The Little Rock Marathon, started in 2003, is an annual marathon held in Little Rock, Arkansas. The event is intended to encourage better health and fitness and to raise funds for Little Rock Parks & Recreation. The goal of the event is to hold a community supported and nationally recognized marathon that promotes tourism in Arkansas and showcases the superior organizational efforts of its staff, sponsors and volunteers, while attracting athletes of all ages and abilities. Participants come from all 50 states and 10 different countries (Canada, Mexico, Argentina, United Kingdom, Kenya, Brazil, Switzerland, Ethiopia, Germany, Morocco). The Little Rock Marathon is a USATF sanctioned event on a certified 26.2-mile (42.2 km) single loop course. The course is scenic and includes many of Little Rock's landmarks, it is the first race in the state to be transponder chip timed, and also a qualifying event for the Boston Marathon.