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XSport Fitness Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon Sets New Course

City’s Largest Half Marathon Eliminates Lake Front Path and now visits 11 diverse Chicago neighborhoods including Greek Town, River North and the Gold Coast; Event benefiting American Cancer Society to feature finish line concert headlined by Bret Michaels on Sunday, August 14, 2011

Chicago, Ill. – July 14, 2011 – Competitor Group, Inc. (CGI) today unveiled a new course for the 2011 XSport Fitness® Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon benefiting the American Cancer Society®. The newly revamped race route eliminates approximately four miles on the lakefront path, with more than 20,000 participants completing the entire 13.1-mile distance on downtown streets for its third running on Sunday, August 14, 2011.

“We are proud to introduce a new course in our first year as the title sponsor for what has become Chicago’s premier end of summer running event,” said Kelly Hundt, Director of Marketing for XSport Fitness. “This is a beautiful course that will provide runners a tour of the city’s historic architecture, stunning downtown skyline and magnificent waterfront. Chicago is a one-of-a-kind destination and XSport is thrilled to be a part of this event in our home market.”

The XSport Fitness Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon starts at Grant Park in downtown Chicago at 6:30 am. The course heads northward out of the park on N. Columbus Drive toward Northwestern University, crossing the Chicago River before turning left and back to the south on State Street. At the 2-mile mark the course heads west on Adams Street passing the 110-story Willis Tower, the tallest building in North America.

The route heads north on Canal Street, along the river, before heading westbound towards the United Center and looping back to Grant Park on Jackson Blvd. The route travels south on Michigan Ave for approximately two miles to Lake Meadows Park at mile 10, where the course turns northbound along the waterfront and Lake Shore Drive back to the finish line at Grant Park.

“This is a world class half marathon course and we believe it will ensure the best possible experience for both the city and our race participants,” said two-time Olympian Alan Culpepper, Operations Director for CGI, who ran 2:09:41 in his marathon debut at Chicago in 2002 and designed the new course. “Like the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, this course is very flat and it’s certainly an ideal course for runners trying to qualify for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.”

As the event’s official benefiting charity, the American Cancer Society DetermiNation half-marathon program is actively supporting its runners and walkers to dedicate their training and participation in the race to the fight against cancer. Members of the DetermiNation team receive special benefits leading up to and the day of the half marathon, including race entry, free team training, elite race-weekend VIP amenities, invitations to exclusive social events and online tools needed to make achieving fundraising goals easy and fun. 

”DetermiNation runners and walkers in the blue singlet’s receive race weekend VIP amenities include private gear check, restrooms, pre and post race food, on-course coaching, a pasta dinner at the Mid-America Club overlooking Grant Park and the satisfaction that critically needed funds were raised to ensure that the American Cancer Society can continue to expand cancer research and support those facing cancer,” said Ann McNamara, Vice President Annual Giving American Cancer Society’s Illinois Division.. For information or to join the DetermiNation team: text Donation to 70000, www.acsdetermination.org or 1-800-227-2345.

A full course description of the XSport Fitness Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon, including turn-by-turn directions and course map, is located at online at Competitor.com. For more information about how to join the growing DetermiNation team, please call 312-279-7243 or visit www.acsDetermiNation.org.