Runners get set to hit the pavement in P.F. Chang's Marathon

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX  -- More than 23,000 runners will hit the pavement at the 12th annual P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon & 1/2 Marathon the this weekend.

The Grand Canyon State's 26.2 and 13.1 mile block party returns for another year. Runners will be arriving from 50 states and 19 countries. And 80 percent of the participants are women!

Packet pick-up day is Friday, Jan. 16, starting at 11 a.m. at the Phoenix Convention Center. The Health & Fitness Expo also goes on all day.

In addition to KiDS ROCK Arizona, for the first time event weekend will include two days of running as participants who complete the 5k on Saturday and an event on Sunday will earn the special Remix Challenge medal.

The marathon course takes runners through the scenic sights of Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe with live bands, cheerleaders and thousands of spectators motivating runners to the finish line at Tempe Beach Park.

On Friday's Good Morning Arizona, we talked to  U.S. Olympian Alan Culpepper, the Vice-President of Rock 'n' Roll Marathon.  Culpepper began his career at the University of Colorado-Boulder and has since proven to be one of the most consistent and versatile distance runners in American history.

He says the marathon is all about having a good time. "It's all about having fun, maybe having people come out here who have never done something like this before," he says. "We have a little bit of something for everyone."

Race Dates:
-Saturday, January 17 at 8:00 am - 5k
-Sunday, January 18 at 7:50 am - Marathon, ½ marathon, 10k and 2-person relay

Location:
-Marathon start line: Downtown Phoenix at CityScape
-Half marathon: Tempe, University Dr. at College Ave.

Entertainment:
-Local bands playing along the course
-Local cheerleading squads line the route competing in the Spirit on the Course competition
-The Wallflowers and OK Go will headline the post-race concert at the finish line festival

Schedule of Events
Friday, January 16
Health & Fitness Expo - 12 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Phoenix Convention Center, North Halls A-E
100 North 3rd Street

Saturday, January 17
Rock 'n' Roll 5K - 8 a.m.
Start/Finish Line: Tempe Beach Park

KiDS ROCK - 10 a.m.
Hundreds of local children participate in a one-mile fun run and cumulative marathon training program to combat childhood obesity

Health & Fitness Expo - 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Phoenix Convention Center, North Halls A-E
100 North 3rd Street

Sunday, January 18 - RACE DAY
Half Marathon, 2-Person Relay & 10k Start Line: University Dr. at College Avenue
Marathon Start Line: Downtown Phoenix at CityScape
Finish Line: Mill Avenue and Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe Beach Park
   
Marathon & ½ Marathon Start    7:50 a.m.
Half Marathon Winner (approx.)    8:52 a.m.
Men's Marathon Winner (approx.)    9:50 - 10:50 a.m.

Concert   
Ryan Sims Band (1st Set)   9 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.        
Ryan Sims Band (2nd Set)  10 a.m. - 11 a.m.
The Wallflowers 11:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Awards Program
OK Go
1 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.
1:15 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.