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City of Little Rock Public Relations
Office (501) 371-4421

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Contact(s):Geneva Hampton

Monday, August 11, 2008

LR Marathon Announces Running/Walking Program

LITTLE ROCK, AR (August 11, 2008) – The first meeting of the Little Rock Marathon Training Program is set for 6 p.m. on Thursday, August 14 in the Adult Leisure Center at 6401 West 12th St.

Coaches will introduce “Little Steps Equals Big Finishes,” which is a free running and walking program designed to benefit individuals training for the Little Rock Marathon or companion races on March 15, 2009. The 2009 program offers participants an opportunity to talk with professionals regarding nutrition, training tips, injury prevention and education.

The meeting will include distribution of a free training, introduction of the coaching staff, a brief overview of the race and a question-and-answer segment.

“Training for a marathon doesn’t have to be dull, even if it means you have to be serious about it,” Gina Marchese Pharis, co-executive director of the Little Rock Marathon said. “The old philosophy ‘no pain, no gain’ is a thing of the past. A marathon is not a competition, but an individual challenge.

“Each year we successfully train hundreds of people who do not consider themselves athletic to finish a marathon,” Pharis, said. “Our coaches are the reason our training program is considered one of the best in the industry. Tom and Hobbit have tirelessly built the training program from a few participants the first year to a program that will see almost a thousand athletes at its completion. They take a sincere interest in each trainee and have the experience, as well as credentials to back it up.”

“The scary part for most is taking the first step,” Pharis said. “Our coaches are real people, with real jobs and understand what it takes to juggle it all, then train for a marathon on the side.”

Participants may register for the free training program online at  Training schedules, which includes weekly Saturday morning runs, may also be found on the race website.

Events for 2009 include the Little Rock Marathon, presented by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the Little Rock Half Marathon, presented by Baptist Health, the Little Rock Marathon Relay, the Little Rock 5K Fun Run/Walk, the Little Rockers Kids Marathon, presented by Arkansas Children’s Hospital and Today’s THV, the Classic Rockers 55+ Marathon, presented by AARP Arkansas, and the Little Rock Health & Fitness Expo, presented by Arvest Bank.

Registration for the Little Rocker’s Kids Marathon and Classic Rockers 55+ Senior Marathon will open September 1, 2007.

The Little Rock Marathon is also sponsored in part by the Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Heart Clinic Arkansas, Arkansas Department of Health – Center for Health Advancement, KTHV Channel 11, Alltel Wireless, KKPT 94.1, Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Cross and the Hatcher Agency,

For more information about deadline, details and the race, visit the website or contact the Little Rock Marathon office at 501-371-4770.


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

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