The MetroPCS Dallas White Rock Marathon (DWRM) is moving to downtown Dallas for the 43rd running of the race on Sunday, December 9, 2012. The marathon, half marathon, and five-person relay races are expected to start and finish near the Omni Dallas Hotel, with pre- and post-race activities hosted in the Dallas Convention Center.
Participant registration for the DWRM has increased almost 25 percent in the past two years its been located at Fair Park. Chuck Dannis, chairman emeritus of the DWRM and member of the race’s venue selection committee, says that the race outgrew that location and hopes this latest move will be the last. He says the change is part of the plan to make the local race a world-class event.
“The great marathons in the world begin and end in the business districts of their cities. And the great marathons don’t change their courses. New York, Boston, their courses are consistent from year to year and that’s what we would love to have,” Dannis says. “We want this to be our last move. This location is where we want to be as a race when we grow up.”
Specific course details are to be determined, but race officials say that the full marathon course will still include familiar landmarks like White Rock Lake and the Dallas Arts District while also incorporating new attractions, such as Klyde Warren Park and the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. The race is capped at 25,000 participants for 2012, but Dannis says that the new location will provide opportunities for growth.
“This location can easily accommodate 25,000 runners. Our goal is to grow the race, and this new location will give us more space and the ability to grow even faster.”
The new location also means that marathon weekend will be pushed back to the second weekend of December to avoid conflicts with the Children’s Medical Center Holiday Parade on Saturday, December 1. Dannis, who served as DWRM chairman from 2005 through 2008, says the race only recently moved to the first weekend of December to avoid conflicts at Fair Park. He says returning to the second weekend is preferable because it gives the race more distance from the Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot, another major event on many local runners’ calendars.
Dannis says that the DWRM is asking for long-term commitments from community partners to ensure the race’s new home can be its permanent home. He thinks the move downtown will benefit both runners and the city of Dallas.
“We have a complete buy-in from the City of Dallas, and we want this to be a true partnership,” Dannis says. “Above all the White Rock Marathon has always been known as a race for runners by runners. We always want to ensure a good quality event, and we want to be a good community citizen. A well-run event is a good fit for everyone.”
Finalized courses for the marathon, half marathon and relay races will be available in the coming months. Registration for this year’s MetroPCS Dallas White Rock Marathon opens on June 1. For registration information and the latest on the new courses, visit www.runtherock.com.