FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
RECORD BREAKING 23,000 PARTICIPANTS EXPECTED FOR
1Oth ANNUAL GO! ST. LOUIS MARATHON & FAMILY FITNESS WEEKEND®
Organization Set to Celebrate Special 10-Year Event Anniversary
Half Marathon Field Capped at 12,500 Athletes in Early February
More than 450 Marathon Relay Teams Set to Compete
ST. LOUIS (MO) – April 2, 2010 – GO! St. Louis, a not-for-profit
organization that specializes in providing fitness events and programs for
the region on a year-round basis, announced today that overall
registrations for the 2010 GO! St. Louis Marathon & Family Fitness Weekend,
set for April 10 & 11 have reached an all-time high. The 10-year fitness
event started in 2000 with 2,500 participants and has grown to become a
major civic event and the largest competitive fitness event in Missouri. It
is also a top race destination for runners from across the country. An
estimated 23,000 participants will compete in one of the 10 different
events over the weekend. Additionally, more than 50,000 spectators will
line the various race courses to support participants.
The GO! St. Louis Family Fitness Weekend is an event that was created for
all ages and fitness abilities and features a marathon - presented by
SUBWAY, half marathon – presented by National City (Now PNC Bank), Marathon
Relay – presented by Lockton Companies, 5K Run/Walk - presented by Reliv
International, GO! St. Louis Read, Right and Run Marathon® - presented
by Centene Corporation, Children’s Fun Runs and a Mature Mile – presented
by Essence Healthcare.
"It's a great thing to throw a 10-year anniversary party and have more than
23,000 people to show up," said Nancy Lieberman, GO! St. Louis president.
"This event continues to grow at a rapid pace, as more people look to
improve their overall health and fitness levels. While, we are inspired
that thousands of participants have accepted the challenge to compete in
the events, we also revel in their successes as they cross the finish line.
Their energy is contagious!" she continued.
- The most popular race is the half marathon, which sold out in record time
(February) at 12,500 participants. The half marathon race was introduced to
the event in 2003. At 12,500 it is one of the largest half marathons in the
Midwest and the largest in Missouri.
- 2000 GO! St. Louis marathon winners James McGowan from Nebraska and Erika
(Blattenberg) Holroyd from St. Louis will both be competing in the 10th
anniversary event. McGowan plans to run the half marathon and Holroyd will
compete in the 5K.
- Participation in the Marathon Relay has increased dramatically in the
last three years. In 2008, 265 teams registered, in 2009, 363 teams
competed, and in 2010, more than 450 teams are expected to participated.
Teams are comprised of four people, who each run approximately 6 miles
each, to complete a full 26.2 marathon. Categories include corporate, coed,
battle of the badges, and friends and family.
- Past Event Champions set to return in 2010 include: Zac Freudenburg,
Meagan Earney, Kelly (Handel) Williamson, Karl Gilpin, Mathew Chesang,
Julie Lossos, James McGowan, Erika (Blattenberg) Holroyd, Jason Holroyd,
Ron Chisolm, Don Dowling, Eileen Petito and Adam McDowell.
- Elite Athletes to Watch: Marathon - Karl Gilpin, Matt Yankton, John
Aerni-Flessner, Julie Lossos, Christina Johnston and Erica Schoeller. Half
Marathon - Zac Freudenburg, Mario Macias, Mathew Chesang, Kelly (Handel)
Williamson, Megan Earney and Mariska Kramer.
- Kelly (Handel) Williamson from Austin, TX returns in an attempt to become
the first women to win three straight half marathon titles.
- Over 89% of the participants reside in Missouri or Illinois, but athletes
from 47 different states (states NOT represented: Alaska, Rhode Island and
Vermont) will visit St. Louis to compete. In addition, athletes from 12
countries (Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Aruba, Bermuda, France,
Dominican Republic, Ecuador, China, Austria, Netherlands and Switzerland)
are registered in the field.
- The marathon race course starts in downtown St. Louis at Market & 14th
Street and finishes at Soldier's Memorial at 13th Street & Chestnut. The
course includes the Gateway Arch (great view, before turning at Broadway),
Busch Stadium, Anheuser Busch-InBev brewery, Forest Park, Washington
University, Downtown Clayton, and The Loop in U City. Area residents are
encouraged to come out to show their support by cheering on the
participants along the course.
- Saturday's Family Fitness Day in Forest Park will feature people ranging
in ages from a young toddler, crawling across the finish line in the Diaper
Dash to a 94-year-old participating in the Mature Mile. More than 6,000
people, including more than 4,000 children are expected to attend.
- Children from 110 schools will converge on Forest Park to complete the
Read, Right & Run Marathon, a six-month innovative program that promotes
Reading 26 books, Completing 26 good deeds and Running 26 miles. The
program concludes with students running their final miles. Also part of the
Read, Right & Run Marathon program will be 9,000 Saint Louis Public School
students, who complete the program with special in-school celebrations.
- The character-building program – Students on the GO!, returns for the
second year. The program trains and mentors high school students to run the
half marathon. Roosevelt High School in the Saint Louis Public School
District will be participating for the second straight year. Students,
school educators and administrators have been training in Forest Park for
several months in preparation.
- The GO! St. Louis "Share-A-Pair" program was introduced in February 2010
and seeks to collect 20,010 pairs of shoes in 2010. The community-wide
program is in partnership with MERS-Goodwill. Collected shoes will be
reused or recycled. A specially-designed Shoe mobile receptacle was created
to collect the shoes and will be on display at the Health & Fitness Expo at
Chaifetz Arena on April 9 & 10. Participants who donate shoes at the Expo
will receive a Buy-One-Get-One FREE voucher for St. Louis Cardinal Baseball
- Pasta House president Kim Tucci serves as 2010 Honorary Chairman of the
event. He will welcome participants before the race and congratulate them
at the finish line.
Individuals interested in registering for one of the Sunday endurance
events (marathon or marathon relay) must visit the Health & Fitness Expo at
the Chaifetz Arena, which is set for Friday, April 9 from 11 am – 7 pm and
Saturday, April 10 from 10 am – 7 pm. Registration for the Family Day
events on Saturday, April 10 in Forest Park can be done at the Expo or the
morning of the race.
Event Schedule: Friday, April 9 – Health & Fitness Expo opens, 11am-7pm
Chaifetz Arena, Saturday, April 10 in Forest Park – 5K Run/Walk at 8am,
Read, Right & Run Marathon at 9:15 am, Children's Fun Runs at 10:15 am and
Mature Mile at 10:45 am, Health & Fitness Expo 10am – 7pm. Sunday, April 11
at Market & 14th Street – Marathon, Half Marathon and Marathon Relay at
National City (Now part of PNC), SUBWAY, Centene Corporation, McCarthy
Building Companies, KMOX Radio, Reliv International, Drury Hotels, Missouri
Beef, Lockton Companies, Essence Healthcare, Michelob ULTRA, St. Louis
Post-Dispatch, ALIVE Magazine, Pasta House Company, Brighton Agency,
Absopure, ESCO, Y98 FM, Fastsigns of Bridgeton, St. Louis Injury & Rehab
and Gatorade Endurance.