ING NYC Marathon Adds Community Charity Program

A record 185 charities will be represented by more than 6,500 runners for November 7 race.

NEW YORK — Former Grand Slam tennis mixed-doubles champion Justin Gimelstob and retired NFL star Amani Toomer will be running to raise money as part of the official and expanding ING New York City Marathon 2010 charity program, it was announced by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg.

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Gimelstob, a two-time mixed-doubles champion with partner Venus Williams at the 1998 French and Australian Open, will run for his charity, the Children’s Fund. Former New York Giant and Super Bowl champion Toomer will be partnering with Timex to raise funds for the New York Road Runners Youth and Community Services programs.

“Running a marathon has always been on my bucket list of things to do, and I have no idea what to expect,” said Gimelstob. “Tennis players don’t usually do a lot of long-distance running, so this will be a considerable physical and emotional challenge, but I am not doing it for my own satisfaction, but for the kids and as a philanthropic effort.”

With the addition of a new community charity program representing 100 charities and an already strong roster of gold, silver and bronze charity partners, the 2010 ING New York City Marathon aims to raise more than the $24 million that was raised in 2009. This would bring the total raised through New York Road Runners charity programs to more than $100 million since the programs’ inception in 1995 (including money raised through the NYC Half-Marathon).

“The ING New York City Marathon is about more than running,” said Wittenberg. “The event will make a tremendous impact not only on the runners and the city, but also on the many lives that will be affected through the money raised as part of the charity program.”

In addition to the Children’s Fund, other charity partners include The Fresh Air Fund, which provides free summer experiences to 10,000 New York City children from low-income communities each summer; and Broadway Impact, a grassroots organization of the theater community and its fans, mobilizing support of marriage equality. The Fresh Air Fund has partnered with the NYC Half-Marathon for the past four years; this marks the first time that Broadway Impact has been affiliated with any race.

Last year, the ING New York City Marathon created three charity levels – gold, silver, and bronze – which represented 85 charities. Benefits for the various levels range from guaranteed entries and promotion from NYRR to transportation and a charity village tent at the start. Gold-level charity partners include Team for KidsFred’s Team and NYRR Champion’s CircleU.S. Fund for UNICEF is listed as at the silver level, and bronze partners include the Harlem United Community AIDS CenterCentral Park Conservancy,American Red Cross and Gilda’s Club.

A list of current 2010 charity partners is available at: www.ingnycmarathon.org/charities_index.htm

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