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Annual Little Rockers Kids Marathon Kick-off Event to be Held Oct. 9

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Sept. 13, 2010) - "The Great Lace Up," a registration kick-off event for the Little Rockers Kids Marathon, will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Oct. 9 on the football field at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock. The kick-off event is presented by Arkansas Children's Hospital, which is a sponsor of the Little Rockers Kids Marathon.

The 7th annual Little Rockers Kids Marathon Final Mile will begin at noon on Saturday, March 5, 2011, in the River Market District. Little Rockers is held in conjunction with the Little Rock Marathon, set for Sunday, March 6, 2011. The Little Rock Marathon and companion races are a project of and benefit Little Rock Parks & Recreation. KTHV and B98.5 are sponsors of the Little Rockers. The Arkansas Department of Health is the presenting sponsor for the Little Rockers Training Program.

The Oct. 9 Little Rockers kick-off event will include free healthy snacks from Ben E. Keith, music and a series of fun Halloween-themed obstacle course activities. Goody bags full of coupons and Halloween fun will be distributed to the first 300 participants. Registration begins at 9 a.m., however kids are encouraged to pre-register for the kick-off event at www.littlerockmarathon.com.

"The Great Lace Up event is a fun and exciting way for kids and their parents to learn more about the Little Rockers and how they can start training for the big day in March," said Geneva Hampton, executive director of the Little Rock Marathon. "We want to motivate students to become more physically fit, and remind families that fitness can be fun in many different ways!"

Arkansas Children's Hospital representatives and the hospital's mascot, Scout, will lead participants in a Monster Mash warm-up. Local media representatives will also participate in a special media challenge to kick off the obstacle course activities.

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A series of activities, including broomstick hurdles, a pumpkin relay, three-legged monster race, Mr. Bones relay race and a mummy wrap race, will be held. After all five activities are completed, participants will get to log their first mile of the 26.2-mile marathon training program. Kids ages 7-12 who complete the training program from November-February will have the opportunity to complete their final mile in front of friends, family and spectators in March.

"We are proud to sponsor and be a part of the Little Rockers Marathon again this year," said Dr. Bonnie Taylor, medical director at Arkansas Children's Hospital. "We hope to have another successful kick-off event, and look forward to cheering on hundreds of kids as they complete the final mile of the race. The kick-off event is a great way to encourage students to start a fitness program now in order to achieve a larger goal on race day."

For more information and to register a child for The Great Lace Up, visit www.littlerockmarathon.com.

About Little Rockers Kids Marathon

The Little Rockers Kids Marathon encourages children ages 7-12 to become more active by following a fun, simple running and/or walking program. The goal for each child is to complete at least 25.2 miles before race day. Then, on race day, children who are registered and have reached their mileage goal will complete their final mile on the official Little Rock Marathon course in front of family, friends and thousands of spectators. A child can participate through an official Little Rockers program at their school, church or civic organization. Or a child can participate at home with an adult's help. Information on the 2011 Little Rockers Marathon and Little Rock Marathon can be found at www.littlerockmarathon.com.

About Little Rock Parks & Recreation
Little Rock Parks and Recreation (LRPR) oversees 53 parks, four community centers, the Adult Leisure Center, War Memorial Fitness Center, four swimming pools, two tennis centers, the River Market, the Riverfest Amphitheatre, three golf courses and the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History. The LRPR system includes more than 5,000 acres of designated parks and open space. In addition, the organization offers a wide-range of youth and adult recreational and sports leagues, after-school and summer playground programs for children ages 6-15, outdoor recreation, therapeutic recreation and programs for seniors. Funds raised will continue to support parks and recreational programs for all ages. For more information, visit www.lrpr.org.

About Arkansas Children's Hospital

Arkansas Children's Hospital is the only pediatric medical center in Arkansas and one of the largest in the United States serving children. The campus spans 29 city blocks and houses 316 beds, a staff of approximately 500 physicians, 80 residents in pediatrics and pediatric specialties and more than 4,200 employees. The private, nonprofit healthcare facility boasts an internationally renowned reputation for medical breakthroughs and intensive treatments, unique surgical procedures and forward-thinking medical research - all dedicated to fulfilling a mission of enhancing, sustaining and restoring children's health and development. ACH has ranked twice on FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For®, most recently at No. 85. For more information, visit www.archildrens.org .  

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