CVS Withdraws As Cleveland Marathon Sponsor

CLEVELAND (AP) - The 4,000-store CVS pharmacy chain withdrew Wednesday as lead sponsor of the annual Cleveland Marathon.

CVS, based in Woonsocket, R.I., said it would refocus its corporate giving in the Cleveland area to programs dealing with health care and job training. CVS had sponsored the marathon for five years.

"We enjoyed being the sponsor of the Cleveland Marathon. However, we now want to move in a different direction," said Jack Kramer, CVS senior vice president.

The marathon president, Jack Staph, said he was involved in negotiations for a new lead sponsor and expected an announcement before September. The CVS decision won't affect the race's future, he said.

The 25th Cleveland Marathon on April 28 attracted more than 3,000 runners.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)