White Rock Marathon: more than just a race

The White Rock Marathon, held each December, holds a special place in my heart. I’ve watched it grow since I was a little girl cheering on my dad and his brother in the 1980s.

What was once a race featuring a few hundred hard-core runners is now an event that traverses the city. More than 20,000 participants tackle the 26.2 (or 13.1) mile courses these days, and some of them take more than six hours to finish. That makes for a big long day in Dallas — a celebration for anyone who is interested, and sometimes a nightmare for those who just want to go about their daily lives that particular Sunday.

We always hear a ton of complaints about the marathon and how it shuts down our neighborhood streets (we hear equal amount of love for the event), but here’s a number that might make the complainers a bit more tolerant: $560,000.

That’s the amount of the check the Metro PCS White Rock Marathon presented to the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children last night from the 2010 marathon. That’s almost $200,000 more than last year’s donation. And since 1997 when the hospital became the main beneficiary, the marathon has brought in $1.8 million to Scottish Rite.

I have a baby cousin, Kate, who was born with a rare heart condition and an extra thumb on her right hand. Little Kate’s parents live in a small apartment and struggle to make ends meet sometimes. But Kate has received impeccable care since birth, thanks to Scottish Rite, and she will get a chance to grow up. There’s no way the family could have afforded the care that Kate needed — they are like thousands of families who have survived thanks to this hospital.

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And $1.8 million is a big drop in the bucket. So to those who ran and raised money — you did doubly good.

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