The Wichita Marathon announced a new sponsor and start/finish line for the 2010 event Monday.
The Prairie Fire Marathon sponsored by Via Christi Health will be on Oct. 10, 2010, starting and ending at Intrust Bank Arena. The day consists of a marathon, a half-marathon, marathon relay, children's marathon, and the mayor's 5K race.
"We don't want people to think it's just a marathon, we want it to be fitness day in Wichita," race director Clark Ensz said. "With so many different races going on, a lot of the city will be encompassed in the event. People will be running in numbers like they've never seen."
While the marathon is a qualifier for bigger marathons, the events focus is on starting Wichitans off to healthier lives.
"We want to get to kids early and get them comfortable with these kinds of events," Ensz said. "If the kids become comfortable, they'll be more active as adults."
The move couldn't come at a better time believes Paul Shimon. Shimon, 62, is also one of only two people to finish every Wichita Marathon.
"This is a tremendous boost for the community and a real shot in the arm," Shimon said. "This is an opportunity for people of all ages to get out and set their own goal. Physical fitness is important and its great to see so many people from all over trying to do something to encourage it."