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Health & Fitness

Everything You Need to Know About the 2023 BMW Dallas Marathon This Weekend

If you need to take Cedar Springs Road, Greenville Avenue, or Ross Avenue this Sunday, good luck. Here is what you need to know about how the marathon will affect getting around Dallas.
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The BMW Dallas Marathon is back this weekend, Dec. 8–10. Courtesy of the Dallas Marathon

This weekend, thousands of runners will dash all around the city during the annual BMW Dallas Marathon.

Since the early 1970s, runners from far and wide have jogged and sprinted around Dallas in the annual 26.2-mile race. The marathon has evolved since its initial run in 1971, including pushing the race from March to December, moving the start and finish lines to City Hall, and adding other events, like the half-marathon and Mayor’s Race 5K. What began as a small event with 82 runners 52 years ago grew to more than 14,000 runners in 2022. 

With everything going on this weekend, the logistics are bound to trip you up—even if you don’t plan on running. Here’s everything you need to know about navigating the Dallas Marathon Friday through Sunday’s race day. Especially if you need to get around East Dallas and downtown.

The Marathon Route 

As always, Sunday’s race starts downtown, at Dallas City Hall Plaza. Then runners will head to Victory Park, then north through Uptown and Turtle Creek. In Highland Park, the pack will cut east across Central, then head south down Greenville through the M Streets and Lower Greenville, until it’s time to hang a left into Lakewood. They’ll lap around White Rock Lake, and come back through East Dallas on Belmont Avenue. After a short jaunt down Lowest Greenville, runners will head south on Ross Avenue on their way back Downtown to the finish line. See the full map here, and get turn-by-turn directions here.

The Beneficiary

For 26 years, Scottish Rite for Children, the 102-year-old orthopedic children’s hospital off Oak Lawn, has been the marathon’s primary beneficiary. More than $4 million has been donated to the hospital over the years. If you’d like to donate this year, you can launch an online fundraiser or sponsor a specific runner. (Learn more here). 


Race Schedule 

Friday

  • 7 p.m. Friday Night Mile. Walk or run two laps around Dallas City Hall in this Grand Prix-style race. There are eight rolling heats, which start every 15 minutes beginning at 7 p.m. 

Saturday

There are five separate races taking place downtown Saturday morning, including the Oncor Kid’s Race, which is free for DISD students, and the Kid’s 100M Dash, which is free for registered children age and younger. 

  • 8:30 a.m. 10K 
  • 8:45 a.m. 5K/5K Team 
  • 8:50 a.m. 5K Walk 
  • 10:30 a.m. Kid’s 100M Dash
  • 11 a.m. Oncor Kid’s Race

Sunday

Sunday is the main event, featuring the half, full, and ultra marathons, as well as the Shell Energy Relays. Races will begin between 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m., with corrals closing five minutes before. 

  • 6:30 a.m. Corrals open. 
  • 8:30 a.m. Corral A starts. 
  • 8:40 a.m. Corral B starts. 
  • 8:50 a.m. Corral C starts.
  • 9 a.m. Corral D and Walker Corral start. 

Health & Fitness Expo 

Shop and learn all about fitness during the annual expo at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. The event also serves as the official packet-pick up location—be sure to bring an ID when checking in. 

Times:

  • Friday: 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
  • Saturday: 9 a.m.–6 p.m. 

What’s New in 2023?

You Can Walk

Folks wanting to participate this weekend but are not so running-inclined can walk several of the courses. Walking events include Saturday’s 5K and Sunday’s half-marathon.

Kids Are Free Saturday

This year, kids—age 14 and under—wanting to participate in Saturday’s races can do so for free. Parents are also allowed to accompany their kiddos age 6 and younger in the 100-meter dash. Learn more here.

The Course Itself

While mostly similar, the actual marathon course Sunday has changed some. These changes mostly impact the route through Highland Park and Old East Dallas. In the latter, instead of cutting through Swiss Avenue Historic District, participants will run down Ross Avenue, from Lowest Greenville to downtown.


Traffic Closures

If you’re trying to get anywhere downtown—or the Arts District, or Harwood District—try again Monday. Roads all around town will be out of commission throughout race weekend, too. You could push your luck while out and about, but if you don’t want to get stuck in an intersection for hours, see the major road closures below. 

Friday Closures 

The streets around Dallas City Hall will be closed overnight, from 6:45 p.m. to 6 a.m. for event setup. 

Saturday Closures 

Most of Saturday’s closures are limited to downtown and Deep Ellum, making life difficult if you’re trying to get to the Dallas Farmers Market—or I-30. However, the closures, which begin around 8:30 a.m., should end by 11 a.m. 

Major Sunday Closures 

Like Saturday, most of downtown will be closed off for the event. Some roads will reopen after a few hours; others will be shut down all day. And, as the race stretches all across the city, motorists, especially in East Dallas, will need to watch out for closures and stray runners. See below for major road closures. 

N. Riverfront Boulevard

  • All lanes, Commerce Street to Continental Avenue, downtown
    • 8:08 a.m.–10:07 a.m.

Cedar Springs Road 

  • Northbound, N. Harwood Street to Turtle Creek Boulevard, through Victory Park and Harwood District
    • 8:18 a.m.–10:33 a.m.

Turtle Creek Boulevard

  • Northbound, Cedar Springs Road to Lakeside Drive
    • 8:25 a.m. 10:54 a.m.

Greenville Avenue

  • Monticello to Belmont avenues, all lanes, through the M Streets
    • Time: 8:43 a.m.–11:33 a.m.
  • Richmond to Ross avenues, all lanes, through Lower Greenville
    • Time: 8:45 a.m.–2:59 p.m. 

Ross Avenue

  • Westbound, Greenville Avenue to Routh Street; all lanes, through Old East Dallas
    • Time: 8:56 a.m.–3:28 p.m.

Woodall Rogers Freeway Access Road 

  • All lanes Routh Street to Lamar Boulevard
    • 8:56 a.m.—3:28 p.m.

To see the full list of road closures, click here

Getting There

While there will be surface parking lots near the Health & Fitness Expo, Marathon organizers recommend participants and observers use DART’s rail system.

Convention Center Station

  • This will get you the closest to the expo and the starting and finish lines at Dallas City Hall Plaza
  • Accessible via the Red, Green, and Blue lines.

Spectator Stations (the best spots for cheering on your loved ones) 

  • Mockingbird Station, mile 7
  • White Rock Station, mile 14.5

Author

Catherine Wendlandt

Catherine Wendlandt

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Catherine Wendlandt is the online associate editor for D Magazine’s Living and Home and Garden blogs, where she covers all…

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