FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OLYMPIAN ROD DIXON AND ETHIOPIAN ELITES
VISIT SPRINGFIELD KiDSMARATHON
PARTICIPANTS AT LOCAL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
LOS ANGELES, California, May 22, 2009 – "What I witnessed right before my
eyes was unforgettable. I was captivated by their passion and potential for
What world-class Ethiopian marathoner Mulugeta Wami saw was dozens of
children getting ready to complete a personal triumph in the Springfield
KiDSMARATHON program as part of the Los Angeles Marathon to be held on
Monday, May 25.
Wami and fellow Ethiopian marathoner Martha Markos visited Alexandria
Elementary School in Los Angeles and met with more than 50 children who are
on the threshold of completing the Springfield KiDSMARATHON. In the
eight-week course for children aged 7-12, participants learn to run an
average of three miles per week, maintain a journal and keep track of their
nutrition and involve one or more of their parents.
Having completed 25 miles of running during the program, they will complete
the final 1.2 miles of their personal marathon by running a section of the
LA 5K Run/Walk that will be held on Memorial Day as part of the Los
Angeles Marathon program. The KiDSMARATHON is sponsored by Springfield,
one of the most well-recognized grocery brands in the West, providing
consumers with high-quality, competitively-priced products since 1947,
and the official water sponsor of the Los Angeles Marathon for the third
At Alexandria Elementary, Olympic 1,500-meter bronze medalist Rod Dixon of
New Zealand showed the students how to stretch properly and Wami then
showed some of his warm-up secrets that he will use on Monday when he runs
the 26.2-mile course. All of the athletes signed autographs for the
students in their personal journals.
Dixon was delighted with the visit, one of 13 he has made as part of the
Springfield KiDSMARATHON program leading to Monday's final leg. "The kids
of the future need to be encouraged by the stars of the present," he said,
adding "The ideal thing is that after six weeks the kids got it. It becomes
habit forming and part of their routine. It's not like they're just running
a short race and forgetting about it. It's now part of their lifestyle. The
key is keeping them involved and during this process they are learning life
changing habits. Today was just an example of how the schools are doing."
More than 1,000 youngsters will participate in the Springfield KiDSMARATHON
finale on Monday. "The Los Angeles Unified School District has been very
supportive of this program and have already committed to getting more
schools involved next year. The partnership between the Los Angeles
Marathon, the Springfield KIDSMarathon and the LAUSD is very strong."