Contact: Geneva Hampton
Getting Laced Up!
Little Rock Parks & Recreation and Arthritis Foundation Announce
Inaugural Little Rock Marathon
LITTLE ROCK, AR (September 20, 2002) The Little Rock Marathon affirmed its
place as a major event in Little Rock and in the running industry at a press
conference at the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce on September 20,
2002. Officials for the Little Rock Marathon announced Little Rock’s
inaugural marathon. Hosted by Little Rock Parks and Recreation and the
Arthritis Foundation, the marathon will be the flagship event of a weekend
"We anticipate strong community support and should see 3,000 to 5,000
participants and 1,000 volunteers on May 4, 2003," said Greg Hatcher, Little
Rock Marathon Chairman. "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 the Arthritis Foundation and Little Rock Parks & Recreation.
Raise the fitness level of Arkansans through training program that will be
offered to prepare for the Little Rock Marathon. Bring more people to
Little Rock to discover the natural beauty of our city."
Bill Torrey, head of the Road Runners Club of American in Arkansas, is
designing the marathon’s 26.2 mile course. The proposed course will
highlight many of Little Rock's neighborhoods and historical landmarks to
include the state capitol and Central High School. The course will remain
open for eight hours to accommodate marathon walkers. Torrey believes the
course will attract world-class athletes who have never run a marathon in
In addition to the marathon, the public will have the chance to participate
in other events throughout the weekend. On Friday, the weekend will be
official kicked off with a free Health and Fitness Expo. Visitors will be
able to check out the latest in running apparel and shoes, to fitness
equipment, nutritional products, sporting goods and even cars that can haul
it all around. The expo is expected to continue on Saturday with the
Arthritis Walk. In an effort to make the Sunday marathon as inclusive as
possible, the organizers have put together events that will coincide with
the marathon. Other events include a Family 5K Fun Run/Walk, Marathon
Wheelchair Race, as well as a 2-Person and 4-Person Marathon Relay Race.
Participants, family members and friends will be treated to a special post
race party featuring bands, family activities, and food.
Registration for the Little Rock Marathon will open in November 2002.
Interested parties can visit the marathon’s website at
www.littlerockmarathon.com. Registration forms can also be picked up at
Little Rock Parks and Recreation office in City Hall or The Arthritis
Foundation at 6213 Father Tribou St. Little Rock.
The Arthritis Foundation is the source of help and hope for the more than
468,000 Arkansans with arthritis. The Foundation supports research to find
a cure for and prevention of arthritis. In addition, the Foundation seeks to
improve the quality of life for those individuals and families affected by
arthritis. Funds raised will continue to fund our national research
projects, numerous patient service programs across the state, including a
summer camp for children with arthritis.
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. LRPR, which
employs more than 350 dedicated and experienced people, is CAPRA accredited.
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. LRPR can be reached at
For more information, visit www.littlerockmarathon.com or call LRPR at
501-918-5321 or Arthritis Foundation at 501-664-7242 or 800-482-8858.