FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Elite Racing, Inc.
A Marathon a Day from San Diego to Tempe;
Runner to Cover 466 Miles on Journey from California to Arizona
TEMPE, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 22, 2003--Veteran marathon runner Mel
O'Keefe will embark on an extended journey when he runs the Suzuki Rock 'n'
Roll Marathon in San Diego, Calif. on June 1st and continues running, all
the way to the southwest and the finish line of the P.F. Chang's Rock 'n'
Roll Arizona Marathon & 1/2 Marathon. O'Keefe plans to run a marathon a
day, nearly 466 miles in all, as he covers the distance in approximately 18
O'Keefe, 44, is taking on the Forest Gump-like challenge in an effort to
raise funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Now an accomplished
athlete, O'Keefe only began running in 1998 after being introduced to The
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In Training program that provides
coaching for people to run marathons and half marathons, 100-mile bike
rides and triathlons. He completed the 1998 Honolulu Marathon and was so
taken with the program that he ran another marathon and another. He did not
stop there. In March, 2002, O'Keefe embarked on a year-long odyssey in
which he competed in a race every weekend, in a different city each time,
logging 53 events in all, 12 of them marathons, all to raise money for the
"When I was asked if I'd be interested in running from San Diego to Arizona
to raise awareness and money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society," O'Keefe
explained, "it didn't take me long to realize this was the next level of my
growth as a human being. Will it be easy? Heck, no. But every time I want
to quit I'll think of those children and the motto we runners have -- if
you think running is tough, try chemotherapy."
His journey this time also symbolically links the Suzuki Rock 'n' Roll
Marathon, the first of the musical marathons produced by Elite Racing, Inc.
that is now in its sixth year, and the newest event, P.F. Chang's Rock 'n'
Roll Arizona that debuts Jan. 11, 2004. O'Keefe will be the first person to
run the Arizona course that travels through Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe
when he completes his journey in mid-June.
In the past five years, Team In Training (TNT) has raised more than $60.1
million (net) through its involvement with the Suzuki Rock 'n' Roll
Marathon and is aiming to add another $12 million at the 2003, bringing the
six year total to over $70 million (net). The marathon's date this year,
June 1, coincides with National Cancer Survivor's Day.
TNT is the largest sports training program in the world and in exchange for
the training and support participants receive, they raise money to fund
research, patient and family services, advocacy and educational outreach
programs for leukemia, lymphoma and other blood-related cancers.
For further information on O'Keefe's "Rock 'n' Roll to Rock 'n' Roll"
adventure, visit his website www.ontourforacure.com or contact Elite
Racing, Inc. at 858-450-6510. For information on The Leukemia & Lymphoma
Society and its Team In Training program call 800-482-8326 or visit
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