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Olympic Silver Medal Runner Leo Manzano
Serving as Official Starter for
17th Annual Great Pumpkin Fun Run

 Benefiting Nonprofit Texas Heart Institute

Olympian Leo Manzano and Dr. Denton Cooley hold Leo's silver medal
Olympian Leo Manzano, silver medalist, with Dr. Denton A. Cooley

Houston, Texas (October 10, 2012) – Olympic Silver Medalist (1,500 meter run) and former University of Texas track star Leo Manzano will serve as Official Starter for the 17th Annual Great Pumpkin Fun Run, beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturday, October 27, 2012. 

Join us on October 27th in Houston

The 2012 Great Pumpkin Fun Run - Register today!   

Manzano won the Silver Medal in an exciting come-from-behind finish in London, his second Olympic Games. Manzano, who lives and trains in Austin, was the first American to capture an Olympic medal in the 1,500 meter race since the 1968 Games in Mexico City. He is a Texas Heart Institute Ambassador, helping reach out to young people and the broader community about the importance of heart health (visit his page for more background and tips). 

Manzano, as official starter, will join founder of the Texas Heart Institute, Dr. Denton A. Cooley, who will serve as Grand Marshal for the event. 

The 2012 Great Pumpkin Fun Run, sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, benefits the research and education programs of the nonprofit Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital. The starting line is at Hermann Square at Smith & Walker, in front of Houston City Hall.

The Great Pumpkin event includes:

  • A wheelchair event beginning at 7:55 a.m.
  • The Great Pumpkin Dash (5K run), starting at 8 a.m. (race timing will be done by Bib Chip)
  • The Goblin Gait (noncompetitive 5k walk) starting at 8 a.m
  • The Witches Walk (1k walk and jog for kids) beginning at 9 a.m.
  • A post-race party in Hermann Square, featuring live entertainment by The Guzzlers
  • A children's post-race costume contest sponsored by LINN Energy. 

All participants must be registered. Information and registration are available online at  

Sponsors of the Great Pumpkin Fun Run include Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, LINN Energy, United Airlines, St. Luke's Episcopal  Hospital, Porter Hedges LLP, Bank of Houston, Houston's 103.7 FM radio, Watermill Express, 104 KRBE Radio, Health & Fitness Sports Magazine, Tony's restaurant, Cici's Pizza, Coca Cola, John Daugherty Realtors, Shipley DoNuts, the Morton A. Cohn Family, and Heart Exchange Support Group. 

Note : Olympian Leo Manzano will be available for interviews upon request.  

For media inquiries please contact:
Director of Public Affairs
Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital
Frank Michel  ♦  832-355-9510  ♦ 

For THI and St. Luke's media profiles, see Public Affairs.

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