SOURCE: United Way of America

September 11, 2008 09:42 ET

United Way and Elite Runner Team Up for Record-Breaking Run Across America to Support Youth Fitness

Charlie Engle Will Cover 3,109 Miles in 45 Days to Inspire People to LIVE UNITED

ALEXANDRIA, VA--(Marketwire - September 11, 2008) - To increase awareness of childhood obesity and youth fitness, while raising support for United Way's efforts to improve people's health, Charlie Engle will run across America from San Francisco to New York... in 45 days! That's 69.8 miles a day, which would be a new world record.

Running America, which begins on September 13, 2008, in San Francisco and will end on or before October 27 in New York City, comes after Charlie's recent run across the Sahara Desert to help raise awareness and funds for water-related programs in Africa. Charlie will be accompanied by ultra-marathoner Marshall Ulrich of Idaho Springs, CO. During Running America, a film crew from NEHST Studios will follow along to capture their interactions with people who live united by fighting childhood obesity and promoting youth fitness. A number of local United Ways along the route will organize events and volunteers to run with Charlie in their region. People can follow along with Charlie and Marshall virtually by going to www.LiveUnited.org/runningamerica.

"A growing number of United Ways across the country are focusing on the issues of childhood obesity and youth fitness with programs that help young people make positive nutritional and behavioral choices," said Randy Punley, United Way of America's Director of Media and Corporate Partnerships. "Charlie's inspirational feat encourages people to become part of the LIVE UNITED movement and illustrates that everyone can make a difference."

Recently, United Way released Goals for the Common Good: The United Way Challenge to America. The report set three bold goals for where the nation should be by 2018 in the areas of education, income and health. The goal in the area of health is to increase by one-third the percentage of healthy young people and adults. One of the indicators of this broad goal is the percentage of students who are overweight. According to the Centers for Disease Control, obesity among children has nearly doubled in the last decade. Alarmingly, more than 9 million children in the United States are either obese or overweight and studies show today's children are not getting the necessary exercise and activity for effective weight management and good health.

To learn more about United Way and to share how you live united, visit: LiveUnited.org.

About United Way

United Way is a global network, including nearly 1,300 local organizations in the U.S. that advance the common good, creating opportunities for a better life for all by focusing on the three key building blocks of education, income and health. The United Way movement creates long lasting community change by addressing the underlying causes of problems that prevent progress in these areas. Live United™ is a multi-media campaign, created pro bono by McCann Erickson New York and launched with the support of The Advertising Council, that provides resources designed to motivate people to give back to their communities. Opportunities to take action through giving, advocating and volunteering can be found at LIVEUNITED.org.

About Charlie Engle

Elite adventurer Charlie Engle has run through some of the most forbidding terrain on the planet. With a lot of determination and the ability to endure hardships in every way, Charlie has moved from a life of drugs and alcohol to a life of understanding and learning to live with himself. After many years of sobriety, he has become a top athlete, spokesperson and philanthropist. He has also worked with MISSION Labs to create the MISSION Product line, designed to meet the specific needs of athletes and sports enthusiasts across all sports.

About NEHST Studios

NEHST Studios is a diversified film production, financing and distribution company headed up by Chairman and Founder Larry Meistrich producer of "Sling Blade" and "You Can Count on Me" and founder of indie film studio Shooting Gallery and entrepreneur, CEO Ari Friedman. One of NEHST's goals is to remove entertainment industry barriers and open up the pitching and development process to anyone with a great idea. The company, which launched at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, is developing more than twenty feature film, television, and web series projects. For more information on NEHST Studios, please visit us at http://www.nehst.com.

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