MIAMI - (January 11, 2012) - The ING Miami Marathon and Half-Marathon® is quickly gaining fame worldwide, particularly in Latin America and the Caribbean, with its International appeal leading to a surge in entries that will likely result in a field cap and sellout of 25,000 runners at this year's event set for Sunday, January 29.
At the 10th edition, nearly 20 percent of those runners will come from outside the United States, with more than 64 countries already represented among the early entrants.
In response to the great International numbers, the ING Miami Marathon and Half-Marathon® has partnered with American Airlines to launch the Race of the Americas Challenge.
The top male and female runner in the marathon for each of the designated regions of the Americas will receive a special prize.
Prior to the start of the race, a select number of the International runners will take part in a procession of flags from the Americas ending with their placement inside a specially designated "Race of the Americas Challenge" corral near the start line. The corral will be decorated with International flags and other visuals.
"We are looking to highlight our Latin American participation," said Race Director David Scott. "As we go into our 10th year, we want to give the event more of an International feel."
American Airlines was targeted as a partner in that effort because of the company's focus on Latin America and the Caribbean.
"There is no better partner to help us achieve this goal than American Airlines, as they have been instrumental in making Miami the Gateway to the Americas," said Frankie Ruiz, race founder and current Chief Running Officer with US Road Sports & Entertainment Group. "We are very excited to have extended our sponsorship partnership with American, which now includes a focused initiative to increase the number of runners from Latin America and the Caribbean."
The designated regions represented are Brazil, Mexico, Central America (includes Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador), Northern Rim South America (includes Venezuela, Colombia, Perú, Ecuador, Guyana), Southern Rim South America (includes Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile), Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Turks & Caicos, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Saint Martin, Saint Maarten, Windward Islands, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Martinique, Guadalupe and Eastern Caribbean (includes Aruba, Antigua, Nevis, St. Kitts, Curacao, Trinidad & Tobago, Granada, Barbados, St. Lucia, Dominica).
Participants must have registered using a valid residential address from the respective country / territory to be eligible for the Race of the Americas Challenge.
For more information on the ING Miami Marathon and Half-Marathon, call (305) 278-8668 or visit: www.INGmiamimarathon.com
this article Courtesy of Running USA wire