FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Geneva Hampton,
A RACE FOR EVERY PACE SET TO RUN IN LITTLE ROCK
The Little Rock Marathon will be held March 7, 2004 in downtown Little
Rock according to race officials at a press conference held today. As the
second annual event draws closer thousands of athletes of every age, shape
and fitness level are preparing for a personal test of their emotional and
physical limits. A marathon is 26.2 miles.
Benefiting Little Rock Parks and Recreation the marathon is the flagship
event of a weekend of events geared toward fitness and running.
"We had more than 2,200 participants last year, and we anticipate strong
community support and hope to see 3,000 to 5,000 participants and 1,000
volunteers at this second annual event on race day," said Greg Hatcher,
Little Rock Marathon Chairman. "Like last year, we have planned an entire
weekend full of activities with the marathon as the main event."
"We have three goals for this event," said Hatcher. "Raise money and
awareness for Little Rock Parks & Recreation. Raise the fitness level of
Arkansans preparing for the Little Rock Marathon. Bring more people to
Little Rock to discover the natural beauty of our city."
The marathon's 26.2-mile course travels the same route as last year.
Designed by Bill Torrey, head of the Road Runners Club of America in
Arkansas, the course highlights many of Little Rock's neighborhoods and
historical landmarks, including the state Capitol and Central High School.
Like last year, the course will remain open for eight hours to accommodate
marathon walkers. In an attempt to draw world-class racers and
recreational runners from across the country, the race will serve as a
qualifier for the Boston Marathon and is certified by USTAF.
In addition to the marathon, a free Health and Fitness Expo will be held
Friday and Saturday, March 5 and 6, 2004, prior to the big race. Once
again, visitors will be able to check out the latest in running apparel and
shoes, fitness equipment, nutritional products, sporting goods and even
cars that can haul it all around.
In an effort to make the event as inclusive as possible, the Little Rock
Marathon again will include a Family 5K Fun Run/Walk, a Marathon Wheelchair
Race, and a four-person Relay Marathon Race, which will take place on
Sunday with the Little Rock Marathon. In addition, there will be a
Half-Marathon and the Little Rockers Kids Marathon.
"We had so many requests from across the country for a half marathon
distance and an event to get children involved," said Hatcher. "Both
events will add so much to an exciting day."
In the months leading up to the marathon, children will complete 25.2 miles
- in quarter-mile increments -- by running or walking in the training
program. On marathon day, children will run or walk the final mile of
their marathon and cross the official Little Rock Marathon finish line. The
training program is free, but there is a nominal fee to participate in the
Little Rockers Kids Marathon. Each child will receive an official race
number, shirt and finisher's medal.
The Little Rock Marathon is presented by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and
is sponsored in part by the Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau,
Arkansas Specialty Orthopaedics, and the Hatcher Agency.
Registration forms for all races will be available at Little Rock Parks and
Recreation office in City Hall and most sporting goods stores across the
state in mid-November. Mailed entry forms will be accepted through
February 27, 2004. On line registration is available at
www.littlerockmarathon.com through February 27, 2004. Registration will
be available race weekend for all events. Call 501-371-4770 for more
Little Rock Parks and Recreation (LRPR) oversees 53 parks, four community
centers, the Adult Leisure Center, War Memorial Fitness Center, four
swimming pools, two tennis centers, the River Market, the Riverfest
Amphitheatre, three golf courses, and the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas
Military History. The agency also administers the urban forestry program
and offers a catering service. The LRPR system includes more than 5,000
acres of designated parks and open space. In addition, the organization
offers a wide-range of youth and adult recreational and sports leagues,
after-school and summer playground programs for children ages 6-15, outdoor
recreation, therapeutic recreation and programs for seniors. Through
collaborations with citizens, community organizations, and corporate and
government entities, LRPR is working to make Little Rock a "City in a
Park." Funds raised will continue to support parks and recreational
programs for all ages. For more information about Little Rock Parks &
Recreation please visit www.lrpr.org.
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