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WHO: The SIMS Foundation
WHAT: "Race for Rhythm: Hit the Street for the Beat" AT&T Marathon Benefiting SIMS
WHEN: Sunday, February 17, 2008, 7 am
WHERE: Start and Finish Lines on Congress Avenue, Downtown Austin
www.simsfoundation.org and http://www.attaustinmarathon.com
MEDIA: Contact david@wyattbrand and 450.4395 for more information, images, and interviews

Race for Rhythm: and Hit the Street for the Beat!
Runners and Musicians Race to Support Mental Health and Addiction Recovery Services, Benefiting SIMS Foundation at AT&T Austin Marathon

AUSTIN, TEXAS - The SIMS Foundation, an organization connecting Austin's musicians with mental health and addiction recovery services since 1995, will be a beneficiary of the 2008 AT&T Austin Marathon as musicians and runners racing for The SIMS Foundation, sponsors, and foundation staff and volunteers embark on their own marathon quest, "Race for Rhythm: Hit the Street for the Beat," to support mental health services for Austin musicians and their families. As part of a new fundraising initiative this year, the AT&T Austin Marathon will give runners and a group of non-profits the opportunity to raise money for Austin-area charities through the race. The SIMS Foundation is one of the selected non-profit organizations to participate in this year's marathon. SIMS will also host a station for runners at the finish line. Marathoners and spectators will be treated to live music by Austin rock band Fastball near the finish line in addition to musical performances along nearly every mile of the marathon course.

SIMS will have 11 runners including two Austin musicians - Mike Rosenthal, guitarist and vocalist, and Ames Asbell of the Tosca String Quartet - on their "Race for Rhythm" team at this year's marathon. All eleven runners, including Tannifer Ayers with S.W.E.A.T, an EMS provider for concerts, and a team from Pure Austin Fitness will race to raise funds for the SIMS Foundation.

It's not too late to sponsor a runner in the SIMS "Race for Rhythm: Hit the Street for the Beat" marathon! To be a sponsor or donate directly to SIMS, visit http://www.active.com/donate/SIMSfoundation and click on the drop-down menu under "View Fundraising Pages" to find your runner.

In conjunction with the race event, Ray Benson has donated a specialty guitar that SIMS will auction online beginning February 8, 2008. This Trinity River vintage start guitar is autographed by members of Fastball and by Ray Benson. The Trinity River flames strat style guitar has a remarkable and distinct tone that is produced by a solid alder body and vintage specs. This guitar features a vintage solid maple neck, solid alder body and three single coil pickups for true vintage sound. SIMS will also auction four one-year memberships to Pure Austin Fitness and Skydive San Marcos passes! New auction items will be added until the day the auction opens. The online auction goes live February 8 and closes February 17. To place a bid or donate items for auction, visit http://www.simsfoundation.org/auctions/index.html Proceeds for all auction items will go to The SIMS Foundation.

New in 2008 to the annual AT&T Austin Marathon is "26 Miles for 26 Charities," an initiative that partners the 26.2-mile race with selected nonprofits to help elevate awareness and raise money while filling critical volunteer roles throughout the marathon and half marathon courses. In previous years, almost $1 million has been raised through charitable organizations. The goal will be for Central Texas non-profits to collectively raise $2.6 million during the first year of this initiative. The creation of "26 Miles for 26 Charities" is the brainchild of RunTex CEO, Paul Carrozza. "We wanted to provide an opportunity for local non-profits to be involved in this wonderful community event by owning one of the miles of the marathon. With this, they can raise awareness, some dollars for their cause, all while having fun being a part of the AT&T Austin Marathon experience. This will truly showcase what makes Austin special, great runners, great non-profits, and great sponsors, not to mention the food, technology and music." Participating non-profits will host stations throughout the marathon courses. The 2008 AT&T Austin Marathon and Half Marathon are USATF-certified race routes that start and finish in downtown Austin on Congress Avenue.

To view the full marathon course map, visit http://bimrace.com/ba/race/race_map.php?race=15 
To view the half marathon course map, visit http://bimrace.com/ba/race/race_map.php?race=16