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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Representatives from 11 registered Springfield neighborhood organizations will be up bright and early for the Bass Pro Marathon Sunday, Nov. 2. But they won’t be running. They’ll be cheering. As a way to show off its hometown’s spirit, Bass Pro committed $10,000 this year to fund a contest for neighborhood cheering sections, and partnered with the City’s Great Neighborhoods program to issue a “neighborhood challenge” to registered neighborhoods across the City. “We are excited about this opportunity to work with the neighborhoods along the marathon’s route,” says Bass Pro Outdoor Fitness Festival Director Melissa Bondy. “Many of our participants come in from out of town. We want them to leave knowing how much community pride is in Springfield.” One neighborhood organization will win $2,000 for their organization. Six organizations will win $1,000, and four will win $500 for their cheering efforts. Winnings must go toward neighborhood initiatives such as community gardens, additions to a park or other neighborhood improvements, and will be awarded at the annual Community Partnership of the Ozarks Neighborhood Association Volunteer Awards (NOVA) in December. To choose the winners, race participants will be asked to indicate their favorite cheering section based on level of motivation and entertainment provided after the race. Neighborhood organizations are assigned a cheering site along the marathon route, or given the option of cheering at Park Central Square, Park Central East, or Hammons Field and encouraged to choose a theme. “One neighborhood’s theme is ‘The Tortoise and the Hare,’ and they will be dressing in costumes,” says Senior City Planner Randall Whitman, who organized the Neighborhood Challenge. “Another will have a live band playing motivational tunes like ‘Eye of the Tiger,’ and another group will be dressing as nuns and cheering runners on with rulers. You can also expect to see Renaissance cheerleaders, a tribute to Route 66 and great partnerships with neighborhood churches and schools.” While the main events in the Bass Pro Marathon are a marathon, half-marathon and a marathon relay, the City and the Healthy Living Alliance will offer a taste of the races with its Mini Marathon. The Mini Marathon will start at Boonville Avenue and Phelps Street at 7:30 a.m. Sunday and will consist of a 2.6 block run/walk to Park Central Square. A mini first-aid station and mini medals will be available for the first 250 finishers. A celebration at Park Central Square will follow the race. No registration is required. # # # For more information, contact: Cora Scott, Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement, 417-864-1009 (office) | 417-380-3352 (cell), [email protected]