Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Race Expo Moves to Georgia Dome As Result of Last Week’s Tornado Damage

After assessing the status of repairs being made to several venues in downtown Atlanta, race organizers of the 2008 ING Georgia Marathon & Half Marathon announced that the Georgia Dome would be the new host on March 28 and 29 for the ING Georgia Marathon Health and Wellness Expo driven by Saturn. The headquarters hotel for race weekend will remain the Omni Hotel at CNN Center.

“Despite last weekend’s extreme weather events, and the terrible damage caused in the downtown area, we’re pleased that the show will go on. The Health and Wellness Expo driven by Saturn is a vital component to our event. It is more than a location for racers to get numbers and goody bags. We provide two full days of seminars, interactive exhibits and resources for our registered runners, and invite the general public to attend as well. It is free, it is open to the public, and it will be in a great venue, the Georgia Dome,” said Victoria Seahorn, race director for the ING Georgia Marathon & Half Marathon. “Our partners at the Georgia World Congress Center and the Omni Hotel have been terrific in addressing all of our safety needs at their respective venues. To that end, we’ve decided it was best for all parties to move the Expo to the Georgia Dome, which still remains a convenient place for our participants to pick up their race packets. We continue to work diligently to assure that come race weekend, everyone will be able to enjoy a safe and memorable event.”

The ING Georgia Marathon Health & Wellness Expo driven by Saturn was scheduled to be held downtown at the Georgia World Congress Center. This two-day event, March 28-29, is where all 15,000 participants (registrations were at 14,500 today) will be picking up their race numbers and registration packets. The Georgia Dome provides similar space needed for this Expo that was planned for the Georgia World Congress Center. It is also easily accessible from MARTA.

The Health & Fitness Expo driven by Saturn is free and open to the public – Friday March 28 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday March 29 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. It has more than 100 exhibits from retailers, personal trainers, nutritionists, wellness experts, as well as a world-class Seminar Series. The Seminar Series will feature guest speakers such as Grete Waitz, Kathrine Switzer, Dick Beardsley, Helen Klein and many others. Atlanta Falcons’ linebacker Keith Brooking will also be among the featured guests at the Expo on March 29, supporting the ING Run for Something Better program. The Georgia World Congress Center Authority operates the Georgia Dome, as well as the 21-acre Centennial Olympic Park and Georgia World Congress Center. The three state-owned facilities are one of the largest combined sports, entertainment and convention center facilities in the world. More information can be found at the official race Web site, www.inggeorgiamarathon.com.

About the ING Georgia Marathon & Half Marathon
The 2008 ING Georgia Marathon & Half Marathon, to be held on Sunday, March 30, is Georgia’s picturesque, springtime, neighborhood–based distance combo event. Beginning at Centennial Olympic Park, it will travel through 26.2 miles (and 13.1 miles for the half marathon) of Metro Atlanta area’s most interesting and historic areas including the Sweet Auburn District, Inman Park, Midtown, Downtown and the city of Decatur. Along the way it will pass landmarks including the King Center, and Carter Center, before returning to Centennial Olympic Park for the finish. A limit of 15,000 registrations will be accepted for the ING Georgia Marathon & Half Marathon. The event is owned and operated by Georgia Marathon LLC.

The ING Georgia Marathon & Half Marathon includes a full weekend of activities for athletes, families and spectators – Health & Wellness Expo driven by Saturn, Publix Tot Trot, Neighborhood Challenge, and the ING Run for Something Better. A full list of weekend activities, volunteer opportunities and registration information are available at www.inggeorgiamarathon.com,

About ING
ING is a global financial institution of Dutch origin offering banking, insurance and asset management to more than 75 million private, corporate and institutional clients in more than 50 countries. With a diverse workforce of over 120,000 people, ING comprises a broad spectrum of prominent companies that increasingly serve their clients under the ING brand. In the U.S., the ING family of companies offers a comprehensive array of financial services to retail and institutional clients which include life insurance, retirement plans, mutual funds, managed accounts, alternative investments, direct banking, institutional investment management, annuities, employee benefits, financial planning, and reinsurance. ING holds top-tier rankings in key U.S. markets and serves over 14 million customers across the nation. For more information, visit www.ing.com.

About Georgia Marathon LLC
Based in Decatur, Ga., Georgia Marathon LLC was formed in 2005 to bring a springtime, neighborhood-focused, long-distance running event to metro Atlanta. The president of Georgia Marathon LLC, Victoria Seahorn, also serves as the race director for the ING Georgia Marathon & Half Marathon. She is a veteran of 29 marathons and numerous half-marathons. In addition to her personal experience completing races, Seahorn has created training programs to guide more than 10,000 people to achieve their goal of completing a marathon. Georgia Marathon LLC is responsible for all branding, logistics, and sales and marketing for the ING Georgia Marathon & Half Marathon.

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