The Non-Runner’s Guide to the Dallas Marathon

If the thought of waking up at 7 a.m. on a weekend to run 26.2 miles, or even half of that, causes you to question your desire to live, you’re not alone.  This Sunday, Dec. 9th, over 25,000 superhumans will run the Dallas Marathon, formerly the Dallas White Rock Marathon, winding through almost every neighborhood of Dallas before ending at the Dallas Convention Center.

Lucky for all of us non-runners, when you take away the part of the marathon that involves physical activity, you’re basically left with a city-wide music festival, foodie extravaganza, and early-morning drinking party. Here are a few hot spots where you can hang out and enjoy not running:

Sylvan Thirty. At the corner of Sylvan Ave. and Fort Worth Ave., the Belmont Hotel and Clairevista Vitality Club will be organizing children’s activities while Durty Laundry spins tunes from their mobile DJ truck. Smoke and Burguesa Burger will be open for brunch starting at 8 a.m., and the Greater Mt. Hebron Church Gospel Choir and Tiyari Taiko Drum Band will be performing at the intersection.  1900 Sylvan Ave. Mile 1.9. Best time to be there: 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Rise and shine

Trinity Groves. At Phil Romano’s new incubator project at the Western end of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, lucky spectators will get to sample food and beer from the area’s buzzed-about newcomers: Babb Bros. BBQ & Blues, Hoffman Hots, 3015 at Trinity Groves and Four Corners Brewing Co. Sixties cover band Rockupational Therapy and the Santa Rosa Mariachi Band will also be performing. 300 Singleton Blvd. Mile 3. Best time to be there: 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

The Design District. After crossing the bridge, runners will wind down Dragon Street and Oak Lawn Ave. into Uptown, but not before passing the party at the outdoor amphitheater on Oak Lawn between Hi Line and Stemmons Freeway (right across from Oak). There will be live music from the Dallas Observer’s Best Rock Act of 2012, The Breakfast Machine, breakfast food from Gandolfo’s food truck, and hot coffee from the not-yet-opened Ascension Coffee House. 1675 Oak Lawn Ave. Mile 4.9. Best time to be there: 8:15 to 11:00 a.m.

Lee Park. It’ll be warm and sunny on race day, so bring a blanket and a brunch picnic out to the lawn at Lee Park on Turtle Creek Blvd to wave at the passing runners. Local band Goodnight Farm will be playing “the best rock, pop and alt-country from the 80’s to today” while you lounge. 3333 Turtle Creek Blvd. Miles 6.6 and 8.6 (for returning half-marathoners). Best time to be there: 8:45 to 10:00 a.m.

Big Thicket. For a peaceful viewing experience, set up outside of the historic Big Thicket house on White Rock Lake on Sunday morning. The Dallas Drum Djam, regulars at The Green Elephant on Wednesday nights, will trek out to the scenic spot to provide the perfect rhythmic backdrop while you gaze out at the lake. 430 E. Lawther Dr. Mile 14.5. Best time to be there: 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

The Dallas Convention Center. As the location of the race’s finish line, the biggest party is taking place at the Convention Center. With an expo showcasing over 100 vendors, plenty of live music, food trucks and a beer garden, you’ll want to be here when the runners arrive. The awards ceremony is at 10:30 a.m., but the festivities will continue until 3 p.m. 650 South Griffin Street. Mile 26.2. Best time to be there: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

You can see a full list of suggested spectator points on the marathon's website.

Also, over 20 Dallas restaurants are offering discounts from Dec. 7th through the 10th if you bring in one of these Dallas Marathon coupons -- and you don't even have to run. 10% off at Nosh? Free appetizer at The Capital Grille? 20% off at Chicken Scratch? Yes please.

28 Responses to “The Non-Runner’s Guide to the Dallas Marathon”

  1. While running a marathon at some point remains a life long goal of mine, at this point just partaking in the festivities seems like enough excitement for me. Good luck to all the brave souls who are subjecting themselves to the 26 plus miles of torture!

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  2. Hi dalla, Guidance is really helpful in running while 2 year ago when i have to start running then have to get guidance from my friend who was old in park. Now i become a professional runner and easily 15Km have to rune without take breath however Coaching Marathon race we must be get if wanna participate in race.

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