FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Mike Vieyra
Phone: (814) 838-4038
800 EXPECTED TO PARTICIPATE IN ERIE MARATHON EVENTS
Nearly 800 runners and walkers from around the world are expected to toe
the line at the 30th Annual Erie Marathon at Presque Isle State Park on
Sunday, September 14, 2003. More than 600 people of all ages have
pre-registered to participate in one of the races four divisions - the full
marathon (26.2 miles), the ½ marathon (13.1 miles), the 5K (3.21 miles) or
the Kid's Marathon. Another 200 are expected to register before race time.
The full marathon has more than 250 pre-registered runners and consists of
two loops of Presque Isle State Park. Race time is 7AM and the
start/finish line is at Beach One (Old Lake Road). The marathon winner is
expected to cross the line in two and one half hours.
Some interesting people are planning to participate in the Marathon
· Chuck Engel - the 32-year-old executive director of the YMCA in
Clinton, Mississippi who has was recently featured in the September issue
of "Runner's World" Magazine (See attached "Marathon Man" article) for his
marathon accomplishments including recently winning the Tybee, Dallas
Trails and Whidbey Island marathons. Chuck averages 2:40 for a marathon.
· Over 220 Erie area children who have been participating in a Kid's
Marathon Training Program developed by Megan Collins, an avid local
athlete, member of the Erie Runners Club Board of Directors and Tracy
Elementary School teacher. Students enrolled in the training program met
weekly for several months over the summer to run together and hear a
variety of guest speakers. Students were asked to run a total of 25 miles
in the several months before the Marathon and will then run the last 1.1
mile of their "marathon" on the actual Erie Marathon course on race day.
· Henry Sypniewski - an 85-year-old man from Cheektowoga, N.Y who
recently broke the national half marathon record for men his age with a
time of 2 hours, 11 minutes and 56 seconds at the Erie Runners Club Presque
Isle Half Marathon this summer.
This year's marathon will benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank, the largest
charitable food distribution organization in northwest Pennsylvania which
helps to provide food to 82,000 people annually within eleven counties.
The marathon and ½ marathon races will be using the "champion chip"
technology to keep track of the race times. Each runner will receive a
small microchip that will be clipped to their shoe that will beep when they
pass the start, the ½ way point and the finish. This will give each runner
the most accurate times possible.
Awards will be given to the top three overall marathon finishers as well as
the first place Masters (over 40) and the top wheelchair participant .
Individual awards will be given in five-year age increments. The awards
ceremony will be held at the Cookhouse at Presque Isle State Park and will
begin around noon.
"This is going to be our best marathon ever," said Co-Race Director, Mike
Vieyra. "We have all kinds of people participating - from elite runners who
will complete the entire marathon in 2 ½ hours to children who will run
their final mile of a 26-mile summer training program," Vieyra said. "We'd
like to invite all Erie area residents to come watch, or better yet,
For more information about the marathon, or to register, call the Erie
Runners Club at 452-1023 or visit www.erie-runnersclub.org.
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