closure in June 2017. Fifteen months later, the group has grown to over a thousand members who want to connect with like-minded people to train and run. They are active on Facebook and Instagram.


“[Facebook group] members have access to our workouts and group runs on Facebook’s event tab. Details such as meeting time, distance, route and location are posted weekly,” Barbaro says. “We run 5 days a week. Running with us is always free.”


The club runs at 5:30 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursday, 6:00 a.m. on Wednesdays, has a long run on Saturday and a trail run on Sunday. They welcome runners and walkers at every pace and ability.




“The great thing about running is that anyone can do it,” she says. “Runners are inclusive people by nature. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you run. It doesn’t matter if you run a mile or a marathon. If you run, you are a runner.”


Barbaro enjoys the physical and mental benefits from running.  “Running helps me deal with stress,” she says. “I feel stronger and more confident. I am a happier person when I run.”  Barbaro and the club encourage new runners to join their Jump Start group.


“The decision to take the first step is the hardest especially if you are new to the sport or have been inactive for a while,” she says. “Our Jump Starters – runners and walkers – are very supportive. No one feels intimidated or pressured. They have fun and they build each other’s confidence one step at a time.”

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Race registration fees go up after August 31, and registrations begin closing as early as September 19. The Plano Balloon Festival Races are generously sponsored by the InTouch Credit Union, Central Market, GoGo Squeez, Academy Sports & Outdoors, Medical City Children’s Urgent Care, Camp Gladiator, Run Texas, and Plano Running Club.


The InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival is held at Oak Point Park in Plano, TX on Friday, September 21 through Sunday, September 23, 2018. Advance tickets are available online or at participating InTouch Credit Union locations. #PBFRace #PlanoBalloon

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