NC Marathon: A Runner’s High Point

HIGH POINT, NC – An action-packed race week and festive race day will greet runners and walkers at the second annual United Healthcare North Carolina Marathon. Three races – a full marathon, half marathon, and family 5k – come to High Point, N.C., on Saturday, May 2, 2009.

Race registrations are exceeding the 1,100 runners who complete the inaugural 2008 event. Six hundred runners from eight states, Canada, and Mexico have registered so far for the marathon and half-marathon. Another 500-plus have registered for the 5k event.

The NC Marathon and its associated events benefit Foster Friends of North Carolina, a nonprofit working to improve the lives of children experiencing foster care.

Among the event’s distinguishing features:
· LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. The City of High Point, “Home Furnishings Capital of the World,”(TM) makes an exceptional road-race host. The event starts and finishes on the plaza in front of the sweeping Showplace, where tens of thousands of designers and buyers gather twice a year to preview industry trends. The course takes runners past gallery showrooms and the world’s largest chest of drawers before leaving the downtown furniture district. Post-race, we’ll gather under an enormous tent for food, brews, music and awards.

High Point is located minutes from Interstates 40 and 85 in the heart of the state’s Triad region.

· SHOP ON THE RUN. Runners who build another day or two into their trip can shop at the city’s more than 50 discounted furniture stores. Only here on race day? We’re holding a race-day silent auction of post-market home furnishings supplied by local showrooms. Look for the auction underneath the tent at the post-race party. All proceeds benefit Foster Friends of North Carolina.

· MEET A HERO. Joan Benoit Samuelson, a pioneer of distance running, joins us as our featured guest. Samuelson won the first-ever women’s Olympic Marathon in 1984 and has set course records at the Boston and Chicago marathons. Still a competitive runner, Samuelson also supports a number of nonprofits and initiatives dedicated to improving children’s fitness and quality of life.

Samuelson will serve as keynote speaker at a Friday night pasta dinner on May 1 at Grandover Resort and Conference Center. Earlier that day, ten top bidders will run with Samuelson at the Rebecca Smothers Piedmont Environmental Preserve, then enjoy a catered lunch with her.

· GOODIES GALORE. The first 1,000 registrants for the marathon and half will receive a high-performance t-shirt made from “green” recycled polyester. All registrants earn a well-stocked sports bag of free items and promotions. All finishers receive a distinctive medal that celebrates the quirkiness of running an endurance event in the furniture capital of the world.

· IMPROVE A CHILD’S LIFE. Foster Friends of NC, the race’s organizer, works to provide such things as camp tuition, prom dresses, and sports equipment to children living in foster care. The nonprofit also provides a mentoring program, giving children a stable adult advocate in their otherwise tumultuous lives.

For more information on registering for the United Healthcare NC Marathon, attending race-week events, or volunteering for the event, visit or call 336-834-9919.