The second annual Dallas Marathon Kickoff 6.4K, which includes 1,000-person fun run near White Rock Lake and a post-run party with live music, food trucks and a beer garden furnished by Miller64, is Thursday, May 30, at Winfrey Point at White Rock Lake. Registration and packet pick-up starts at 5 pm and the 6.4K run begins at 7 pm. Registration for the Kickoff is $25 and includes a technical training shirt and entrance into the post race party. Registration for this year’s MetroPCS Dallas Marathon opens on June 1.
Last year’s Dallas Marathon featured many changes as the race officially dropped “White Rock” from its name and moved its start and finish lines from Fair Park to downtown Dallas. Dallas Marathon Executive Director Marcus Grunewald says that the adjustment to the race’s new name and look seemed to go smoothly.
“There is always some resistance to change, but after last year’s race we received so many emails from runners saying they loved the new course and finish line,” Grunewald says. “I don’t want to say we hit a home run, but we did feel a sense of accomplishment after the race.”
Grunewald says that along with working to streamline the finish line and to improve the post-race party, race organizers are looking to make some minor adjustments to the half and full marathon courses for the 2013 event.
“There will be some small tweaks to both of the courses. Last year’s half course had an out-and-back portion near the finish. We heard from a lot of runners who didn’t like that, and we are working to get rid of it. We are also working with city officials and downtown Dallas to make a few improvements to the marathon course that will enhance the experience of running downtown.”
Security has been a top priority for Dallas Marathon organizers since the bombings at last month’s Boston Marathon.
“Within fifteen minutes of watching TV coverage of Boston, I knew the sport of marathon had been changed forever. My first call was to the police officer we work with on security,” says Grunewald. “We are working very closely with the city of Dallas, and they have reached out to Boston and the authorities there.”
Another addition to the event last year was the Last Man Running promotion, in which a local celebrity starts the race at the back of the start line and raises pledges for each runner passed on the way to the finish line. In 2012, The Ticket sports radio host Craig “Junior” Miller passed 9,000 runners and raised $36,000 dollars for Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, the race’s primary beneficiary. Miller will be at the Kickoff event to announce the Last Man Running for 2013.
The 44th running of the Dallas Marathon will be Sunday December 8. Events include the marathon, half marathon, 5-Person Relay, SMU Cox Corporate Relay Challenge presented by Behringer Harvard, and the Cigna Mayor’s 5K on Saturday December 7. Registration opens on June 1. To register for tonight’s fun run or for more information on marathon weekend events, visit www.dallasmarathon.com.