West Dallas welcomes marathon for first time

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by DAVID SCHECHTER

Bio | Email | Follow: @davidschechter

WFAA

Posted on December 6, 2012 at 8:50 PM

DALLAS -- When the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge opened, the weekend’s events drew large crowds. But now the route of the Dallas Marathon winds through two miles of West Dallas, and that’s the kind of exposure this up-and-coming neighborhood has never seen before.

"Hopefully the runners will notice a lot of enthusiasm," said Randall White with the West Dallas Chamber of Commerce. "And they'll also notice the businesses that are here and thriving."

Twenty-seven businesses and 21 non-profits plan to give runners a two-mile celebration.

For example, the historic Belmont Hotel and its neighbors will pack the corner of Fort Worth and Sylvan with food and music, at a location where the race course takes a sharp right turn.

"It's really exciting to have 25,000 people that, a lot of them, have not ever been over here," said Laura Gandy with the Belmont Hotel. "They're running right by, and we're hoping that they'll see us here. And they'll be like, 'Look at that beautiful place on the hill.'"

This is the first time in 41 years the marathon has crossed the Trinity River, into West Dallas. The reason for the change this year, of course, is the draw of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. But with new businesses opening in the area on a regular basis, West Dallas hates to miss a chance to tell its story.

"It's another opportunity for the rest of the world to see the future of Dallas, which we believe is right here,” White said.

E-mail dschechter@wfaa.com

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