Tom Ryan and Dan Jones have been best friends for nearly 40 years, so it was no surprise when Ryan, a Nebraska native, asked Jones to move his family to Flower Mound to help him run his new company, Dallas Athletes Racing…and Jones agreed.
Jones, who runs the logistical side of the business at Dallas Athletes Racing, said he agreed to move his family from Nebraska to North Texas because he and his wife felt like it would work out for them.
“We [he and Ryan] both are from Omaha, Nebraska and met each other in the second grade and became friends and played sports together all through high school and college,” Jones said. “We continued talking after he moved to Flower Mound, and one day I told him that I wanted a change.
“After my wife and I visited him, my wife turned to me and said, ‘let’s move.’ Now Tom and I are neighbors and have worked together for numerous years at Dallas Athletes Racing.”
On June 10, Dallas Athletes Racing will host the Wounded Warrior Half Marathon in Las Colinas, which will honor the nation’s men and women of the military and raise money for those who have been injured on duty.
“I had a number of Marine Corps friends who liked the idea of a running event to help wounded vets, so they helped me navigate to the right channels,” said Ryan, a 20+ year triathlete and four-time Ironman finisher.
The event will also feature an escorted Military Mile Fun Run, and a party with food, drinks and live music provided by Texas-born country music recording artist Dave Roberts, a Captain Cobra Pilot with the Marines who served in Afghanistan.
“Our goal is to put on a first-class race and get the word out about Wounded Warriors and raise as much money as we can through donations, sponsorships, and entries,” Jones said. “We have accomplished quite a bit in the event’s three years, and it just continues to get bigger and better.”
Nearly 3,000 runners are expected at this year’s race, and their goal is to raise $30,000 after bringing in $25,658 last year.
Jones said there are a couple of ways that people can support the run.
“First, people can donate to the charities by going online to our website at www.woundedwarriorhalf.com, and make a personal donation, or you can create a fundraising team,” Ryan said. “Unlike most charity events, 100 percent of the donations go to the charities. You can also volunteer at the race, which may entail anything from handing out medals at the finish line, distributing water and Powerade at the stations throughout the course to setting-up and tearing down or making sure there is ice.
“Volunteers are necessary to ensure our event is a quality experience and a fun and great event.”
Jones said he hopes people leave the event with a couple of things in mind.
“I hope they take away how great our military is and their sacrifice to our country,” Jones said. “I hope it helps motivate people to raise money and give back to the military.”