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Posted: February 10, 2009  :

Athletics: Approximately 25,000 Runners Race to Finish Line during the Fredericksburg Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon

2nd Annual Half Marathon Winds through Historic Fredericksburg this May

(Fredericksburg, Va., February 10, 2009) – Runners will line up this May in historic Fredericksburg, Va. to race to the finish during the 2nd Annual Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon. Founded by the organizers of the famed Marine Corps Marathon, the half marathon will be held May 17, 2009. A complete line-up of events is scheduled throughout the weekend.

From May 15 -17, the Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon will feature a 13.1 mile half marathon, the Semper Fred 5k, Ye Olde Pasta Party and the Healthy Lifestyle Expo. These runners are proud, but certainly not few. An estimated 9,000 participants are expected for this year’s races, with up to 25,000 spectators as cheering supporters line the streets of downtown Fredericksburg during this landmark racing event.

The half marathon begins at 7 a.m. on Saturday, and the course begins and ends at the Fredericksburg Expo and Conference Center. Once the race begins, runners will travel south on Carl D. Silver Parkway past the restaurant and shops of Central Park and into downtown Fredericksburg. Historic landmarks and sites along the course include Sunken Road, Kenmore Plantation, and the General Hugh Mercer Memorial Statue. Runners then will wind around the Fredericksburg Visitor Center and continue north back to the expo center to cross the finish line.

The Semper Fred 5k is a 3.1 mile run/walk and will be held on Saturday, May 16. The race is open to families and fitness enthusiasts of all ages.

The race weekend kicks off at the Fredericksburg Expo and Conference Center during the Healthy Lifestyle Expo. On Friday and Saturday race participants and fans are invited to enjoy more than 80 booths and interactive centers dedicated to health, fitness, diet and wellness.

To fuel for the race, carb-loaders are invited to dine at the Ye Olde Pasta Party at the Fredericksburg Expo Center. In addition to the pasta dinner for race participants, live entertainment is scheduled, along with a motivational speaker and door prizes.

Visitors to the Fredericksburg area can enjoy a variety of other events and attractions during the race weekend. Also scheduled for May 16 – 17 is the 37th Annual Fredericksburg Art Festival, when Virginia artists gather in Hurkamp Park to display their masterpieces. Artwork will be made available for purchase. Enjoy additional art galleries in historic downtown Fredericksburg, including LibertyTown Arts Workshop. The fine arts and crafts gallery and studio will be hosting a Springtime Gala on Saturday, May 16th, with live entertainment, refreshments, door prizes and a silent auction. Embrace history and step into 16th century Staffordshire to celebrate the anticipated arrival of Queen Elizabeth at Lake Anna Winery’s Virginia Renaissance Faire. Relive a tumultuous time in American history during the commemoration of the two-week long battle of Spotsylvania at the Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park. Endure the conflict the North and the South faced as the two sides suffered through what is known at the “bloodiest battle of the Civil War.”

Those interested in participating in the races can register online at Active.com or by visiting www.marinecorpshistorichalf.com. Online registration closes May 16, 2009. The $60 registration fee includes a race shirt and finisher medal. Sponsors of the Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon include Geico, The Free Lance-Star, Mary Washington Hospital, Cannon Ridge Golf Club, Central Park and University of Mary Washington, among others. Training tips for the race are available online at /www.marinecorpshistorichalf.com.

Race participants can dedicate their run to any MCHH charity partners, including Azalea Charities, Hope for the Warriors, Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, Rappahannock Big Brothers Big Sisters, Run for Autism, TAPs (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) and 25:40, a South African AIDS charity.

The Fredericksburg Area, which includes the city of Fredericksburg and the counties of Spotsylvania and Stafford, is a classic blend of modern life with small town charm. The area is conveniently located along I-95, between Washington and Richmond and is unlike any other in America. The city of Fredericksburg features a variety of chef-owned restaurants, numerous art galleries, a wide range of specialty shops, and one of America’s most authentic, historic downtowns. Stafford is host to George Washington’s boyhood home, Ferry Farm and Belmont, the residence of famous artist Gari Melchers. Spotsylvania is not only the site of 4,400 acres of Civil War battlefields; it also boasts the beautiful Lake Anna Winery. The Fredericksburg Area rests on the banks of the picturesque, well-preserved, Rappahannock River. For more information: www.VisitFred.com or call 1800-654-4118.


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