More than 25,000 Expected to Participate in 13th Annual Go! St. Louis Marathon & Family Fitness Weekend

05 avr. 2013 03h27
Jean-Loup Fenaux
Communiqué de presse

Top American and International Elite Athletes to Compete for $10,000 Half Marathon Prize Marathon Relay Sold Out at 600 Teams, Entries Still Available in Marathon, Half Marathon, 5K, Children’s Fun Runs and Mature Mile

ST. LOUIS (MO) – April 2, 2013 – GO! St. Louis, a local not-for-profit organization that specializes in providing fitness events and programs for the region on a year-round basis, announced today that the 2013 GO! St. Louis Marathon & Family Fitness Weekend, set for April 6 & 7 continues to attract thousands of participants from all over the United States and many foreign countries. The 13-year fitness event started in 2000 with 2,500 participants and has grown to become a major civic event and the largest competitive fitness event in Missouri. It is also a top race destination for runners from across the country. An estimated 25,000 participants will compete in one of the 10 different events over the weekend. Additionally, more than 50,000 spectators will line the various race courses to support participants. The GO! St. Louis Family Fitness Weekend is an event that was created for all ages and fitness abilities and features a marathon – presented by Mercy, half marathon – presented by PNC Bank, Marathon Relay – presented by Lockton Companies, 5K Run/Walk – presented by Mercy, GO! St. Louis Read, Right and Run Marathon® – presented by Express Scripts, Children’s Fun Runs and a Mature Mile.

Some of the top American and International athletes will be competing this year in the Half Marathon, and vying for the $10,000 top prize in both the men’s and women’s divisions. The top prize in the half marathon is the fourth largest in the U.S. In total, more $40,000 will be offered in prize money for both the marathon and half marathon. For a complete list of elite athletes visit http://www.gostlouis.org/marathon-weekend/about/elite-athlete-program.html

Among the variety of new and expanded event features this year is a theme celebrating the event as a St. Louis Original, which included a series of video announcements from local celebrities highlighting the race course, and all of the people, places and venues that make St. Louis original. In addition, St. Louis-themed finish line food, such as: Ted Drewes Frozen Custard, Dad’s Oatmeal Cookies, Pasta House Toasted Raviolis, Michelob ULTRA and Companion pretzel sticks will be offered to participants. Also, participants on the marathon course will enjoy a special chocolate station, compliments of Crown Candy Kitchen.

Event Highlights

-The popular half marathon race was introduced to the event in 2003. More than 10,000 participants are expected to compete, making it one of the largest half marathons in the midwest. The half marathon course record is 1:05:01, set in 2012 by Daniel Kirwa. The women’s record was set in 2007 by Serena Ramsey (Burla) – 1:14:13. -Participation in the Marathon Relay has increased dramatically since 2008, when 265 teams registered. The 2013 Marathon Relay sold out in January at 600 total teams. Teams are comprised of four people, who each run approximately 6 miles each, to complete a full 26.2 marathon. Categories include corporate, coed, battle of the badges, and friends and family. -Over 88% of the participants reside in Missouri or Illinois, but athletes from 48 different states (Alaska and Wyoming not represented) will visit St. Louis to compete. In addition, athletes from nine countries (Canada, Germany, Brazil, Spain, Costa Rica, Denmark, Guatemala, Italy and Nicaragua) are registered in the field. -Holy Hill features a Race within a Race. This two-mile hill stretches from Mile 6 to 8, and is a slow steady climb. Participants in the Marathon and Half Marathon will receive a separate time on this portion of the course, with “Kings & Queens of the Hill” finisher medals and chocolate bars from Crown Candy Kitchen awarded after the race to the top three finishers in every age group. This area also includes lots of fun and festive elements, such as cheer squads, bands, and the Very Reverend Mike Kinman. -GO! For a Cause, a charity training program that encourages local charities to fundraiser by recruiting participants for the event. Hundreds of participants will be competing in one of the various races, while raising money for a charity. More than 28 charities were accepted as official charities this year. Last year more than $366,000 was raised for local causes, and more than 1 million has been raised since the program’s inception in 2010. For a complete list visit http://www.gostlouis.org/community-programs/programs/go-for-a-cause.html -The marathon race course starts and finishes in downtown St. Louis at Market & 15th Street. The course includes the Gateway Arch (great view, before turning at Tucker), Busch Stadium, Anheuser Busch brewery, Forest Park, Washington University, Downtown Clayton, and The Loop in U City. Area residents are encouraged to come out to show their support by cheering on the participants along the course. -Official Cheer Zones – Look for six area Cheer Zones throughout the race course. Spectators are encouraged to visit one of the zones to watch the race, and cheer on family and friends. The first 50 spectators at each zone will receive a free t-shirt, Kaldi’s Coffee, Companion pretzel sticks and a make-your-own cheer card. The Zones include: Lindell Blvd & Olive, near Saint Louis University, Forest Park Avenue & Taylor in the Central West End, Forest Park Visitor’s Center, Olympian Way (Forsyth), next to Francis Field on the Washington University Campus, Forsyth & Brentwood in Clayton and The UCity Loop, next to the Chuck Berry Statue. In addition, the Soulard Pajama Party Neighborhood Cheer Area returns for the third straight year.

-Volunteers are an important component with an event this size. More than 2,800 volunteers are needed to assist, including: individuals, universities, high school groups and organizations who perform a variety of duties including: staffing a hydration station, finish line support, medal distribution, medical assistance and course monitors. -Saturday’s Family Fitness Day in Forest Park will feature people ranging in ages from a young toddler, crawling across the finish line in the Diaper Dash to two 100-year-old participants in the Mature Mile. More than 9,000 people, including more than 5,500 children are expected to attend. -Children from 253 schools and young organizations are participating in the GO! St. Louis Read, Right & Run Marathon, a six-month innovative program that promotes reading 26 books, completing 26 good deeds and running 26 miles. The program concludes with the majority of the students running their final miles on Sat., April 6. Students will receive their medals after crossing the finish line. -The Students on the GO! program, now in its 4th year is presented by Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield, and features 10 area high schools – Roosevelt High School, Gateway STEM, Ritenour High School, Cleveland NJROTC, Metro High School, Pattonville High School, University City High School, Block Yeshiva, Jennings High School and Shearwater. The program trains and mentors high school students to run the half marathon. More than 200 students, school educators and administrators have been training in Forest Park for several months in preparation. Registration: Individuals interested in registering for one of the events should visit the Health & Fitness Expo at the Chaifetz Arena, which is set for Friday, April 5 from 11 am – 7 pm and Saturday, April 6 from 10 am – 7 pm. Race Day registration is available for the Family Day events (5K, Children’s Funs Runs and Mature Mile) on Saturday, April 6 at the event site. Online registration closed for all the events on April 1. Please note that the Marathon Relay sold out at 600 team, so entries and not available.

Event Schedule: Friday, April 5 – Health & Fitness Expo presented by Big River Running, 11am-7pm Chaifetz Arena, Saturday, April 6 in Forest Park – 5K Run/Walk at 8am, Read, Right & Run Marathon at 9:15 am, Children’s Fun Runs at 10:45 am and Mature Mile at 11:15 am. Health & Fitness Expo 10am – 7pm. Sunday, April 7 at Market & 15th Street – Marathon, Half Marathon and Marathon Relay at 7am.

2013 Sponsors: PNC Bank, Express Scripts, Cigna, Mercy, McCarthy Building Companies, KMOX Radio, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Missouri Beef Industry Council, Lockton Companies, Big River Running Company, Michelob ULTRA, Emerson, Missouri Lottery, Drury Hotels, yurbuds, YP, The Staenberg Family Foundation, Emerson, Absopure , KSDK-TV News Channel 5, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, ALIVE Magazine, Pasta House Company, KPMG, Dole, Edward Jones, Brighton Agency, ESCO, St. Louis Injury & Rehab and Gatorade Endurance.