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Contact(s):Geneva Hampton
501-371-4639
501-351-7730 cell
ghampton@littlerock.org

Gina Marchese Pharis
501-918-5321
501-351-7700 cell
gmarchese@littlerock.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE :
Friday, January 05, 2007

Little Rock Marathon Race Registrations Up 82% From This Time Last Year

Field Limit Could Be Reached By Early February

(Little Rock, January 5, 2007) - With a little less than a two month remaining before race day, registration for the 2007 Little Rock Marathon and companion races is up 82% as compared to this time last year, race officials announced today.

The Little Rock Marathon, presented by the Arkansas Democrat Gazette is Sunday, March 4 and is actually seven separate events. Events include a two day Health & Fitness Expo, presented by Arvest Bank, the Little Rock Marathon (26.2 miles), the Little Rock Half Marathon (13.1 miles), presented by Baptist Health, the Little Rock Relay Half Marathon (13.1 miles divided into two sections with each individual running/walking a little over 6 miles), presented by the Adolescent Center & Sports Medicine Plus, the Little Rock 5K (3.1 miles), presented by Twin City Bank, the Little Rockers Kids Marathon (26.2 miles completed over an extended time frame), presented by Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the Classic Rockers Marathon (26.2 miles completed over an extended time frame for individuals 55 +) . Participant can run, walk or do a combination of running and walking in any of the events.

Race officials are preparing for 9,000 participants and 20,000 spectators.

According to Greg Hatcher, race chairman, the increase stems from a combination of international media coverage, “word of mouth,” and grass roots promotion.

“We put on a quality race and word gets around in marathoning circles,” Hatcher said. “Thanks to the extra publicity Governor Huckabee gives us, having been named a “Heroes of Running” by Runner’s World last November, we have been all over the world.”

Marathon groups like the 50 and DC Marathon Group and the Marathon Maniacs, with more than 1,000 members each world wide, have selected the Little Rock Marathon as races their members will run. Members of these groups run a marathon in each state and the Little Rock Marathon fills a race needed in Arkansas.

“We plan to keep giving the world’s largest finisher’s medal,” Hatcher said. “The cost of our medals have gone up considerably, but if Runner’s World keeps telling us we are the biggest, then we want to make sure we stay big and bodacious. When we travel to other races to promote Little Rock, people sign up when they see the medal. I guess they want to take a piece of the rock home.”

“Last year we were very close to reaching our field limits a month out. At the rate we are going, we will probably reach our maximum by February 1,” he said. “Since we have a limited number of those huge medals, we do not want to run out. It is a nice problem to have.”

Online registration and mail in registration for the Little Rock Marathon and companion races will close February 21 at midnight or when the maximum field limit is reached.

For information, visit www.littlerockmarathon.com <http://www.littlerockmarathon.com> or contact Geneva Hampton at 501-371-4639 or ghampton@littlerock.org

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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 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. Funds raised will continue to support parks and recreational programs for all ages. For more information about Little Rock Parks & Recreation please visit www.lrpr.org <http://www.lrpr.org>.


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