It is the "7th Wonder of the Marathon World"
LITTLE ROCK - (February 12, 2009) - Little Rock Marathon race officials unveiled the 2009 version of the world's largest marathon finisher's medal during a press conference on Thursday. The 2009 Little Rock Marathon, presented by the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, will be held March 13-15 in downtown Little Rock.
"For five years running we have been recognized as having the world's largest marathon finisher's medal and for our seventh year, we decided step outside the box again with something completely different," Gina Marchese Pharis, Co-Executive Director of the Little Rock Marathon.
"Anyone can give a big medal, that is the easy part," she said, "but we wanted to add drama to this year's awards."
"We make so much fuss over our finisher's medal because most of us (marathoner finishers) are not doing the race to win it," Pharis said. "We are doing the race to finish. It is a big accomplishment and we think you should get a medal that represents what you just accomplished."
"Our race is known for coming up with something fun and different each year," Pharis said. "Athletes come from around the world to take our medal home. Only a few take home money and when it is all said and done the one thing so many cherish is that medal. They run for the hardware and every finisher takes home hardware."
The 2009 Little Rock Marathon finisher's medal is black zinc alloy and is 7 1/4 inches long and 6 1/4 inches wide. The medal features the 2009 circus theme and weighs in at a pound and a half. The medal features the race's signature globe, race director's kiss and the "race for every pace" motto.
According to Jon Scott of Maxwell Medals & Awards of Traverse City, MI, the average finisher's medal is 2.5 inches and weighs approximately 3 ounces. Maxwell Medals & Awards produces the Little Rock Marathon finisher medals, as well as medals for major races including the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and Race for the Cure.
The half-marathon finisher's medal also features the 2009 race theme and is half the length of the marathon medal. According to Pharis, it is "half the distance (13.1 miles), so it is half the size" of the marathon medal. It is 3 5/8 inches long by 3 inches wide.
Race day is Sunday, March 15. In addition to the marathon (26.2 miles), there is a half-marathon (13.1 miles) race, presented by Baptist Health; a 4-person relay marathon (26.2 miles divided into four segments) race, presented by Alltel Wireless; a 5K (3.1 miles) run/walk, presented by Windstream Communications and the Classic Rockers Marathon (for individuals 55+ who complete 26.2 miles over an extended time frame).
The Little Rockers Kids Marathon (26.2 miles completed over an extended time frame), presented by Arkansas Children's Hospital and Today's THV, for children 7 to 12 is Saturday, March 14 at 11:00am.
Prior to race day, there is a free two-day health and fitness expo, presented by Arvest Bank, on March 13-14 at the Statehouse Convention Center in downtown Little Rock.
For information or to register online, visit: LittleRockMarathon.com or call (501) 371-4770.
Ryan Lamppa, Running USA Media Director
(805) 696-6232; Fax = (805) 659-0016