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

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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 :
Thursday, January 25, 2007

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE MEDAL -- Little Rock Marathon To Award Male and Female Medals To Finishers

(Little Rock, January 25, 2006) - Little Rock Marathon race officials unveiled the 2007 version of the world’s largest marathon finisher’s medal during a press conference today.

“We are the only marathon in the world to offer a male and female version of our 2007 marathon finisher’s medal,” Gina Marchese Pharis, Co-Executive Director of the Little Rock Marathon, said. “For three years we have been recognized as having the world’s largest marathon medal and for our fifth year, we wanted do something completely different and fabulous.”

“Anyone can make a big medal,” Geneva Hampton, Co-Executive Director, said. “We wanted to make it extra special.”

“While we were working at another race we had an epiphany,” Hampton said. “Our 2007 idea seemed so simple that we could not believe another race had not made male and female medals.”

”Why make so much fuss over a finisher’s medal,” Pharis asked the crowd. “Because we can. Our race is known for coming up with something fun and different. Athletes come from around the world to take our medal home. Only a few take home money and when it is all said and done the one thing so many cherish is that medal. They run for the hardware and every finisher takes home hardware.”

The commemorative 2007 Little Rock Marathon finisher’s medal is 5 7/8 inches long and approximately 4 inches wide. The medal features the 2007color scheme, chocolate brown, vanilla cream, cyan blue (for men) and lipstick pink (for women). Weighing in at a little more than a pound, the globe at the top of the medal is a double-sided spinner and is embellished with a stone where Little Rock would be positioned on the world map.

According to Jon Scott of Maxwell Medals & Awards of Traverse City, MI the average finisher’s medal is 2.5 inches and weighs approximately 3 ounces. Maxwell Medals & Awards produces the Little Rock Marathon medals as well as medals for major races including the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon and Race For The Cure.

The half marathon finisher’s medal also has a new look this year too. The 3.8-ounce silver finish medal is highlighted by the 2007 colors scheme and measures 4 inches long by 3 ¾ inches wide.

The Little Rock Marathon is Sunday, March 4. In addition to the marathon (26.2 miles), there is a half marathon (13.1 miles) race, a relay half-marathon (13.1 miles divided into two segments) race, a 5K (3.1 miles) fun run/walk, the Little Rockers Kids Marathon (26.2 miles completed over an extended time frame), as well as the Classic Rockers Marathon (for individuals 55+ who complete 26.2 miles over an extended time frame). Participants can run, walk or do a combination of running and walking in any of the events. Prior to race day, there is a two-day health and fitness show at the Robinson Center Exhibition Hall in downtown Little Rock.

Race officials also announced details of the Classic Rockers Marathon, a new event for seniors debuting at the 2007 race. Participants 55 years of age and older have the opportunity to complete a marathon over an extended period of time. Participants must complete at least 25 miles prior to race day. On March 4 they finish the final mile of their marathon as they run or walk on the official race course and cross the official Little Rock Marathon finish line.

The mission of the Classic Rockers Marathon is to provide participants ages 55+ with the opportunity to enhance their physical activity while focusing on reaching a goal. We hope to motivate seniors to commit or recommit to a health and fitness routine and experience the overall rewards of achieving their goals, not only in crossing the finish line but in life as well.

“After my mother had heart surgery last fall, I looked for a program that would incorporate running, but mostly walking,” Pharis said. “When I could not find a program for seniors, we decided to develop our own. It fills a void in our mission to get everyone on his or her feet. We are Arkansas’ race for every pace.”

Another change to the 2007 race is the relay event. The four-person relay marathon has been replaced with a two-person half marathon relay. The relay half marathon course will be the same as the half marathon course and will start at the same time as the marathon and half marathon. The first section of the race is 6.8 miles and the second section of the race is 6.3.

“The relay format in a race like ours fills the void for racers interested in being part of race day, but got a late start in training or are unsure about going the longer distances,” said Hampton. “It will be more cost effective while keeping the team concept we have cultivated over the past four years.”

Divisions for the relay half marathon are Open Male, Open Female, Open Co-Ed, Masters Male, Masters Female, Masters Co-Ed, Youth Male, Youth Female, and Youth Co-Ed. Awards will be given to the top three teams in each division.

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

For information, visit www.littlerockmarathon.com or call 501-371-4770.

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