Race-Day Event is First-Ever High School Meet at a World Marathon Major
CHICAGO (Sept. 25, 2009) -- Nike and Bank of America today announced details of the Oct. 11 Nike Northside/Southside Challenge at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. The event marks the first time a World Marathon Major will feature high school athletes competing in an invitational meet, on the race-day course, while the marathon is in progress.
Co-hosted by the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, Nike and Whitney Young High School, the Challenge will take place on the final 2.62 miles of the course after the marathon officially begins. The boys' competition will start at 7:40 a.m., followed by the girls' at 7:45 a.m. Both fields will start at 31st Street and Michigan Avenue, and will end at the Marathon finish line.
"Nike is inspiring the next generation of runners by giving them the experience of racing in the footsteps of their running heroes," said Reg Hamlett, general manager of Nike's central territory. "The Northside/Southside Challenge is a ground-breaking way to bring a new energy to a preeminent marathon."
"In hosting the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, an event that draws 45,000 runners and 1.5 million spectators to the city streets, we have a unique opportunity to impact the Chicago community in large ways," said Tim Maloney, Illinois State and Chicago Market President for Bank of America. "The addition of this high school event furthers that impact by providing a first-ever opportunity for local high school athletes to compete on a grand stage."
Northside/Southside Challenge Details
High school track teams from the Chicagoland area will be invited to compete in the Northside/Southside Challenge by Whitney Young coach Robert Geiger. Each team will be designated as either "Northside" or "Southside," based on their geographic location, and will be grouped together to be coached by Nike elite athletes pre-race, to receive last-minute pointers and motivational advice.
Individual and team winners will be named for both boys and girls. In addition, based on the cumulative times of their runners, either "Northside" or "Southside" will be designated as the winner of the 2009 Challenge.
Following the Challenge, the participants and their families will be invited to stay at the finish line area to watch the remainder of the Marathon.
NIKE, Inc. based near Beaverton, Oregon, is the world's leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities. Wholly owned Nike subsidiaries include Cole Haan Holdings Incorporated, which designs, markets and distributes luxury shoes, handbags, accessories and coats; Converse Inc., which designs, markets and distributes athletic footwear, apparel and accessories; Hurley International LLC, which designs, markets and distributes action sports and youth lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories; and Umbro Ltd., a leading United Kingdom-based global football (soccer) brand. For more information, visit NikeBiz.com.
About the Bank of America Chicago Marathon
In its 32nd year and a member of the World Marathon Majors, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon annually attracts 45,000 runners including a world class elite field and 1.5 million spectators. As a result of its national and international draw, the iconic race assists in raising $10 million for a variety of charitable causes while generating an estimated $143 million economic impact to its host city. To extend that impact, the 2009 race has invited all participants and fans to get involved through a first-ever online fundraising campaign going on now through Oct. 9. By customizing a shoeprint at www.chicagomarathon.com/footprint, visitors select one of 22 charities to receive a dollar donation from Bank of America. The charity with the most submissions will also be granted an additional $10,000 donation in an announcement at the 27th Mile Post-Race Party on race day.