Neighborhood resident Gary Scoggins attempted to complete the White Rock Marathon – affectionally known as "the Rock" by those who have traveled this hilly, tough terrain – twice without success.

 

But on his third run, he had the thrill of crossing that finish line, and he’s been coming back for more ever since. On Dec. 7, Scoggins will join the ever-increasing throng of runners for what will be his eleventh run in the annual event.

 

"I’m not a speedster," says Scoggins. "I’m just happy to finish." His best run is not measured by time but by what he saw greeting him at the finish line – his wife and children, who had repeatedly missed him during their attempts to cheer him on along the winding course.

 

Catching up with the marathon runners would be no easy task. "The Rock" starts and finishes in downtown Dallas at City Hall Plaza, along the way winding through the neighborhoods of Turtle Creek, Highland Park, Lakewood and Swiss Avenue Historic District – plus a nine-mile loop around White Rock Lake.

 

The course records are 2 hours, 12 minutes and 18 seconds (men) and two hours, 33 minutes and 39 seconds (women). Those not wanting to go the distance 26.2 marathon miles alone have the option of competing in two and five person relays.

 

Fittingly enough, proceeds from the race go to benefit For the Love of the Lake, the non-profit, grassroots organization dedicated to maintaining White Rock and the surround park.

 

Also a beneficiary for the first time is the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, which is supported by donations and does not charge families for its services.

 

Highlighting the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital tie is a new marathon event, the Kids Rock for Scottish Rite 1K. In addition to the family run, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital and its volunteers will present a children’s area at City Hall Plaza featuring children’s games, face painting, clowns, entertainment and popcorn.

 

To learn more about taking on "The Rock," check out a sports/fitness expo from 2-6 p.m. Dec. 5 or 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 6 at the Dallas Convention Center, Building A, 650 S. Griffin. Registration and a pakcage pick-up is available at the expo. Late registration will be held from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. on race day, also at the Dallas Convention Center Building A.

 

Information and applications also are available at the web page: www.livelife.com/the_rock/ or by calling 214-528-2962.