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Sat, Oct. 19

2008 Grand Canyon Marathon registration is under way

This is the last week to register for the Grand Canyon Marathon that will be held on Nov. 15. The deadline for the first-ever running of this race is Oct. 15.

This unique event takes participants from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon through 26.2 miles of majestic and natural scenery and into the town of Tusayan just outside the entrance to the park. The marathon starts at an elevation of just under 7,000 feet at the first Trail View Overlook.

The first half of the race follows the newly renovated Hermit Road, which overlooks the Grand Canyon and provides unmatched views. The second half of the race brings runners out of the park along back roads of Kaibab National Forest and into Tusayan, a community just outside the South Entrance of the national park. The National Geographic Visitor Center in Tusayan marks the end of the marathon and the location for the awards ceremony.

The Grand Canyon Marathon has been organized to provide a one-of-a-kind and enjoyable experience to all participants. The course is consistently just under 7,000 feet in elevation. Runners are taken along prime Canyon viewing points that have been closed to the public since the spring of this year. Aid stations are provided consistently throughout the race.

An orientation and a pre-race dinner for runners have been organized. After the race, an awards ceremony will be held at the National Geographic Visitor Center to recognize overall and age/sex placements. All runners receive a shirt, Teva flip flops and pin for their participation. If successful, this event could add Grand Canyon to the list of national parks that host annual marathons, including Rocky Mountain, Death Valley and Crater Lake National Parks.

There is a registration fee of $80. Proceeds from this event benefit the Grand Canyon Community Recreation Center and their programs, including a collegial athletic scholarship program.

The event has been organized by the Grand Canyon Community Recreation Center with the cooperation and sponsorship of many local and national businesses and organizations.

Go to www.grandcanyonmarathon.com for more information on the marathon or to register for the race. Anyone interested can also contact the marathon via e-mail at info@grandcanyonmarathon.com or contact the event coordinator, Michael Nash, at (928) 638-6303. The Grand Canyon Marathon is a Grand Canyon Community Recreation Center event.

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