More Than 25,000 Expected to Participate in 12th Annual Go! St. Louis Marathon & Family Fitness Weekend

16 Mar 2012 10:07
Jean-Loup Fenaux
Press Release

Participants from 45 States and 10 Countries Set to Visit St. Louis
Marathon Relay Sells Out at 500 Teams
Biggest Loser Season 11 Contestants Jay and Jennifer Jacobs to Join the Fun

ST. LOUIS (MO) – March 14, 2012 – 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, announced today that the 2012 GO! St. Louis Marathon & Family Fitness Weekend, set for April 14 & 15 continues to increase in popularity. The Marathon Relay race reached the 500-team participation cap in early February and the 5K Run/Walk is nearing the 2,500 cap. The 12-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, GO! St. Louis Read, Right and Run Marathon® – presented by Express Scripts, Children’s Fun Runs and a Mature Mile.

Among the variety of new and expanded event features is a special appearance from Biggest Loser Season 11 competitors, Jay and Jennifer Jacobs. This inspiring father-daughter duo will participate in the 5K and the Relay event, while also greeting participants at the Health & Fitness Expo. In addition, participants can expect more course entertainment, new mile marker signage, top-quality event shirts from Brooks, along with an expanded GO! For a Cause program.

Event Highlights

  • The popular half marathon race was introduced to the event in 2003. More than 10,000 participants are expected to compete, making it one of the largest half marathons in the midwest. The half marathon course record is 1:05:09, set in 2010 by Mario Macias from Alamosa, CO.
    Participation in the Marathon Relay has increased dramatically since 2008, when 265 teams registered. The 2012 Marathon Relay sold out in early February 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.
  • Over 88% of the participants reside in Missouri or Illinois, but athletes from 45 different states (Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Wyoming, Montana not represented) will visit St. Louis to compete. In addition, athletes from 10 countries (Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Brazil, France, Australia, Venezuela, Spain, Korea, Tanzania) 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).
  • GO! For a Cause, a charity training program that encourages local charities to fundraiser by recruiting participants for the event. More than 20 charities were accepted as official charities this year. Last year more than $330,000 was raised for local causes. For a complete list visit http://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 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 – Five area associations – Central West End Association, Skinker DeBaliviere Community Council, University Heights, Loop Special Business District and Soulard Restoration Group will compete in a contest, judged by participants for the best Cheer Zone. These neighborhood associations receive a $1,000 donation from GO! St. Louis for their service, with a chance to earn an additional $1,000 if they win the Best Cheer Zone Award.
  • Volunteers/Aid Stations are an important component with an event this size. More than 2,500 volunteers are needed to assist, including universities, high school groups and organizations who distribute water and Gatorade along the course. These aid station volunteers receive a donation from GO! St. Louis for their service.
  • 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 8,500 people, including more than 5,500 children are expected to attend.
  • Children from 180 schools and young organizations 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 on Sat., April 14. 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. In total, more than 22,000 students in K-8th grade from 253 schools are participating in the program this year.
  • The 3rd annual Students on the GO! program presented by The Staenberg Family Foundation, features eight area high schools – Roosevelt High School, Gateway High School, Central Visual Performing Arts, Metro High School, Pattonville High School, University City High School, Block Yeshiva and Jennings High School. 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 2011, 91 Mature Milers over the age of 85 participated in the race.

Pasta House president Kim Tucci serves as 2012 Honorary Chairman of the event. He will welcome participants before the race and congratulate them at the finish line.

Registration: Individuals interested in registering for one of the events can register online at gostlouis.org, until April 6 or visit the Health & Fitness Expo at the Chaifetz Arena, which is set for Friday, April 13 from 11 am – 7 pm and Saturday, April 14 from 10 am – 7 pm. Race Day registration is available for the Family Day events (5K, Children’s Funs Runs and Mature Mile) on Saturday, April 14 at the event site.

Event Schedule: Friday, April 13 – Health & Fitness Expo presented by Big River Running, 11am-7pm Chaifetz Arena, Saturday, April 14 in Forest Park – 5K Run/Walk at 8am, Read, Right & Run Marathon at 9:15 am, Children’s Fun Runs at 10:45 am and Mature Mile at 11:15 am. Health & Fitness Expo 10am – 7pm. Sunday, April 15 at Market & 14th Street – Marathon, Half Marathon and Marathon Relay at 7am.

2012 Sponsors:

PNC Bank, Express Scripts, McCarthy Building Companies, KMOX Radio, Drury Hotels, Missouri Beef Industry Council, Lockton Companies, Big River Running Company, Michelob ULTRA, Centene Corporation, The Staenberg Family Foundation, KSDK-TV News Channel 5, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, ALIVE Magazine, Pasta House Company, KPMG, Brighton Agency, Absopure, ESCO, St. Louis Injury & Rehab and Gatorade Endurance.