FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Amy Phillips, OLN - 203.406.2509
Alison Eshelman OLN - 203.406.2681
Ross Kleinberg ATC - 212.714.1280
OLN SALUTES SOLDIERS THIS PATRIOTS DAY DURING NETWORK'S
LIVE COVERAGE OF THE BOSTON MARATHON
Network and BAA Partner with US Military to Televise
First-Ever Iraq/Boston Marathon
Stamford, CT (April 7, 2005) - OLN®, the leader in outdoor adventure and
action sports television, today announced a unique partnership with the
Boston Athletic Association (BAA) and the United States Military to
televise portions of a first-of-its-kind Iraq/Boston Marathon as part of
the network's coverage of the Boston Marathon on Patriots Day - April 18th.
The combined effort gives both organizations an opportunity to salute U.S.
troops abroad on this very symbolic U.S. holiday. OLN's LIVE coverage of
the Boston Marathon, hosted by Al Trautwig, Lewis Johnson and Dwight
Stones, will run from 11:30 AM - 2:30 PM ET, with a primetime replay
beginning at 8:00 PM ET/PT.
The Iraq/Boston Marathon will take place on Base Camp Adder, the former
Tallil Airbase, located southwest of the city of An Nasiriyah in Southern
Iraq. The base is home to many coalition partner countries' forces and
every branch of the US Military, who all have representatives in this
inaugural race. Held on Patriots Day, a holiday commemorating one of the
defining moments of America's quest for freedom, the Iraq Marathon's
mission to align with the Boston Marathon is clear: patriotism, spirit and
drive define the race, and remind everyone of the courageous acts of
"OLN is proud to incorporate the Iraq/Boston Marathon into our coverage of
the Boston Marathon, displaying the dedication, sacrifice and determination
of our troops," said Gavin Harvey, President of OLN. "Through the network's
televised portions of the event, viewers, fans, friends and family across
the nation will be able to support and cheer-on the soldiers at different
stages throughout the race."
The 26.2 mile route will be contested near one of Iraq's most famous
archeological and religious sites, the Ziggurat of Ur. Dominating the
terrain of the area, the ziggurat is a 4,000 year-old, 40-foot temple tower
of the ancient city of Ur, leading among the old Sumeria cities of
Mesopotamia. An estimated 150 runners will compete in the marathon, either
individually or as a team, and more than 100 volunteers will staff the
The race was the brainchild of Captain Rodney Freeman of the 1-172 FA
(RAOC) NH National Guard, based out of Manchester, NH. A native of Maine,
Capt. Freeman has run marathons for more than three years, to stay in shape
and to combat a family history of health issues. Stationed in Iraq for
more than seven months, he made the decision to bring part of the world's
most prestigious foot race, the Boston Marathon, to Iraq. With the
resourcefulness of the military personnel, the determination of runners,
and the support of OLN and BAA, the Iraq/Boston Marathon was created.
"At first people thought I was crazy to hold a marathon in a combat zone,"
said Freeman. "But, as time passed, more and more soldiers signed up.
We've motivated the troops to challenge themselves by doing something
beyond their normal abilities. We're thrilled to have the support and
encouragement of BAA and OLN, who helped make this race a reality for our
OLN and the BAA are doing their part to give the race the feel of the real
Boston Marathon. Both groups are providing signage and the BAA donated
official Boston Marathon medals for finishers. The groups are also
providing race numbers, t-shirts, and water bottles and giving soldiers a
chance to say hello to their loved ones back home throughout the telecast.
OLN® is the leader in outdoor adventure and action sports television. Now
in more than 62 million homes, OLN is the home of best-in-class events like
The Tour de France, The Gravity Games, Professional Bull Riders (PBR), USSA
Skiing and the Boston Marathon. The Network offers exclusive programming
in four primary areas: Outdoor Adventure, Action Sports, Field Sports and
Bulls & Rodeo. OLN is distributed via cable systems and satellite operators
throughout the continental United States and Hawaii.