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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
gmarchsese@littlerock.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE :
Monday, January 30, 2006

LR Marathon Race Registrations Up 100% From This Time Last Year

Field Limit Could Be Reached By Mid-February

(Little Rock, January 30, 2006) - With a little more than a month remaining before race day, registration for the 2006 Little Rock Marathon, presented by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has increased more than 100% as compared to this time last year, race officials announced today.

The Little Rock Marathon is Sunday, March 5. The Little Rock Marathon is actually six separate events. Events include a two day health and fitness expo, the marathon (26.2 miles) race, the half marathon (13.1 miles) race, a relay marathon (26.2 miles divided into four legs with each individual running/walking a little over 6 miles) race, a 5K (3.1 miles) fun run/walk and the Little Rockers Kids Marathon (26.2 miles completed over an extended time frame). Participant can run, walk or do a combination of running and walking in any of the events.

According to Bill Torrey, race director, the reasons for the increase stem from a combination of international media coverage, “word of mouth,” and grass roots promotion.

“Last year we had a lot of national media coverage with Governor Huckabee and Governor Vilsack running,” Torrey said. “Our race was on CNN, the Today Show, MSNBC and in countless newspapers. We had more headlines about our race than the Los Angeles Marathon, which took place the same day.”

The 50 States Marathon Club, with more than 1,000 members world wide, has selected the Little Rock Marathon as its quarterly meeting. Members of the 50 States Marathon Club run a marathon in each state and the Little Rock Marathon fills a race needed in Arkansas.

“When you have the world’s largest finisher’s medal word gets out,” he said. “Runner’s World said last year’s medal was the biggest in the world and we made this year’s medal much bigger. 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.”

“At the rate we are going, we will probably reach our maximum field in a couple weeks,” Torrey 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.”

Torrey also credited a strong volunteer base as leading to the continued success of the event.

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 more information visit www.littlerockmarathon.com or contact Geneva Hampton at 501-371-4639/ghampton@littlerock.org.

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