Behind The Numbers

Colby Mehmen

By Harry Hall

After graduating from Princeton (TX) High School in 2012, Colby Mehmen had no reason to expect collegiate athletic success.

Armed with only a 4:41 mile PR, he did take advantage of a scholarship from Stephen F. Austin University.

For $300.

“I was happy to get it,” said Mehmen after capturing his second straight victory at the Dallas Half-Marathon on December 10.

“In college, I met some kids with a good mentality. They were running 100 miles plus a week, and that rubbed off.”

He increased his mileage, and his body has responded.

He now boasts a 10k PR of 29:34 and 15k at 45:33, and now hopes to join an elite group of distance runners who will toe the line at the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials.

He’s not quite there yet.

In 2016, he won the Dallas Half-Marathon for the first time with a 1:05.15.

He calls that win, “My most important victory, and in my home town.”

In 2017, injuries to a hamstring and both his hip flexors have hurt his training, so he was happy with just winning.

“I’m in good marathon shape,” he says, “but my four-mile time trial times have been around 19:50. Last year they were at 19:00.”

While his time of 1:06.54 was a good bit slower than last year, he saw it coming.

“Although I’ve only missed running 100 miles per week twice this year, I’ve only been averaging about 120-130 mpw,” he says, “I’m usually at 130-150.”

Although slower, he still looked strong at the end, clocking at 31:49 first 10k, and finishing more than three minutes up on Aaron Sherf.

Now healthy, Mehmen believes he can get his training back on schedule and hit an Olympic Marathon Trials time of 1:04 for the half-marathon at the NYC Half-Marathon March 18, 2018. (The Men’s Marathon Olympic Trials standard is 2:19, but they can qualify with a half in 1:04)

But he believes he’ll be at 100% when he toes the line and hopes he can hit the mark at that race.

“Qualifying for the trials would be the pinnacle,” he says, “because right now I intend to retire at age 30."

Then he quickly adds, "But I might extend that.”

Harry Hall's bio

Harry Hall

Harry Hall grew up with the North Texas running community. While running for Irving MacArthur High School in the mid-'70s, he set several school and meet records, and ran in the Texas state cross-country championships. He continued running after college, completed a total of 18 marathons, including two Bostons. At the 1982 White Rock Marathon, he clocked his PR of 2:27.

Harry spent several years coaching collegiate track and cross-country and working as a personal trainer. In the late '80s he entered the professional writing world, covering athletic events from local races to the Olympic Trials and other national sporting events. His work appeared in several publications, most notably Runner-Triathlete News, Health and Fitness Sport, and the Dallas Morning News.

He continued moving from athletics to communications, and even wrote two books.

The first, released in 2011, is based on his experiences in radio, Toastmasters International, and teaching public speaking. It's titled, Help! Everyone is Staring at Me.

In late 2014, Harry completed a 12 year project when he released, The Pedestriennes, America's Forgotten Superstars, the first book ever written about the professional female endurance walkers who from 1876-1881, dazzled America with their on and off track exploits. It's won three national writing awards and included it on its list of, "Greatest Running Books." It's also been turned into a screenplay.

Both books are available at and

Harry lives in Grand Prairie with his wife Susie, their teen son Zane and Zane's best friend, Scamp (Pooch) Hall.