LAS CRUCES, NM - Dust off your running shoes and rinse out your favorite wine glass for the inaugural Run Then Wine Marathon September 20, 2014 in Las Cruces.
The 26.2 mile race begins at 6:30 a.m., with men and women competing for cash prizes (must be USATF member to collect cash prize) of $500.00 for 1st Prize, $300 for 2nd and $100 for 3rd place.
The marathon is sanctioned by the USA Track and Field Association and is designated as the official 2014 New Mexico Association Marathon Championship Course. Runners will face a flat, speedy course that traverses the farmlands of the Mesilla Valley between the Organ Mountains and the Rio Grande River. The course is rated as the fastest in New Mexico, and certified as a qualifier for the 2015 Boston Marathon, and 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.
Sanctioned athletes attempting to qualify for the trials have to meet the "B" standard time of 2:18:00. Athletes meeting the "A" standard time of 2:15:00 receive monetary support to compete at the Olympic Trials.
Race Director, Sonia Gonzales is ecstatic about the level of competition competing at the inaugural event. "I am excited and happy for the City of Las Cruces. This marathon is gaining national attention from runners across the country. Several Olympic class runners have shown interest in competing here. It's exciting to know that someone running here may eventually represent the United States at the 2016 Olympics. A qualifying time in Las Cruces promotes runners to the Olympic Trials in Los Angeles, giving runners an opportunity to make the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Team!"
The event's focus is health and fitness, and organizers expect to draw runners from all over the Southwest. A Health and Fitness Expo with booths and vendors will be on site to provide the latest in running and sports gear, health food, and other related health/fitness services.
The event will also feature a half marathon and 5K Fun Run beginning at 7:30 a.m., and all participants can enjoy live entertainment and fun-filled activities during the day.
The marathon will also benefit the Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to this organization. Representatives from various military installations in the area (Holloman Air Force Base, White Sands Missile Range and Ft. Bliss and the New Mexico National Guard) will be participating or volunteering at the event.
An evening award/celebration ceremony with pizza, wine and live entertainment is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Lunarossa Winery & Pizzeria. For more information visit lunarossawinery.com or call (575) 526-2484. Tickets for the evening's headliner are available for the general public, and can be purchased online at runthenwine.com.
Information from Las Cruces Convention & Visitors Bureau