FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Gabriella Citrin, Foot Locker
Kim Dettwiller, Elite Racing
Foot Locker County Challenge Competitors Selected
Five runners selected to represent their counties
in the Country Music Marathon
NASHVILLE, April 11, 2006 -- What do a financial analyst, singer, real
estate broker, disc jockey and a college student all have in common? A love
for running, of course. This diverse mix of runners, one each from
Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Sumner and Wilson counties will put their
skills to the ultimate test as they vie for the Foot Locker County
Challenge title presented by Reebok at the 2006 Country Music Marathon on
Saturday, April 29.
Each athlete was selected by Foot Locker as a representative of their
community for this special "race within the race." The first runner from
the group to cross the marathon finish line will become the Foot Locker
County Challenge Champion, winning a Tiffany trophy, two round-trip tickets
from Southwest Airlines, a two-night stay at the Hilton Nashville Downtown,
an Epiphone guitar and the chance to meet country music star Phil Vassar at
the post-race concert the night of the marathon.
"We’re excited to be part of the seventh annual Country Music Marathon to
highlight the perseverance and dedication of the average marathon runner,"
said Chad Smoak, vice president, retail brand marketing for Foot Locker,
U.S.A. "We’ve chosen these runners to represent their communities and to
create excitement for the marathon throughout Tennessee."
All of the runners, who each average a nine-minute mile, were strangers
until they were selected for the Foot Locker County Challenge. In the
weeks leading up to the marathon, the competitors, diverse in age and
running experience, will meet to train, lend support and trade running
"The Challenge offers runners a unique experience," said Smoak. "It’s
amazing to see the bond that forms between the runners, regardless of their
differences in age and background."
The competitors were selected through a three-step application process.
First, written applications were submitted at Foot Locker locations around
Nashville and on-line at the Country Music Marathon web site. From these
submissions, several runners from each county were interviewed over the
phone. Finally, in-person interviews were conducted to determine the five
runners who would compete for the coveted County Challenge title. The
decisions were based on several criteria including county residency and
The 2006 Foot Locker County Challenge competitors are:
Charlie Canon, 28, Nashville – Financial Analyst, Outpatient Imaging
Affiliates Charlie is known to his family and friends as "Diesel" or "Bad
Boy" and he is a military brat. His father served 28 years in the
military, including two tours in Vietnam. Charlie is extremely proud of his
Dad. Because of his father’s military background, his family moved often,
which Charlie believes made him appreciate the little things life has to
offer. His family calls Alabama home, more specific Enterprise, Alabama –
which for all you trivial buffs is the only town in the world that has a
statue dedicated to an insect – Boll Weevil. "I am tenacious about
running. It is my sole existence outside of my family and work, and my
balance in life." Charlie has run a half marathon and two Country Music
Marathons. He is affable, outgoing and an all around nice guy who married
his college Nashville sweetheart and together have a beautiful 4-year-old
Tim Henning, 34, Spring Hill – Singer – Christian group Evidence Tim has
run in three marathons – all three have been the Country Music Marathon.
Originally from Jacksonville, Florida, Tim has lived in Nashville for the
past seven years. He is married, with one daughter and another baby due in
September. Growing up, Tim’s favorite movie was Rocky. His favorite
scene was when Rocky would run in the streets and all the kids would follow
behind. When Rocky took off sprinting, there was one kid determined to keep
up with him, and Tim wants to be that kid. Tim says that kid is still alive
in him today. "I will finish strong, and maybe I won’t win, but I will run
like I am going to win because I have special people in my life waiting for
me just before I finish – my lovely wife with my little girl who will
receive their patented kiss from me before I finish."
Oliver Barry, 52, Hendersonville – Real Estate Broker Oliver has run
three marathons. Throughout Hendersonville, Oliver is known as the "Master
of Long Distance." At the age of 39, Oliver decided to get back in shape
and 13 years later, he is in better shape than he was in college. Oliver
is married and has three daughters and one son. "My morning runs help me
to stay mellow throughout the day, they give me the drive to conquer each
day." Oliver enjoys training for marathons and enjoys the challenges each
race has to offer him. In addition to running, Oliver has a passion for
teaching. He teaches spin classes two times a week and educates future
brokers on real estate business.
Suzanne Thunder, 48, Mount Juliet – Disc Jockey Suzanne has run in five
marathons, including three Country Music Marathons. Suzanne is a mom, a
runner and a DJ. She emulates the passion many runners have today. She
loves to run, loves to talk about running and believes that at any age you
can be a great runner. Her passion is very contagious and it is a good bet
that our four other runners also share her love of running. "You’ll never
meet a person more in love with running than I am. Running has made me a
better person." One of the many things she loves about running this
marathon is the support she receives from all the Nashvillians out on the
road cheering her on. As much as she loves to run, she is a true
competitor; she finishes every race in a sprint because every finish is
Nancy Johnson, 20, Murfreesboro – Student at Middle Tennessee State
University This will be Nancy’s first marathon. She is excited about
participating in the Country Music Marathon because she is a Nashviallian.
Nancy is in the ROTC program at MTSU, studying to be a nurse. She acquired
the running bug through her father, who has run many marathons including
the Country Music Marathon. Nancy loves to be around people and is a firm
believer in teamwork. "Working with a team motivates me to succeed." Nancy
is emotionally motivated to finish this marathon, making "I know I can do
it" her motto.
About Foot Locker, Inc.
Foot Locker is part of Foot Locker, Inc., a specialty retailer that
operates approximately 4,000 stores in 20 countries in North America,
Europe and Australia. Through its athletic group of specialty retail
stores, including Foot Locker, Lady Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker and
Champs Sports, as well as its direct-to-consumer channel
www.footlocker.com/eastbay, the Company is the leading provider of athletic
footwear and apparel.
About Country Music Marathon & ½ Marathon
Produced by Elite Racing, Inc. The Country Music Marathon & ½ Marathon will
attract over 20,000 runners and 100,000 spectators. Runners and walkers
from Team In Training (TNT) will raise approximately $2.5 million on race
day for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society®, which has raised over $12 million
in its six-year history with the Nashville-based event.