DALLAS Big changes are in store for tens of thousands of White Rock Marathon runners.

Organizers Tuesday voted to change the location of the start and finish line and to push the race back one week.

The marathon started and ended at Fair Park for the past two years. The new starting line is downtown, near the new Omni Hotel and the WFAA studios.

The new date is December 9.

Why the changes? Organizers think that downtown is the perfect venue for one of the nation's elite marathon events. This time, the backdrop will be the Dallas skyline and the city's landmarks.

Kevin Snyder is chairman of the White Rock event, and says the organization began discussing a new location for the marathon after last year's race. The next one, he says, promises to take the race to new heights.

It is the fourth major venue change since the marathon started in 1971. Snyder said the the new route is likely here to stay.

We wanted to choose a venue that can serve us for the long term, and we don't foresee in the future that we'll probably have to change, he said. We think this is good for 10 years or more.

Entries for the 2012 White Rock Marathon will be capped at 25,000 runners and registration opens on June 1.

They moved the race date back a week to December 9 because of a downtown parade scheduled the week before.

Snyder said marathon organizers are still trying to determine what the economic impact of this event will be, but they expect it reach well into the millions of dollars.


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