FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Peter Nantell
Chronicle Marathon Event Producer
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE MARATHON: BIGGER AND BETTER
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (July 14, 2003) - The San Francisco Chronicle
Marathon, which will mark a symbolic 26th annual running of 26.2 miles in
The City on Sunday, July 27, is growing new wings. Following last year's
introduction of a popular flatter and faster course that showcases The
City, and a new downtown start/finish at Justin Herman Plaza, race
organizers predict an unusually large turnout for this year's race and its
companion events. In fact, based on pre-race entries, 7,000 runners are
forecast for the marathon and the same-morning 4-person marathon relay,
half marathon, and 5-kilometer run/walk. According to event producer Peter
Nantell of West End Management, those numbers are on target to produce the
largest number of starters for the marathon since the late 1980s.
"I'm very excited about this year's race," Nantell said. "After producing
it for a number of years, it finally makes sense. Activities are all
staged at one location right on San Francisco's historic Embarcadero. The
Ferry Building construction is completed with a food mart and Ferry Plaza
Farmer's Market, so that will be part of the flavor of the event. And,
growth looks good."
Race director Miranda Lindl is equally enthused about the event which
also includes the 2003 Chronicle Marathon Healthy Living Expo, July 25-27
(Friday-Sunday) at Justin Herman Plaza, across the Embarcadero from the
Ferry Building and the marathon's start/finish line.
"Public response about the 2002 course change has been overwhelmingly
positive," said Lindl, "with the start, finish, expo, hotels, pasta feed
and other aspects of the race within walking distance of one another. My
team is working very hard to make our race the very best experience for
all the participants and the entire city."
Indeed, the San Francisco Chronicle Marathon's race course showcases the
very best that the "City By the Bay" has to offer. The scenic loop course
features many of San Francisco's scenic landmarks such as Fisherman's
Wharf, Golden Gate Park and Presidio National Park; offers views of the
Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island; and takes runners along the
Pacific Ocean, through the Haight-Ashbury District, and past baseball's
Pacific Bell Park. The downtown start/finish line in front of the Ferry
Building at the city's historic world trade port is icing on the cake for
a marathon that traditionally attracts runners from all over the U.S. and
many parts of the globe because of its mid-summer natural air
conditioning. San Francisco's average temperature is 60 degrees in July.
This year, the race has increased its number of course monitors to 250,
ensuring smooth sailing for all runners. In addition, national embassies
(Canada, Japan, Italy, and two from Brazil) will punctuate five of the 12
water stations on the course with volunteers dressed in traditional
country attire and provide music. The area's running clubs will also
staff water stations with volunteers.
One especially attractive feature for race participants this year is the
event's new and unique "choose a half" option. The 2003 half marathon
allows participants to choose which half of the marathon course they want
to run. The first half marathon (0 miles to 13.1 miles) starts at 7:00
a.m. (the same time as the marathon) and follows the first portion of the
Chronicle Marathon course. The second half marathon (13.1 miles to 26.2
miles) starts at 8:45 a.m. and follows the second portion of the marathon
Entrants in this year's half marathon race include Linda Somers Smith,
one of America's top female marathoners for the past decade. Somers
Smith, 42, has entered the half marathon as a tune-up for the IAAF World
Track & Field Championships in Paris. She was selected for the U.S. World
Championships marathon team that will compete in the 26.2-miler in the
City of Lights on August 31. Somers Smith is an Olympian who competed in
the 1996 Olympic marathon in Atlanta. She also competed in the 1995 World
Championships. She owns a marathon personal best of 2:30:06.
The marathon and two half marathon races feature a total of $10,000 in
prize money to be distributed among the overall male and female winners
and first master (age 40 and over) runner in each of the events. In
addition, the first place male and female San Francisco residents in the
marathon will also share in the prize money. All marathon and half
marathon participants will receive finisher medals. Refreshments are
provided to participants in all races. Chiquita is providing bananas,
Heartland Soups is serving hot soup, and 20-plus other vendors will be
distributing food and goodies compliments of Whole Foods.
Everyone is a winner at the Chronicle Marathon including the marathon's
official charity beneficiaries. The Chronicle Marathon's unique "Cause to
Run" program allows participants to pledge support to any of these
charity organizations, raise funds, and earn pledge prizes by
participating in any of the running/walking events. Last year, race
participants raised over $100,000 for local charities that provide
valuable and much-needed services for the community.
The featured cause for 2003 is the California/Bay Area Breast Cancer
Research Program. Since 1994, the organization has generated more than
$130 million for California scientists and community researchers to find
better ways to prevent, treat, and cure breast cancer.
"The Cause To Run is a great opportunity for Bay Area residents to
support meaningful research in breast cancer," said Marion H.E.
Kavanaugh-Lynch, M.D., M.P.H., and Director of the CBCRP. "Every pledge
will have an impact on further investigation of this complex disease."
Associated charity causes for 2003 are: Continuum HIV Day Services,
Organs "R" Us: Organ Donation, Haight Ashbury Food Program, Abada
Capoeira, STOP AIDS Project, San Francisco SPCA, World PULSE, 826
Valencia, and Family Builders by Adoption.
Another unique feature of the Chronicle Marathon is the event's
Progressive Run. Not everyone is able or inclined to run a full marathon
in a single effort, so participants in the Progressive Marathon run or
walk 26.2 miles incrementally over a period of weeks or months.
Progressive Marathoners run or walk the final part of their cumulative
marathon by participating in the 5K Run/Walk on Chronicle Marathon race
Last year, among 4,300 finishers (all races), Nate Bowen of Menlo Park,
CA easily won the men's marathon race in a finishing time of 2 hours, 31
minutes, and 46 seconds. Berkeley, CA's Magdalena Lewy won the women's
race in 2:50:11 (2:53:55 adjusted). Craig Steinmaus (2:41:29) and Micha
Lowe (3:10:02) were the top San Francisco resident finishers.
WHAT'S HAPPENING AND WHEN?
2003 Chronicle Marathon Schedule of Events
Fri July 25, 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM Healthy Living Expo
Sat July 26, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Healthy Living Expo
Sun July 27, 7:00 AM - 12:30 PM Healthy Living Expo
Sat July 26, 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM Pasta Feed
Sun July 27, 7:00 AM Marathon Start
Sun July 27, 7:00 AM Half Marathon-First Half Start
Sun July 27, 8:45 AM Half Marathon-Second Half Start
Sun July 27, 7:00 AM 4-Person Marathon Relay Start
Sun July 27, 8:00 AM 5K Community Run/Walk Start
Sun July 27, 8:00 AM Progressive Marathon Start
MORE INFORMATION/EVENT REGISTRATION
Complete information about the San Francisco Chronicle Marathon,
including registration details and online registration for all events, is
available online at:
Or, call the race hotline at (415) 284-9653.
To obtain press credentials contact Miranda Lindl at West End Management,
telephone (415) 642-1181 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2003 Chronicle Marathon is sponsored by the San Francisco Chronicle,
KPIX Channel 5, SFGate.com, 96.5 KOIT, Hyatt Regency San Francisco, Esker
Natural Spring Water, Heartland Soups, Whole Foods, GU Energy Gel,
Chiquita, SoBe Lean, Organs 'R" Us, California Breast Cancer Research
Program, the San Francisco Municipal Railway, the Port of San Francisco,
the Embarcadero Center, and the San Francisco Road Runners Club.
***Media support services by Mark Winitz, Win-It! z Sports Public
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