LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - Mar 8, 2013) - This year in the Los Angeles area 32,000 children have taken the Marathon Kids 26.2 mile challenge. On Saturday, March 9 at 10:00 AM a Final Mile Medal Celebration will occur at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum where 7,000, of the nearly 27,000 who completed that challenge, will gather to run their final lap and receive their Finisher Medal. Paralympic silver medalist Blake Leeper, Olympic gold medalist and former NFL player Ron Brown, and former NFL defensive back Scott Perry will be special guests of the event. Each of these great athletes will be signing autographs and showing these elementary school children that great things can be achieved through hard work and perseverance.
"Having athletes like Blake Leeper and Ron Brown at our Final Mile Medal Celebration is especially meaningful to the children and families who, before now, never thought that they could start and finish an entire Marathon," said Christine Pollei, the executive director for Marathon Kids. "Marathon Kids is an organization that is able to offer a sense of pride and accomplishment for nearly 300,000 children in 7 cities across the country and that really means something in today's world."
As part of the organization's program, Marathon Kids encourages elementary age children to run or walk an incremental 26.2 mile marathon over the course of the school year. Marathon Kids participants who begin and complete their marathon challenge are rewarded with t-shirts, medals, and other items like water bottles for their healthy behaviors. Additionally, the program encourages children to add new fruits and vegetables to their diet which fuel their ability to complete this huge challenge.
Marathon Kids works with great sponsors like Rite Aid, JCPenney, and The Robert H. Lorsch Foundation in order to provide this fun and innovative program at no cost to the child. "Access to programs like Marathon Kids is essential," said James McGroarty, Marathon Kids dad and assistant project director with Network for a Healthy California. "Increasing physical activity can help reduce the risk of serious health problems, including obesity. Healthy students have a better chance of succeeding in the classroom and see many benefits like higher test scores, fewer behavioral and emotional problems, are more attentive, and visit school nurses less."
About Marathon Kids For 17 years Marathon Kids has existed to improve the health of children by giving them the tools, knowledge, and support to build a healthier lifestyle. We target children most prone to sedentary lifestyles and weight-related illnesses. Marathon Kids will serve nearly 300,000 children this year in 7 cities across the country. Marathon Kids is headquartered in Austin, Texas and you can find out more information by visiting www.marathonkids.org.