FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Leigh Greenfelder
NATIONAL BLACK MARATHONERS SELECT
RITE AID CLEVELAND MARATHON FOR 3RD RACE
Cleveland affiliate ready to show national group
a good time and a good race
CLEVELAND (May 11, 2007) – The National Black Marathoners Association has
chosen the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K on May 20 as
the race to run for 2007.
The Dallas-based group will descend on Cleveland for the first time to
participate in the 30th annual Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, thanks in part
to a strong sell by one of its Cleveland members, Warren Elzy.
Elzy has been running competitively since 1981, and joined Cleveland's
local Black running group, Team Cleveland, in 1984. He said the city of
Cleveland and the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K had so
much to offer that it wasn't hard to convince the National Black
Marathoners Association (NBMA) to come to Cleveland to run its third race.
Elzy said he sold NBMA on the desirable features that make the Cleveland
run unique, and all that the city itself has to offer its visitors.
"I wrote the founders, Tony Reed and Charlotte Simmons, and told them that
the course was considered one of the fastest courses, we're in the top 50
marathons in the U.S. and I told them the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon was
well organized," Elzy said. "Plus, it is a nice sized marathon, but not so
large they would get lost in the crowd."
Team Cleveland became a part of NBMA in 2006, the same year Elzy ran NBMA's
second marathon in New Jersey.
Of the Cleveland team's 20 members, Elzy said 10 will run on race day, May
20. Four will run the marathon, four will run the half marathon and two
will run the10K.
Elzy said he does not yet know how many NBMA runners are expected to
participate on race day, but he has received commitments from member
runners in Ohio from Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton. Runners from
California, Georgia, Virginia, Michigan and New York have also expressed
interest, he said.
All of the participating runners are kept informed of race related events
and news with frequent postings of announcements on Team Marathon's Web
site, www.teammarathon.org, NBMA's Web site, www.blackmarathoners.org, and
on the Web sites of the individual NBMA affiliate organizations in their
Elzy said the tight organization involved in coordinating all of the
runners coming to Cleveland this year was another factor that prompted NBMA
to choose the Cleveland Marathon.
A large race like the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K,
he said, might make visiting runners feel lost. He feels NBMA runners can
be at ease knowing they have an affiliate team in Cleveland to host them.
"I emphasized the fact that we do have a local team here that would help
them out," Elzy said. "Participating in the race will be much more
enjoyable for out-of-town runners when someone else can handle the
logistics for them."
The NBMA runners can also obtain information from the booth that members
will be manning at the Marathon Expo at the Cleveland Convention Center on
Friday and Saturday. They'll also attend the marathon's annual pasta dinner
the night before the race at the Hyatt Regency Cleveland.
Team Cleveland is organizing outings to some of the downtown attractions
such as the Cleveland Playhouse, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum,
and other entertainment venues.
On race day, the group will meet for group pictures 15 to 20 minutes prior
to the 7:00 a.m. start time at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Cleveland City
Center, 777 St. Clair Ave. A reception will be held for all of the runners
in the Crowne Plaza following the race.
During the race, Elzy is hoping that the runners might be treated to some
inspirational gospel music along the trail. He has approached several
churches situated along the course and asked if they would offer support
and perhaps even offer the voices of their choirs to cheer on the runners.
"I think the timing of NBMA's participation is perfect since this is the
30th anniversary of the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, and this was their 3rd
run," Elzy said. "I am sure this will be a memorable experience for the
NBMA runners, and I hope this will not be the last time they participate in
the Cleveland Marathon."
The Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon offers the following opportunities for
people to participate in the event: full marathon, half marathon, 10K, full
marathon walking division, half marathon walking division, 10K walking
division, full marathon wheelchair division, 10K wheelchair division, Kids
race and Corporate teams. Volunteers are needed for a number of pre-race
and race day responsibilities as well.
For details on the race, or to register for the 30th Rite Aid Cleveland
Marathon, call 800-467-3826 or visit www.clevelandmarathon.com.