26.3 Mile Finish Line Rock Party

4.12.11 - The Prayers From Maria Children’s Glioma Cancer Foundation Named Presenting Sponsor of Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Health & Fitness Expo

Expo is free and open to public May 13 and 14

CLEVELAND (April 12, 2011) – The Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon has announced The Prayers from Maria Children’s Glioma Cancer Foundation will be the presenting sponsor of the Health & Fitness Expo associated with the 34th annual event on May 15, 2011. The Health & Fitness Expo, which is free and open to the public, will take place Friday, May 13 and Saturday, May 14 at the Great Lakes Expo Center in Euclid, Ohio.

“Every runner must attend the Expo to pick up their bib and packet, and many of them bring a few friends and family members,” said Executive Director of the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, Jack Staph. “This is a wonderful opportunity for Prayers from Maria to get in front of tens of thousands of people and help spread the message for their great cause.”

The Health & Fitness Expo presented by Prayers From Maria Children’s Glioma Cancer Foundation features nearly 115 booths with more than 50 vendors featuring health and fitness products and information. Course talks featuring pace team leaders and other running experts are also a popular feature of the Expo. The event also serves as a final chance at registration for any races not yet sold out. The Expo is open Friday, May 13 from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. and Saturday, May 14 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. at The Great Lakes Expo Center located at 1200 Babbitt Road, Euclid, OH 44132.

The Prayers From Maria Children’s Glioma Cancer Foundation was started by Ed and Megan McNamara, whose 6-year-old daughter, Maria, was diagnosed with a Diffused Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) in April 2006.  They discovered that Maria’s type of tumor – a glioma – was the deadliest kind and, despite gliomas being the second highest cause of cancer deaths in young people, there was little hope for a cure.  

“Funding available for research is next to nothing, and 85 to 95 percent of children who are diagnosed with a malignant glioma die within five years,” said Ed McNamara.   “Over 97 percent of children with the worst of gliomas, diffuse pontine gliomas, die within three years.”

 Maria McNamara died on July 14, 2007 at the age of seven. It became the McNamara's mission to bring hope to the children and families in desperate need of a cure. The Prayers From Maria Foundation is dedicated to funding global research into the causes, prevention, treatments and cure for the deadliest childhood brain tumors, known as gliomas. 

In 2010, the Prayers From Maria Children's Glioma Cancer Foundation became a charity partner with the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon. In addition to being the presenting sponsor of the Health & Fitness Expo in 2011, the organization is also fielding a Cleveland Marathon Charities team of runners and walkers dedicated to helping Prayers From Maria raise money to fund research for a cure for children and adults who are living with gliomas.  

For more information on the Prayers From Maria Foundation, or to register to join the Sunflower Striders marathon team, please go to www.prayersfrommaria.org.  Those interested in making a donation can do so at www.active.com/donate/sunflowerstriders11.

Currently, registration for the 34th annual event is up 40 percent from the same time last year. Race organizers are expecting another year of record registration, with nearly 19,000 runners and walkers expected – up from 15,600 in 2010. The race has caps in place and they are filling up quickly, with the half marathon having the most registrants. Interested participants are encouraged to register early to avoid being shut out.

The Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon offers the following opportunities for people to participate in the event: full marathon, half marathon, 10K, full marathon walking division, half marathon walking division, 10K walking division,  5K (run or walk) and Kids’ Run.  The events take place May 14 and 15, 2011. To register for any of the events, or learn more, visit www.clevelandmarathon.com.

There are also opportunities for non-profit organizations to raise funds through their participation in the race through Cleveland Marathon Charities, for which information can also be found on the marathon’s website.


About the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K

The Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K is in its 34th year of providing a running experience for all individuals who want to participate regardless of their abilities.  More than 280,000 runners have participated, generating more than $15 million annually to benefit the Cleveland community.


Mission Statement:

·       To provide a running experience for all individuals who want to participate regardless of their abilities.

·       To produce an event that highlights the Cleveland community and provides a positive economic impact for the community.

·       To give charities an opportunity to benefit financially from the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K and 5K events.

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