FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Elite Racing, Inc.
(Susan Reid/Audra Fleming)
All-Star Lineup Set to Run P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona
The Valley of the Sun will play host to the "Stars" on January 9, 2005
PHOENIX, Ariz., Dec. 16, 2004 – The P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll
Arizona Marathon & ½ Marathon returns to the Valley of the Sun with a
running field full of “Stars.” After a record setting inaugural race in
2004, a trio of celebrities from the sports world will run alongside more
than 27,000 participants through the streets of Phoenix, Scottsdale and
Tempe on January 9, 2005.
Here is a look at some of the celebrity runners who will be at the start
line on January 9:
Luis Gonzalez, outfielder for the Arizona Diamondbacks:
As a guest of honor in 2004, Luis Gonzalez, one of the most popular figures
in Arizona, held the finish line tape as elite athlete Haron Toroitich
raced to the marathon finish. This year, the Arizona Diamondback, who is
coming back from shoulder surgery, will be running the half marathon (13.1
miles). General Nutrition Center (GNC) is supporting Gonzo in this year’s
race promoting happy and healthy lifestyles. Luis will be running with
Team Gonzo to help generate funds for local charities.
"This is a way for a lot of important organizations to benefit from a lot
of action-oriented people reaching for a goal and having great fun at the
same time," says Gonzalez. I am excited about the training and the race,
and I hope we can do a lot of good for the community."
Gonzalez led the majors in 2003 with a .354 batting average against
right-handed pitchers while ranking in the top 10 in the National League in
six different categories. He made his sixth consecutive Opening Day start
for Arizona in 2004. But it was his heroics at the end of the 2001 season
for which Gonzalez is most often remembered. He entered the bottom of the
ninth inning of the seventh game of the World Series hitless in four at
bats, but by the end of that at bat he would be in the midst of one of the
greatest celebrations ever to hit Arizona. With the bases loaded and a
drawn-in infield he sent teammates and fans into a frenzy with a bloop
single off Mariano Rivera to drive home the winning run that gave Arizona a
remarkable 3-2 win and its first World Championship.
Roger Craig, Super Bowl Champion with San Francisco 49ers:
The Pro Bowl running back turned distance runner, Roger Craig will be
joining the marathon field on January 9th. Craig ran his first marathon at
the 2004 Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in San Diego, CA in 4:09:57. He liked it so
much that he wanted to "see how Arizona rocked," said Craig. As a
three-time Super Bowl Champion running back with the San Francisco 49er’s
(1984, ’88, ’89), Craig stopped defenders cold in their tracks with his
skillful footwork, and powered through opponent’s defensive lines with his
signature piston-like stride. The 6- foot, 219-pound running back set an
NFL record for a running back with 92 pass receptions in 1985, gaining
1,016 yards. He also became the first player in history to gain more than
1,000 yards receiving and more than 1,000 yards rushing in a single season.
Coming off a solid performance at the 2004 Chicago Marathon, where he
finished in 3:54:05, Craig is hoping to turn in a personal best time at the
P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon.
Shonda Schilling, SHADE Foundation founder & wife of Boston Red Sox
World Series Champion Curt Schilling:
Shonda Schilling, mother of four, created the SHADE Foundation in August
2002 after her successful battle with Melanoma, a form of skin cancer. The
P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon is more than a marathon for Schilling.
She and her group of runners from the SHADE Team have committed to running
the full 26.2 miles to raise funds in order to help establish an Arizona
Melanoma Registry and provide shade coverings for schools. The SHADE Team
hopes to raise $25,000. Her husband and two-time World Series Champion,
Curt Schilling, will join thousands of spectators to cheer his wife to the
finish line and match the donations up to $25,000.
P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona is the fourth in a series of musical
road races that feature a live band staged along every mile of the 26.2 and
13.1-mile race courses to provide runners and spectators with continuous
entertainment. Each event is capped with a national recording artist
headlining the post-race concert.
The P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon starts at 7:40 a.m., with
the half marathon following at 8:30 a.m., on January 9. Both races start
at Wesley Bolin Memorial Park in downtown Phoenix, and merge for one
spectacular finish in downtown Tempe. Gates open for the evening
festivities at Tempe Beach Park at 5 p.m. with Zowie Bowie going on at 6
p.m. Jason Mraz takes the stage at 8 p.m. All seating will be general
admission. The concert location, located in downtown Tempe, is an outdoor
venue with grass seating.
To register for the race or for more information on P.F. Chang's Rock 'n'
Roll Arizona, visit www.rnraz.com, contact Elite Racing, Inc. at 5452
Oberlin Drive, San Diego, CA 92121 or call 858/450-6510.