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Record Breaking Numbers for St Louis

Record Breaking Numbers for 11th GO! St. Louis Marathon Event

St Louis Marathon 2011

St Louis Marathon 2011

Marathon Relay sells out at 500 teams; new features to enhance participant race experience in 2011

ST. LOUIS – 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, has announced that overall registrations for the 2011 GO! St. Louis Marathon & Family Fitness Weekend, set for April 9 & 10 have reached an all-time high. The 11-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, half-marathon – presented by PNC Bank, Marathon Relay – presented by Lockton Companies, 5K Run / Walk – presented by Reliv International, GO! St. Louis Read, Right and Run Marathon® – presented by Express Scripts, Children’s Fun Runs and a Mature Mile – presented by Essence Healthcare.

“It’s truly inspiring to see this event continue to expand each year” said Nancy Lieberman, GO! St. Louis president. “Every year we look for new ways to improve our product, with the overall participant experience in mind and I think we have added some fun new features this year that will be well-received from our participants. This is an event that is very large in scope, with registrants coming from all over the world, but it really has a hometown feel. It’s an event that local residents can be proud to call their own.”

A variety of new and exciting features will add to the participant’s race day experience this year. Among the additions is a new LED big screen video board with live streaming finish line video, participant corrals that will streamline the start, free athlete tracking, neighborhood cheer zones, more course entertainment, the U.S. Marines start line participation (helicopter flyover), an expanded GO! For a Cause charity program and an expansive finish line area, including a new finish line structure.

Event Highlights
* The popular half-marathon race was introduced to the event in 2003. More than 13,000 participants are expected to compete, making it one of the largest half-marathons in the United States and the largest in Missouri. The half-marathon course record is 1:05:09, set last year by Mario Macias from Alamosa, CO.

* Participation in the Marathon Relay has increased dramatically since 2008, when 265 teams registered. The 2011 Marathon Relay sold out in early March at 500 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.

* Elite Athletes to Watch: Marathon – Karl Gilpin, Roman Dedov, Bryan Morsemar and Krista Seibert ; Half Marathon – Josphat Boit, Sammy Rotich, David Fuentes, Emily Ramsey, Jackie Pirtle-Hall and Jessica Koster.

* Over 87% of the participants reside in Missouri or Illinois, but athletes from 49 different states (Vermont, not represented) will visit St. Louis to compete. In addition, athletes from eight countries (Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, Brazil, France, The Netherlands and Mexico) are registered in the field.

* Prize Money for Age Group Winners: Further establishing this event as a race for all ages, the top male and female, competing in the marathon and half-marathon receive $100 for winning their age group (13 different age groups).

* Run with Bart – Runner World’s Chief Running Officer Bart Yasso will be competing in the Marathon Relay. Yasso selected his relay team members by holding a video contest. Three lucky winners – Shelly Kannel, Margie Hanneken and Tricia Croyle received training tips from Yasso, leading up to the event and will meet him prior to the race.

* GO! For a Cause, a charity training program that encourages local charities to fundraiser by recruiting participants for the race. More than 13 charities were accepted as official charities this year. For a complete list, go to: www.gostlouis.org/community-programs/programs/go-for-a-cause.html

* The marathon race course starts and finishes in downtown St. Louis at Market & 14th Street. The course includes the Gateway Arch (great view, before turning at Tucker), Busch Stadium, Anheuser Busch-InBev 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.

* Neighborhood Cheer Zones – Four area associations – Central West End Association, Skinker DeBaliviere Community Council, Franz Park Community Association and Soulard Restoration Group will compete in a contest, judged by participants for the best Cheer Zone.

* 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 a 94-year-old participating in the Mature Mile. More than 7,000 people, including more than 4,000 children are expected to attend.

* Children from 115 schools will converge on Forest Park to complete the 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 students running their final miles. Also part of the Read, Right & Run Marathon program is 15,000 Saint Louis Public School students, who complete the program with special in-school celebrations in the month of May.

* The Students on the GO! program, now in its third year, features five area high schools – Roosevelt High School, Central Visual Performing Arts, Gateway Institute of Technology, Block Yeshevia and Bais Yacov. The program trains and mentors high school students to run the half marathon. More than 100 students, school educators and administrators have been training in Forest Park for several months in preparation.

* The Mature Mile is for adults 60-years of age and older. Close to 500 Mature Milers, have been training for weeks in anticipation of completing the one mile course. In 2010, 80 Mature Milers over the age of 85 participated in the race.

* Pasta House president Kim Tucci serves as 2011 Honorary Chairman of the event. He will welcome participants before the race and congratulate them at the finish line.

Individuals interested in registering for one of the events can register online until April 1 or visit the Health & Fitness Expo at the Chaifetz Arena, which is set for Friday, April 8 from 11:00am – 7:00pm and Saturday, April 9 from 10:00am – 7:00pm. Race Day registration is available for the Family Day events (5K, Children’s Funs Runs and Mature Mile) on Saturday, April 9 at the event site. The 5K has a participation cap of 2,000 people, which may be reached before race day.

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