A race for the rings & other fun things!

Aug 18, 2016 | Sharon Lindberg

2016 marks the sixth year of the Plano Balloon Festival Half Marathon/5K/1K running events, but did you know that this year mark’s 37 years of ballooning in Plano, Texas?

The InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival is a fantastic three-day event with gates opening at 4:00pm Friday, September 23rd at Oak Point Park, 2801 E. Spring Creek Parkway, Plano, TX 75074 and the last day of the festival closing on Sunday, September 25th at 7:00pm.

The festival weekend offers so much for entertainment for everyone, all ages, friends, family and everyone in between. 

The HIGH-lights:
  • Live bands & entertainment on the FOX 4 community stage & the KLUV main stage.
  • Saturday evening hosts an awesome fireworks show, balloon glow & lots of festival treats for any food palate.
  • Hot Air Balloons (weather permitting) launches are scheduled for Friday @ 6pm, Saturday @ 7am & 6pm and Sunday @ 7am & 6pm.
  • Family friendly 5K Run/Walk & Kids 1K on Saturday morning. Don’t leave the kids with a babysitter, bring them out & create healthy habits early. Run or walk; plus kids in the 1K get a super, superhero cape to wear (instead of a shirt).
  • Take your running into the stratosphere on Sunday at the half marathon or buddy up with a friend because new this year the relay has been added so you can split up the miles as a team.

Race for the rings — earn a one of a kind trophy!

Two years ago the event director (Eric) was inspired by his love of football and the championship trophy rings of his favorite team (who is on the stairway to seven rings); he was introduced to a local runner who is also a sports fan — Eric Olschwanger (and is a jeweler too!). The two Eric’s came up with the custom PBF rings that go to the first place overall male and female finisher in the half marathon. So if you’re feeling speedy…join up and race for the rings!


Want more?

If all of this is not enough to convince you that this is the best local event to be a part of, then keep reading. All participants will be recognized for their air-mazing efforts in running and will be awarded a custom, six balloon finisher medal at the finish line. The half marathon medal is ginormous, four inches and is simply stunning — it spins and will be one of the most unique finisher medals in your collection for years to come. The 5K and 1K medals is just a bit smaller, but will also feature six balloons!


Sleek, super fun spinning four inch half marathon finisher medal — sneak peek


Want breakfast?

All participants can enjoy a hot breakfast after they run or walk. Yes we have bananas, yes there is water too; but you also get a yummy plated breakfast on Sunday for the half marathoners hosted by Central Market! 5K/1K participants will enjoy a tasty breakfast burrito on Saturday along with CLIF Bar & Corner Bakery.


GoGo Squeeze Zone & Other Treats

On the half marathon course along with standard aid stations serving water (roughly every two miles) & Powerade, GoGo SqueeZ will hand out tasty applesauce (100% natural goodness on the go!) at mile 8. Plus awesome sponsors like Naked Juice, Krave Jerky and GoGo SqueeZ will be in the runner’s village both Saturday and Sunday handing out samples and treats. If this is not enough fuel for you then bring a few bucks and walk around the festival and enjoy the festival food vendors (there are too many to list here!).


Free parking on race day!

Free parking on race day, show your bib and park free but make sure to arrive early and plan extra time to park & get to the start line; this is a large festival, with lots of people so arrive early to allow enough time to get to the start line (you’ll need a good 30 minutes to make a potty stop, bag check & get to the start line). The races will start on time!


Free tickets to the festival get ready to snap some great selfies!

When you sign up for the running events you also get two (2) free tickets into the InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival which are good the whole weekend so bring the kids out and enjoy some quality time with the family. Come on out for the dazzling hot air balloons, food, entertainment, run/walk and get those selfies and capture shots of you and the hot air balloons too. 

Now GET SOARING! www.pbfraces.org