MESA, AZ--(Marketwire - Feb 26, 2013) - Over 6,000 runners representing nearly every state and 12 different countries will compete in the highly anticipated Phoenix Marathon on Saturday, March 2, 2013.
The full marathon is drawing high praise from the nation's running community as a Saturday event and, more significantly, it is a Boston Marathon qualifying event... a noteworthy achievement for a race's first year.
The start of the full marathon will begin near Usery Park under the huge, iconic, white-lettered < PHOENIX sign built into the surrounding hillside at 6:30 am with the starting blast of a homemade cannon.
The race route will wind through scenic and historic neighborhoods of Mesa, including a section along Main Street, and will conclude at the Mesa Riverview Shopping Center. The high-energy finish line will feature a large celebratory carnival with recuperative tents, massages for the runners, food, awards ceremony and plenty of fun activities for all runners and spectators.
Each of the other races: a half marathon, 10K and Kids 1K race, will also be run along the same route and end at the massive finish line.
Several elected officials are scheduled to run, including: Maricopa County Supervisor Denny Barney (half marathon), former State Senator Jerry Lewis (full marathon), Gilbert Mayor John Lewis (full marathon), and Mesa Public Schools Superintendent Mike Cowan (10K). Award ceremonies will be held at 9:00 am for the half marathon; 10:00 am for the 10K and at 11:00 am for the full marathon. Mesa Mayor Scott Smith will present the awards as well as executives from the title sponsor for the race, BMO Harris Bank.
The race benefits AZ Brainfood (www.azbrainfood.org), a local charity which discreetly provides backpacks filled with food to hungry children each weekend as they leave school on Friday afternoons.
The first runners are expected to reach the finish line just after 8:30 am with the bulk of the runners arriving between 9:30 and 10:30 am.
Members of the media are invited to attend the event. Interviews can be arranged as requested. Live on-site broadcasts are encouraged and welcomed.