Our city’s marathon cannot offer the breathtaking views of, say, Big Sur or Avenue of the Giants, nor can we offer that downhill or pancake-flat terrain and guaranteed cool temps adored by runners aiming for a personal best or Boston or Olympic trial qualifying time.
But organizers of the Dallas Marathon have a long history of creative promotions that make the event attractive to a growing national audience. Last year, for example, they packed the field with celebrities (in running land, that is) including 2016 Olympic qualifiers Meb Keflezighi, Jared Ward and Desi Linden, and American record holder Ryan Hall, who ran his last official race before announcing his retirement.
They make it fun for local runners too with attractions such as the high school relay, where high school runners race against a chosen professional, and Last Man Running, whereby a local star starts at the back of the pack and raises a dollar for everyone he passes.
Although some Dallasites hate it — despise the clamor of the dozens of bands along the 26.2 mile course, abhor the spectators’ screaming and cowbells, detest the traffic blockage and detours — the event, held one day each December (except that time it was canceled, when our photographer captured the most beautiful course images imaginable, and remember those diehards who ran it anyway?), the Dallas Marathon is a banner event that rallies 22,000 participants, boosts the Dallas economy nearly $9 million per annum and brings in charity funds (for the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital) also in the millions.
For the past several years, you might recall, it’s been known as the MetroPCS Dallas Marathon, but our marathon just got a little classier —cue the fancy music (only Ticket P1s will get this).
Says the press release, “The Dallas Marathon board of directors today announced a multiyear title sponsorship agreement with BMW of North America and the Dallas-Fort Worth Area BMW Centers for the organization’s marquee race property: the Dallas Marathon.
“The event, which is Texas’ oldest marathon and the largest annual sporting event in North Texas, will be known as the BMW Dallas Marathon, Half Marathon and Behringer Relay,” representatives note.
“BMW will also serve as the official automobile partner of the Dallas Marathon and participate in year-roundDallas Marathon-organized events including the RunDallas Race Series, Oncor Mayor’s Race 5K, the Pro Relay Challenge and monthly BMW Dallas Marathon social runs held throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. To debut the sponsorship, the Dallas Marathon unveiled a new logo, website and visual brand identity,” according to the press release.
The last time they changed the logo was when they changed the name from the White Rock Marathon to Dallas Marathon, which caused quite the stir.
“BMW plans to launch exclusive contests for BMW Dallas Marathon participants, including a chance for one 2016 race registrant to win a complimentary two-day trip to the BMW Performance Driving School. ThroughoutDallas Marathon race weekend, BMW will offer ride-and-drive experiences at the Health & Fitness Expo. On race day, a fleet of BMW vehicles will be utilized to transport media, escort elite athletes and VIP participants, lead the race as the official pace car, and add entertainment to spectator areas along the race course.”
If you are thinking about running the 2016 marathon on Dec. 11, the time to begin training is upon you. You have about seven months. Dallas has plenty of training opportunities. Here are some tips.
Registration is underway. Early entrants get a better price. With a team of five, you can opt to register for the relay race: Each member runs an average six miles of the marathon course, which winds through Downtown, Oak Cliff, Highland Park, the White Rock area and East Dallas.
More: As a way to celebrate the opening of registration, the BMW Dallas Marathon will host the 2016 Kickoff Party & 5K presented by Miller Lite on Thursday evening, May 19 at Winfrey Point at White Rock Lake. Registration for this event includes an official BMW Dallas Marathon training shirt, a timed 5K entry and a post-race party including live music & Miller Lite!
So, runners, what do you think of the new logo?