It’s BMW Dallas Marathon weekend. That means three days of events for thousands of runners and some traffic headaches for drivers as streets are closed to make way for the athletes.
The 50th-anniversary marathon was postponed from 2020 due to COVID-19.
Dallas City Hall is the marathon start and endpoint. Runners were there Friday to pick up registration packets.
“Since things have opened up and people have become more active, there's like 20,000 some odd runners. So, it's a good turnout,” said marathon runner Grant Wallace.
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It will be his first street marathon. His mom, a past runner, will cheer for him instead along the route.
The BMW-sponsored event benefits Dallas Scottish Rite Hospital for children.
A Scottish Rite patient named Jayden is a junior race director. He spoke at a hospital press conference about the marathon Friday morning.
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“I just want to say good luck to the runners and I'm super excited to be the junior race director for this race and thank you for supporting my hospital,” he said.
Hospital official Bob Walker said Scottish Rite has been connected with the marathon for decades.
“Through the marathon the amount of money that has been raised is over $4 million, approaching $5 million to support the work that is being done here,” he said.
Streets around Dallas City Hall were closed Friday to prepare for the events. Other streets around the city will be closed on Saturday and Sunday so people who are not involved in the races may wish to avoid those areas.
The full marathon course circles through downtown, portions of Highland Park, East Dallas, and around White Rock Lake before returning to City Hall.
Runner Neal Newman picked up registration materials Friday for Saturday’s 5k race that only circles through downtown streets.
“I have no desire to run 26.2 miles. 5k is plenty for me,” Newman said.
In his race bag, Newman found a box of Biofreeze that said it is to cool the pain. Newman said he hopes he will not have that problem.
“I think I'm good. I'm ready to go. I've been working hard, training hard. I'm looking to be in the mix. I'll just say that,” he said.
Runner Grant Wallace said he is looking forward to finishing the entire 26-mile marathon.
“It’s an accomplishment and it gives you kind of a boost of confidence,” he said.
Organizers suggest using DART to get downtown for marathon events and spectator locations along the route.
Event details can be found here.