Men's Health, the best-selling men's magazine on newsstands, announced today that chef Rocco DiSpirito will host the title's annual signature event - the Men's Health Urbanathlonä & Festival. DiSpirito will host Urbanathlon events in New York on Saturday, September 27, 2008 and in Chicago on October 18, 2008. VP/Publisher Jack Essig made the announcement. DiSpirito-an award-winning chef, author and accomplished tri-athlete-will launch a new series on A&E network this Fall and publish a companion cookbook, "Rocco Gets Real," in addition to competing in the upcoming season of ABC's "Dancing With The Stars." DiSpirito will lead over 1000 Urbanathletes as they conquer ten miles of iconic New York City landmarks. The race begins at 7am at the Central Park bandshell where DiSpirito will warm up with the athletes and sound the starting gun. Racers proceed down the West Side Highway with urban obstacles at Piers 84 and 54, then make their way into the historic Financial District to tackle 52 stories at 7 World Trade Center. After a taxi hurdle and 8' rope wall in Battery Park, participants cool down with a walk to the free Festival, which is open to the public, at Piers 16 and 17 at the South Street Seaport which will feature live entertainment, great food, sampling, urban challenges and prizes.
DiSpirito will then get the Windy City's 3,000+ Urbanathletes ready to conquer the Chicago's iconic landscape beginning at 8am. From the starting line in Lower Hutchinson Field, racers will encounter urban obstacles at Navy Pier and 31st Street Beach before tackling the bleachers at Solider Field. The finish, complete with taxi cab hurdles and 8' rope wall, will also take place at Lower Hutchinson.
Says Essig, "Rocco is a perfect host for the Urbanathlon; he embodies the Men's Health lifestyle as an accomplished triathlete who balances his love of food with a dedication to health and fitness. We are thrilled to have Rocco be a part of the event."
Men's Health has grown the Urbanathlon & Festival event into an international franchise hosting additional races in the UK and Mexico. The Men's Health Urbanathlonä & Festival will again make a contribution to the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF), a national charity that empowers disabled athletes around the world.
Sponsors for the 2008 Urbanathlon include Dodge (Presenting Sponsor), Colorado Tourism, K-Swiss, Redken for Men, BSN and Crunch Fitness.