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• ILLINOIS (USA) / Chicago's oldest race changes owner
John Bingham Racing has purchased Chicago's oldest race, the "Chicago Distance Classic", scheduled this year for July 14 on the University of Illinois at Chicago campus. The race's official charity remains the American Lung Association of Metropolitan Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Chicago remains a key partner in the event. "As a Chicago native, I've watched with pride the way the city has developed into a world-class running destination" - said company President John Bingham - "Owning the Chicago Distance Classic is my way of giving something back to the city and to the entire Chicagoland running community. I am so pleased that proceeds from the race continue to benefit the work and research of Alamc. Together, along with the Uic, I believe we can take the race to the next level. I've been lucky to work with Elite Racing and seen how successful their events like the Suzuki Rock'N'Roll Marathon, Country Music Marathon and Half Marathon, and Rock and Roll Half Marathon have been. Using their model of putting on great races for all participants, I think we can make the Classic the must-do summer event for runners and walkers of all abilities". John "The Penguin" Bingham is a celebrated runner, a columnist for "Runner's World" magazine and the author of the best selling book "The Courage to Start: A Guide to Running for Your Life" and "No need for Speed: A Beginner's Guide to the Joy of Running". The "Chicago Distance Classic", now in its twentysixth year, is comprised of a 20k and 5k running race and a 3 mile non-competitive health walk. Consistently ranked by "Runner's World" as one of the premier races in the nation, it attracts over 6,000 participants from the United States, Canada and as far away as New Zealand. For more information about the event or to register for the event, log on to: www.ChicagoDistanceClassic.com.
• BRAZIL / Volta ŕ Ilha only for the braves
Are you brave enough to run 155 kilometers (96 miles) over terrains like dirt, sand dunes and hills? Eleven ultrarunners accepted this challenge and took part in the "Volta ŕ Ilha" race, a loop around the gorgeous Santa Catarina island. The winner was Jaime Maria da Rocha with the new course record of 14:48. More than 1,200 runners decided not to run all the 155k alone, and took part in the relay race. There were 143 teams of eight, four and two runners competing and the winner was the Brazilian Army Silva Paes Brigade team in 8:23. Source: www.copacabanarunners.net
• RHODE ISLAND (USA) / Ocean State Marathon changes course
The 10th "Ocean State Marathon" will be run on Sunday, October 13 over a restructured course entirely within the city of Providence. The 26.2 mile event is designed to lead over 2000 runners, including 20 to 25 elite athletes, on a tour of Rhode Island's capital city that will take in all of the diverse, historically rich neighborhoods, beautiful Roger Williams Park and the vibrantly revitalized downtown. The figure eight, loop course will start at the State Capitol building and finish at the Rhode Island Convention Center. Each of the communities runners will pass through offer their own flavor and excitement but the highlights are certain to be the Federal Hill section's colorful decorations for the Columbus Day celebrations and Roger Williams Park as autumn colors begin to emerge. "The change to a Providence loop course, although necessitated by the denial of a permit to stage the race on a Sunday in the city of Warwick, was in the planning stage for 2003, in any case" - said Gerry Beagan, race director - "We are pleased and grateful that the city of Providence stepped up on short notice to assist and support us in finding a solution that assures the state continues to have a national class marathon with an excellent international reputation". The marathon course is Usatf certified and the event is a sanctioned "Boston Marathon" qualifier. The starting line, at the state house, is a short walk from the convention center and the finish line is at the convention center. There will be 15 water stations and four medical aid stations on the course. Porta-lets will be available at the start, at every other water station and at each medical aid station. Request registration brochures from Ocean State Marathon (5 Division Street, East Greenwich, Rhode Island 02818, United States of America) or visit osm26.com.
• NEW JERSEY (USA) / Annual World's Most Beautiful Feet contest
Just how gorgeous are your toe-stopping tootsies? Find out by entering the third Annual "Worlds Most Beautiful Feet" contest. Beginning Friday, May 24 (Memorial Day weekend), entrants are invited to send photos of their feet to Foot.com, to be judged by a panel of podiatrists, pedorthists, foot care experts and a modeling professional. Contest entries will be accepted May 24 through August 1, 2002. Photos of the top 10 finalists will be posted on Foot.com throughout August and the winner will be posted at the end of Labor Day Weekend (September 2). Last year's contest inspired a mad rush of voting activity as visitors logged on from throughout the United States to vote for their favorite pair of feet, ultimately determining the grand prize winner. The judges look for feet that have a nice arch, no corns, bunions or defects and that extra special "something" that makes them the "World's Most Beautiful Feet". And it is not all about beauty: a consolation prize will be awarded to the "feet most in need of a pedicure". In 2001, the contest drew more than 3000 entrants. The crowned winner - Claire Noble of Nashville (Usa/Tennessee) - was quickly caught up in a whirlwind of radio and television interviews, a free trip to Mexico and a shot at a modeling career. Noble will be on this year's judging panel. This year the winning feet will be whisked away to a five-day, four-night trip for two to Pueblo Bonito at Sunset Beach in Los Cabos, Mexico. In addition, a professional photographer will create a portfolio of the winner's feet, to start them on their way to a successful foot modeling career. All 10 finalists will receive a free pair of Birkenstock sandals. Contest regulations will be posted on May 17 at www.foot.com. For those who want to enter the "World's Most Beautiful Feet" contest, visit Foot.com, or call 800-526-2739.
• MINNESOTA (USA) / Running for our women
Want to celebrate Spring with your family and help women and girls who want to improve their health and lives through physical activity? Join the 20th anniversary "Melpomene Institute 5k Run/Walk" on Saturday May 4, 2002. Melpomene's annual run/walk began in 1982 (Melpomene's first year), and takes place the first Saturday in May along the beautiful Mississippi River Parkway in St. Paul. The event includes a co-ed walk, wheelchair racers, kids' half and 1-mile run, and separate women's and men's races. It has separate 5-year categories for competing in the race and the age categories of over 70 and over 80 have special recognition plaques. The 5k run/walk draws participants of all ages but the women's race is the largest with 500-600 women. The majority of women runners are under the age of 45. The 5k walk is fairly evenly divided between men and women. Participants in the kid's run (usually about 500 extremely energetic young runners) are usually accompanied by a parent to the event. All the kids get a first prize ribbon - so bring your kids, your friends' kids, nieces, nephews, uncles, grandparents, and friends. For more information, call the Melpomene Institute at 651-642-1951 or visit the website at www.melpomene.org. Melpomene Institute is the premier motivational resource for encouraging girls and women to be physically active throughout all stages of life. Proceeds from its annual 5k run/walk benefit research and educational programs and support Melpomene's goal of being the foremost information and networking resource for women and girls who want to improve their health through the enjoyment and challenge of physical activity.
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