National Marathon Expecting Record-Number of Runners … Again

About 8,000 registrations possible

It is Year 4 for the SunTrust National Marathon and Half Marathon, and once again the race will see a record number of participants.

Organizers said the 2009 edition, which will be held March 21, should reach its self-imposed limit of 8,000 runners by race day, a big increase from the 5,000 registrations received in 2008.

"Registration looks amazing," said marathon representative Marc Davis. "We will be very close or could surpass our expectation of 8,000 runners."

Why the increase? Race officials made a big push and extended their marketing tour last fall. They canvassed races up and down the East Coast, from Richmond, Va., to New York. That helped spread the word about the scenic race that takes runners past monuments and historical locations. It also helped recruit more international runners than in the past.

"We're hoping to expand even more next year," Davis said, hinting that officials will extend the marketing blitz all the way down to Miami.

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