FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Leigh Greenfelder
NEW CLEVELAND MARATHON CHARITIES ORGANIZATION HELPS
MORE KIDS RUN WITH DONATION OF ENTRY FEES
Number of young runners up 150% this year in program sponsored
by YMCA of Greater Cleveland and Cleveland Department
of Public Health
CLEVELAND (May 15, 2007) – As more young runners from the Cleveland
Municipal School District are jumping feet first into the Rite Aid
Cleveland Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K on May 20 for the second year,
they are getting a burst of extra wind behind them in the way of a
financial gift from the newly formed Cleveland Marathon Charities.
Cleveland Marathon Charities is a 501(c)3 charitable organization whose
mission is to raise and distribute funds to other Northeast Ohio non-profit
Cleveland Marathon Charities will cover entry fees and the cost of medals
for all 200 participants in the second annual 1.2 mile kids run and the 28
youth runners from last year who have decided to train to run the 10K (6.1
mile) race. The number of youth runners in this program is up from last
year's 80 runners.
The young runners are participating in the marathon under Motivating
Movement through Marathoning, a pilot program sponsored by Steps to a
HealthierCleveland, a program of the Cleveland Department of Public Health,
in partnership with the YMCA of Greater Cleveland. Over twelve weeks of
preparation time, the students will have run a total of 25 miles with the
last mile of their program run during the last mile of the Rite Aid
Cleveland Marathon on Sunday. The pilot program was aimed at physical
education teachers across the district with long-range goals of getting
children up, moving, motivated and focused.
"We're more than happy to be able to make this contribution that will allow
any youth runner who wants to participate in this and future marathons to
do so," Jack Staph, executive director of the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon.
"The Cleveland Marathon Charities was formed with exactly this kind of
effort in mind. As more school children choose to participate in the Rite
Aid Cleveland Marathon, the hope is more money will be available to see to
it that they can accomplish their goals of staying fit, having fun and
participating in one of the best marathons in the country."
Cleveland Marathon Charities organizes and financially rewards school,
church and other non-profit groups that show their support of health and
fitness through running by their active involvement as participants,
volunteers or cheerleaders in the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon.
With the extra funding, school teacher and marathon veteran Connie Roop's
6th and 8th grade students will join her on the course for the first time
The 14 members of Audubon Eagles may not run along side Roop, but they'll
be with her in spirit. The students are members of Audubon's track team,
and have been training to run the 1.2 mile race while Roop runs the half
Roop she was inspired to form a team from her school when she crossed the
finish line in her second half marathon last year, and heard the
announcement about other Cleveland students who finished the race.
"I was put in touch with Zerrine Bailey of the Steps to a
HealthierCleveland program and I went to a meeting to get information,"
Roop said. "One day before track practice started, I told the track
students about the marathon program and they were very interested."
"The Steps to a HealthierCleveland program has provided some great
incentives like pedometers, book bags, wrist bands and running shoes to
encourage the students."
The students also received extra encouragement and training from the
school's track coaches, Earlie Jackson and Allen Settles, 6th grade teacher
Marsha Hubbard, and the Steps to a HealthierCleveland physical fitness
coach Rich Zatta.
"I can't wait to see my students in their green and yellow track uniforms
the day of the race," Roop said. "I think the students are really excited
to participate and be out there to represent our school."
The young 10K runners, who were participants in last year's 1.2 mile race
and chose to run the longer 10K this year, will be invited for an overnight
stay at the Cleveland YMCA and lunch with parents on race weekend.
Organizations and businesses interested in making a financial contribution
to the Cleveland Marathon Charities may contact Mary Grace McGuirk at
216-589-9053 or firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
The 30th annual Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon will hit the streets of
Cleveland on Sunday, May 20 at 7:00 a.m., and weave runners through
historic and scenic parts of the city. There will be a 26.3 Mile Rock
Party at the finish line featuring food and live music. Those who are
interested in participating in the marathon, half-marathon, 10K, wheelchair
challenge, walking divisions or kid's race, can register online at
www.clevelandmarathon.com or call 1-800-467-3826 for more information.