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The Dallas White Rock Marathon (DWRM) board of directors today announced a new race date and a new start and finish for the 43rd running of the MetroPCS Dallas White Rock Marathon. The marathon, half marathon and five-person relay will be held Sun., Dec. 9, 2012, with a start and finish in Downtown Dallas.

“Moving the marathon course downtown allows us to partner with the City of Dallas to promote the city’s newest landmarks,” said Kevin Snyder, chairman of the DWRM board of directors. “Downtown provides a platform for our race’s continual growth in participation and the support of our mission to improve the health and fitness of the DFW community.”

Marathon officials are working with city administrators to designate new courses for the marathon, half marathon and relay races. The full marathon course will still include familiar landmarks White Rock Lake and the nation’s largest urban arts district while also incorporating Dallas’s newest attractions, Klyde Warren Park and the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. Race start and finish lines are expected to be near the Omni Dallas Hotel, with pre- and post-race activities hosted in the Dallas Convention Center.

“Our goal is always to put on the best race possible for our 25,000 participants and 300,000 spectators,” said DWRM race director Marcus Grunewald. “The move downtown enables us to build on the things that make our race great – a flat, fast course with ample entertainment – by highlighting the city of Dallas to our runners in a way that is on par with other great city marathons.”

Finalized courses for the marathon, half marathon and relay races will be available in the coming months. Marathon officials expect to continue to highlight the best parts of Dallas and minimize negative aspects of the event such as neighborhood street closures and mass-transit interruptions. Discussions with DART are underway to provide direct access to the anticipated start and finish area on race day.

“Runner and spectator safety is always a primary concern for the Dallas White Rock Marathon,” Snyder said. “We are diligently working with DART, Dallas Police, the Dallas Park and Recreation Department, the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau, Dallas City Hall and the mayor to ensure that our race provides a world-class experience to all runners and spectators.”

Along with the course changes, the DWRM board of directors also announced a date change, moving the marathon back one weekend to Sun., Dec. 9. Downtown will now play host to two of Dallas’s largest spectator events – the Children’s Medical Center Holiday Parade on Sat., Dec. 1, and the Dallas White Rock Marathon – on consecutive weekends. Race activities are scheduled for Fri., Dec. 7, through Sun., Dec. 9, 2012. MetroPCS Dallas White Rock Marathon weekend includes a two-day Health & Fitness Expo, the Mayor’s Race 5K Presented by Cigna, and the MetroPCS Dallas White Rock Marathon, Half Marathon, 5-Person Relay, and SMU Cox Corporate Relay Challenge, Presented by Behringer Harvard.

“With the renaissance of Downtown, this is a perfect time for Downtown to be hosting this event,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. “This race is a major contributor to filling room nights and restaurants, and we’re excited about the opportunity to showcase all Dallas has to offer to both local and visiting participants.”

Participant registration for the DWRM has increased almost 25 percent in the previous two years; the race is capped at 25,000 participants for 2012. Since 1997, race proceeds have gone to support Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC). Earlier this month, the DWRM board of directors presented TSRHC with a donation of $1 million as a result of the 2011 race.

Registration for this year’s MetroPCS Dallas White Rock Marathon opens June 1. The Dec. 9, 2012, race is expected to sell out. Visit runtherock.com for more information.

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