FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Diana Minardi Strauss
Public Relations Director
Brenda Madden Kimberlin
NEW THEME AND EVENTS HIGHLIGHT
SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS MARATHON & FAMILY FITNESS WEEKEND - APRIL 8-10, 2005
Weekend Festivities Include 2005
Missouri State Marathon and Half Marathon Championships
ST. LOUIS - December 7, 2004
Building upon four years of success, the fifth annual Spirit of St. Louis
Marathon & Family Fitness Weekend will offer a new theme and expanded line
of events designed to encourage people of all ages and athletic abilities
to engage in a variety of running and walking related fitness activities.
The excitement and energy of the 2005 event will be captured in "Art and
Sole," a visually stimulating theme. As soles pound the streets of St.
Louis, runners and walkers, young and old, will enjoy works of art by local
artists at every marathon mile. Also new is the Mature Mile, which
challenges less active adults age 60 and older to train for a one-mile
walk. In addition, the St. Louis Marathon Weekend will host the 2005
Missouri Marathon and Half Marathon Championship with honors going to the
top male and female Missouri runners in these races.
Taking place over three days in St. Louis, the Spirit of St. Louis Marathon
& Family Fitness Weekend is Missouri's most comprehensive health and
fitness event. Individuals have the opportunity to sign up for a variety of
events ranging from a Diaper Dash to a full 26.2-mile marathon as well as
attend a Health & Fitness Expo. Participation in the St. Louis Marathon
Weekend has more than tripled since its debut in 2000 when slightly more
than 2,000 entries were received. In 2004, runners came from 47 states and
"An event such as the Spirit of St. Louis Marathon & Family Fitness Weekend
is invaluable because it encourages people to embrace a healthier and more
fit lifestyle regardless of their level of experience. As a personal
advocate of fitness, I challenge the citizens of St. Louis to embrace this
Marathon Weekend by participating in one of the events," said St. Louis
Mayor Francis G. Slay. "The weekend also provides us with a special
opportunity to showcase our beautiful city and neighborhoods to regional
and national participants."
The St. Louis Marathon & Family Fitness Weekend was created with a mission
to promote the importance of fitness and a healthy lifestyle. Since its
inception, organizers have launched the "Read, Right & Run Marathon," the
nation's only fully integrated children's marathon. The event encourages
children to become physically fit, reading proficient and community minded.
The latest innovation comes with the addition of the Mature Mile. The
program has already won support from many local organizations such as
OASIS, Cardinal Ritter Senior Services, Lutheran Senior Services, area
YMCAs and the Jewish Community Center.
"While we're honored to recognize the elite runners in our state and
region, it's equally important to acknowledge the everyday person," said
Spirit of St. Louis Marathon & Family Fitness Weekend President Nancy
Lieberman. "With so many health-related issues facing society, it is
important for people to get fit, while enjoying the additional benefits of
the Marathon Weekend such as camaraderie and fun."
The 2005 weekend kicks off on Friday, April 8, with the St. Louis Post-
Dispatch Health & Fitness Expo at the Marriott Pavilion Downtown. The
action moves to Forest Park on Saturday, April 9, with a variety of Fun
Runs ranging from a Diaper Dash to a 1/2-mile run, the Energizer Read,
Right & Run Marathon, a 5K race and the Mature Mile. Sunday, April 10, is
endurance day as thousands of runners and walkers test their stamina for
the Spirit of St. Louis Marathon, Blue Cross Blue Shield Half Marathon and
a four-person Marathon Relay. The 26.2-mile course starts at Soldier's
Memorial in downtown St. Louis then winds its way through the Soulard,
Central West End, Forest Park, Clayton and University City/DeBaliviere
communities before returning to Soldier's Memorial. A traditional
pre-Marathon Pasta Party will be held Saturday evening at St. Louis City
For more information about the Spirit of St. Louis Marathon Weekend &
Family Fitness Weekend visit www.stlouismarathon.com or call 314-727-0800.