Randy McIlwain, NBC 5 News
The Dallas White Rock Marathon is out and the Dallas Marathon is in. The big race makes its debut this weekend with a new name and a new route.
A previous version of this story had the incorrect start time for the Dallas Marathon. The marathon starts at 8 a.m. NBC 5 regrets the error.
The Dallas Marathon may be taking its cues from one of James Brown's signature lines.
Brown used to say "let's take it to the bridge" during his songs -- and the marathon's new route crosses the Trinity River into the West Dallas loop and the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge.
The change means a big single-day marketing opportunity for West Dallas businesses.
"It's the Super Bowl for all of us in this area," said Mike Babb, owner of Babb Bros BBQ. "Right now, it's a big deal."
About 25,000 runners are expected participate in the Dallas Marathon, formerly the Dallas White Rock Lake Marathon. Thousands more will line the streets as spectators.
West Dallas Loop organizers say the visitors will see the new hot spot for growth in Dallas.
"It's really just been in the last six months, if you will, that there's been an enormous amount of activity in terms of openings," said Jeff Herrington of West Dallas Loop. "They're going to be passing through and seeing a West Dallas that's transforming."
New businesses such as restaurants, health spas, and retail stores are along the west loop. There are plans to highlight them with micro-parties featuring food, live music, entertainment and children's activities.
Businesses plan to put their best foot forward during the marathon to build a lasting new customer base.
"For a long time it's been Kessler Park, Bishop Arts, the Methodist hospital and, now, it's another brand new community," said Dustin Thibodeaux of the Clairevista Vitality Club.
The marathon starts at 8 a.m. Sunday.