ING Run for Something Better and FIT MIAMI Foundation Kick-Off Running Program
MIAMI - (August 17, 2005) - As Miami-Dade County Public School students opened the school year last Monday, organizers and the title sponsor of the ING Miami Marathon are set to kick-off a school-based running program for 88,000 middle school students. The ING Run for Something Better is a privately funded program created by ING and the FIT MIAMI Foundation in conjunction with the ING Miami Marathon and Half Marathon and in partnership with Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
The inaugural running program will motivate and challenge each middle school student in Miami-Dade County to complete a full marathon, covering 26.2 miles in 25 weeks. On race day Sunday, January 29, 2006, students who have completed 25 miles through the school program will be invited to run The Final Mile during the ING Miami Marathon, finishing at the official finish line with professional international marathoners and more than 10,000 runners at Bayfront Park.
The ING Run for Something Better program is part of ING's commitment to the ING Miami Marathon and the community of South Florida. The running program allows Miami Dade Public Schools to construct a strong focus on physical activity and healthy lifestyles while supporting the physical education curriculum already established in the schools. The program encourages children to lead active and healthy lifestyles while engaging them in a goal-oriented program.
Running is a fun and fulfilling thing for anyone to do, said Dave Brenner, the Program Coordinator. By motivating our children to enjoy running, we can inspire parents, friends and neighbors to run and positively affect the health and future of our entire community.
A recent study by the National Center for Health Services indicates that 30.4% of children ages 12-19 are overweight or at risk of being overweight. An additional concern for children in South Florida is a higher frequency of overweight adolescents in minority populations, where over 40% of Hispanic and Non-Hispanic black children ages 12-19 are overweight or at risk of becoming overweight.
The ING Run for Something Better program reflects our desire to support and enhance the sport of running in a way that will positively affect people of all ages and walks of life - including children and young people, said Toby Hoden, chief marketing officer for ING US Financial Services. We are thrilled to be teaming with the FIT MIAMI Foundation to provide a program that helps motivate and inspire the 88,000 middle school children in Miami-Dade County to lead physically active and healthy lifestyles. Our hope is that this program will inspire life long fitness goals among the young people in Miami-Dade County.
The ING Run for Something Better culminates on January 29, 2006 where race organizers plan to host the largest single day kids' race in the world, as everyone completes the Final Mile. Each child who completes the program will receive a special race t-shirt, a finisher's medal and other great items to celebrate their accomplishment as the youngest marathoners in South Florida.