JUST RUN, the youth fitness program developed by the Big Sur International Marathon, has recently been endorsed by two national fitness organizations: the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition.

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, founded by the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation, focuses on establishing healthy life skills in schools and youth organizations throughout the U.S. JUST RUN has been accepted as one of the programs that schools can use to achieve their fitness goals and will be included in their online toolkit and resource database to assist in implementing healthy policy and program changes at school.

In addition, JUST RUN has established a partnership with the President’s Challenge, the premier program of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition administered through a co-sponsorship agreement with the Amateur Athletic Union. The President’s Challenge helps people of all ages and abilities increase their physical activity and improve their fitness through research-based information, easy-to-use tools, and friendly motivation. Schools and organizations can use JUST RUN as a means for meeting the criteria of the President's Challenge Presidential Active Lifestyle Award.

It's an honor to be recognized by these national organizations, said JUST RUN founder Mike Dove. We received a Gold Medal from the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports in our third year, and these new affiliations continue to bring greater recognition to JUST RUN.

Ours is a program that can be easily adopted by any school or youth organization in any locale, adds JUST RUN program administrator Susan Love. We are confident that the exposure afforded by these two national programs will encourage more schools throughout the country to participate as they learn how easy it is to administer and to implement.

The five-year-old program has reached more than 30,000 students. In the current school year, 4,700 students in 69 schools throughout eight states are already participating.

JUST RUN is a free, website-based program designed to assist schools and other youth organizations in the promotion of fitness and healthy lifestyle choices while combating childhood obesity and its related illnesses. Highlights include the promotion of good citizenship and healthier lifestyles, as well as fun running games and tracking mileage while running across the USA on virtual maps. The program was developed by the Big Sur International Marathon organization in 2004.

For more information, visit www.justrun.org or contact Susan Love at 831-625-6226, susanwlove@sbcglobal.net.