During his high school years, 1 and 2 miles were the Texas University Interscholastic League state upper limits for distance races in track and cross-country respectively. Given those limits and preferring longer distances, Dial supplemented his high school races by driving two hours to Houston so he could compete in road races. As he grew older, his natural progression went to the longer distances, 10ks and the marathon - and eventually into ultras.
Dial spent 21 years living in San Diego, CA, where he coached high school cross country at multiple schools, including Division 1 Torrey Pines High School. The further he got into his running career, rather than run competitively, he came to get more satisfaction with giving back to the sport and community. One such example is his coordinating fundraising events like the annual Carmel Del Mar Elementary School Jog-a-thon, an event Dial spearheaded for thirteen years, beginning when his son was in kindergarten at the school! Further, even from afar he has long supported the Sea Rim Striders, a club Dial helped found in the Beaumont - Port Arthur, TX area in 1978 during his senior year in high school.
Dave’s first ultra came in 2000 with his friend Edison Eskeets, the then Executive Director of Wings of America, a non-profit benefiting native youth based in Santa Fe, New Mexico (Dave is also of Native American descent, specifically from the Lumbee tribe of North Carolina).
Together, the duo ran 30+ miles a day. Reflecting on that run, Dial said when he learned of Edison having created a fundraiser for the non-profit, Dave was all in! The pair ran a total of 375 miles over 13 days. He says to this day, despite having run a 2:24:18 in the 1980 Boston Marathon as a 19-year-old (who had no coach), the run he did with Eskeets is the most rewarding thing he has ever done as a runner.
Currently, Dave resides in Texas, works on his father’s cattle ranch and averages 18 miles a day running, 6 - 8 miles on a bike and another several miles walking the pastures. Yes, around 30 miles daily under his own power!