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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
ghampton@littlerock.org

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE :
Monday, January 7, 2008

Little Rock Marathon Race Registrations Up 85%

Field Limit Could Be Reached By Early February

LITTLE ROCK (January 7, 2008) - Registration for the Little Rock Marathon, presented by the Arkansas Democrat Gazette and its companion races to be held in downtown Little Rock on March 2, is nearing its registration cap.

Registration for the 2008 event is significantly ahead of last year's pace and is filling up faster than ever in the history of the event. Organizers expect to close registration in early February due to the record number of registrants to date.

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

Interested participants may register online at www.littlerockmarathon.com or pick up information at area Arvest Banks as well as “runner friendly” stores across the country. A list is on the registration page of the website.

The Little Rock Marathon Festival is actually seven separate events, which includes 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 Marathon (26.2 miles divided into four sections with each individual running/walking a little over 6 miles), presented by Alltel Wireless, the Little Rock 5K (3.1 miles), presented by the All American Football League-Team Arkansas, the Little Rockers Kids Marathon (26.2 miles completed over an extended time frame), presented by Arkansas Children’s Hospital and Today’s THV Channel 11, and the Classic Rockers Marathon (26.2 miles completed over an extended time frame for individuals 55 +), presented by Medi-Pak Choice. Participant can run, walk or do a combination of running and walking in any of the events.

"The number of people who have registered at such an early date continues to illustrate the growing popularity of marathoning and is a compliment to the quality of our event," said Larry Choate, race chair. "Each year we meet our registration cap by race weekend - this reinforces our belief our race competes on a world stage with races much older and larger than ours. We certainly hope that citizens will stand behind the city's growing running community and join us in the River Market on March 2."

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,” Choate said. “Our medal is one of the biggest costs we have, but if Runner’s World keeps telling us we are the biggest, then we want to make sure we stay the biggest.”

“People sign up when they see the medal,” he said. “I suppose they want to take their piece of the rock home. We don’t want anyone to go home empty handed - they earned a medal.”

Interested participants may register online at www.littlerockmarathon.com pick up information at area Arvest Banks as well as “runner friendly” stores across the country. A list is on the registration page of the website. For information, visit 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.

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