SPAMŽ Run Unites Nation

The IFOCE SPAMŽ-eating contest on Saturday, April 3, 2004, will be the culmination of an emotional journey for eating enthusiasts everywhere.

The contest is one of the many highlights at SPAMARAMA., a culinary cultural festival in Austin, TX. The quantity of SPAMŽ consumed in 12 minutes is expected to be enormous.

However, it is the SPAMŽ run, which will kick off in New York City on April 1 and conclude in Austin on April 3, that has captured the hearts of a nation. Runners will cover some 3,000 miles of American terrain holding aloft a can of SPAMŽ on a stick.

Eaters, runners and SPAMŽ-lovers in Akron, OH, in particular, have embraced the event. In fact, more than 50 Akron area residents have volunteered to run the .torch.. One volunteer is a second-place marathon finisher.

.Participating in a meat-based torch run of this caliber is a great moment of pride for all involved,. said IFOCE chair George Shea. .This torch run comes at a time of deep division in our nation -- the bi-partisan outpouring of support for this effort gives one chills..

Shea speculated that an equal number of Republicans and Democrats had volunteered to run the torch.

SPAMARAMA., to be held at Waterloo Park at 403 East 15 Street in Austin, will include SPAMŽ JAM, SPAMŽ COOK-OFF and official SPAMALYMPIC. events such as SPAMŽ Toss, SPAMŽ CRAM and SPAMŽ Call

SPAMŽ is a registered trademark of the Hormel Foods Corp. for luncheon meat. SPAMARAMA. is a trademark of the Hormel Foods Corp. for the annual festival in Austin, TX. Hormel Foods Corp. has no financial or legal association with the SPAMARAMA. Website.