Move over Saturday Night Live's Hans and Franz. The Quad Cities Marathon also plans to "pump you up."|
This fall's 16th annual event features a new concept for the area, the Pump-N-Run, the perpetually pumped-up race director Joe Moreno announced Thursday during the marathon's annual May kickoff press conference, hosted again by Davenport's 11th St. Precinct.
The Pump-N-Run combines weightlifting with running, offering participants a chance to shave time off the Sunday clock according to the number of repetitions recorded Saturday during the Health & Fitness Expo, curling and bench pressing a percentage of their body weight.
"It's going to be a big hit," Moreno promised, surrounded by sponsors, volunteers and the mayors from three of the local cities the Sept. 22 race runs through annually.
"This is going to entice a lot of gym rats who might not be crazy about running but who are into physical fitness. It caters to them instead of the straight-up runners. This is a separate division for them to excel in and have fun."
The Pump-N-Run is offered in the marathon, half-marathon and 5K distances. Besides bidding for special awards with adjusted times, participants remain eligible for the usual age-group and overall prizes with their actual time, as well as qualifying for events such as the Boston Marathon.
"It's just a $10 extra fee to be involved," Moreno said. "Let's say you do 25 curls and 25 bench presses for a total of 50 reps. You get 10 seconds per rep off your 5K time, 20 seconds (per rep reduction) in the half-marathon, and 30 seconds per rep off in the marathon."
Moreno just participated in a Pump-N-Run last weekend in Cincinnati, finishing second overall, while the new wrinkle's QC chairperson, Christa Buenting, took first among all women.
"When I first visited that race in 2008, I had so much fun. I said then, 'We're going to do this.'" Moreno said. "What made it finally happen is finding the right sponsor.
"I didn't want a local gym, because if XYZ sponsors it, ABC will not support it. But since Body Dynamics is not affiliated with one gym, we can get everybody involved. They work with everyone, and they're the kind of sponsor I always want because they offer more than financial support. They're enthusiastic and committed to making it happen, too."
Body Dynamics has been the local leader for the last two decades in sales, service and the repair of fitness equipment in both residential and commercial settings.
"We're super-excited to be involved," said Matt Fisher, the owner of Body Dynamics. "When Joe approached us after last year's marathon, we jumped on board immediately. Our business is all about athletic performance and making sure athletes in our community get the most out of their bodies. So this is perfect for us."
Besides the Pump-N-Run, Moreno announced the six-race event's cap for registration incentives has been pushed to 6,000 this fall, 1,000 more than last year, when more than 5,400 participated.
New this year among the many perks are a larger marathon-finishers medal and a bandana with the marathon logo.
Also unveiled during the kickoff was this year's race poster and event logo, designed by local artist Ralph Iaccarino for a third straight year. For the first time, though, the fundraising work-of-art was created in tandem with Iaccarino's grandson, making even the race shirts with the design a collector's item.
Moreno also introduced this year's special guest speaker, Dane Rauschenberg, who first visited the event in 2006 while running one marathon a week for an entire year to raise money for charity.
For Rauschenberg's third visit locally, the Oregonian will run from Dane, Wis., to Davenport, a 150-mile trek in three days, stopping for inspirational talks with school children along the way.
"I hope he can run from Wednesday to Friday, so he can also talk to the kids at our local high-school and college cross-country meet that Friday," Moreno said of the combined meet hosted by Augustana College and Rock Island High School. "We've had some Olympians speak there before, but Dane has a great message to share because he's just a regular guy running with a purpose."
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