Hall To Lead Miami Marathon’s Run For Something Better

Ryan Hall just qualified for the U.S. Olympic team in the marathon. Photo: PhotoRun.net

He will be running with 5,000 middle schoolers.

From: Running USA

MIAMI – – Ryan Hall, one of the nation’s top marathoners who recently qualified for the 2012 U.S. Olympic team, will lead more than 5,000 Dade County middle school students in running the final 1.2 mile of the 2012 ING Run For Something Better® program on Sunday, January 29 as part of festivities at the ING Miami Marathon and Half Marathon.

The students have been training for their final run for the past several months as part of the 10-year-old program that is designed to promote health and fitness to kids. The run will begin near the steps of the county courthouse at 11:00am and Hall will lead the pack of youngsters down Flagler Street to the ING Miami Marathon and Half-Marathon finish line, where they will enjoy the experience of finishing a real distance race down the half-marathon chute.

Other celebrities who will join Hall and the kids on the run include Dr. Andy Baldwin, a Naval physician and media personality who is a former star of the ABC hit series The Bachelor; national fitness guru Donna Richardson Joyner, the star of more than 25 award-winning exercise videos; marathoner Dane Rauschenberg and Shannon Ford, the reigning Mrs. United States.

The ING Run For Something Better is again aligning with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Campaign, which hopes to solve the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation so that children born today will reach adulthood at a healthy weight. That initiative involves diet and exercise such as training for the ING Run For Something Better.

“Through Physical Education, students train for the ING Run For Something Better program,” said Dr. Jayne Greenberg, District Director for Physical Education and Health Literacy for Dade County Schools. “The program began as a goal-setting program. It not only teaches you about the importance of being physically active, but also how to set a goal, work hard toward your goal and to achieve your goal.

“If you can set a goal to be physically active every day, you can take that same goal-setting and apply it to everything that you do. We are trying to apply it to teachers, administrators, custodians and cafeteria staffs by incorporating Let’s Move into the ING Run For Something Better program. We want everybody in Miami-Dade Schools to be healthy.”

The Miami program for kids began in 2003 with a few hundred Dade County middle school students and has grown every year. Now the swarm of youngsters, clad in orange ING Run For Something Better shirts and orange shoe laces, racing to the finish line is as much a part of South Florida’s largest distance running event as the Marathon itself.

“We’re pleased that ING Run For Something Better has touched the lives of so many youth in Miami-Dade County schools,” said Rhonda Mims, president of the ING Foundation and senior vice president of Corporate Responsibility. “It’s encouraging to see so many students on the road to adopting healthier lifestyles as ING continues its mission to combat child obesity.”

The kids in the ING Run For Something Better are in the midst of a 15-week training program at their respective schools, running a minimum of 25 miles over that period of time. The 1.2 mile finale is a celebration run of their participation in the program, and the participating kids will receive orange shoe laces, a t-shirt, a medal and a post-race snack upon completion of their final mile. While there are 5,000 kids running the final mile on race day, 11,000 students are participating in the ING Run For Something Better program.

“The ING Run For Something Better® program becomes an important initiative to develop an appreciation for physical activity through running among middle school age students,” said Dave Scott, General Manager of US Road Sports & Entertainment of Florida and Race Director of the ING Miami Marathon. “Each passing year this program has grown and these youngsters will be joining the ranks of a growing health and fitness generation. I honestly believe that kids love to run and proof of that is very visible on Sunday morning when that wave of Orange hits Biscayne Boulevard.”

The schools participating in the ING Run For Something Better® program are: Ada Merritt K-8 Center, Allapattah Middle School, Ammons Middle School, Aspira E. M. de Hostos Charter School, Avocado Elementary School, Belen Jesuit Preparatory School, Campbell Dr. Middle School, Carol City Middle School, Citrus Grove Middle School, Charter School at Waterstone, Coral Reef Elementary School, Cutler Ridge Middle School, Devon Aire K-8 Center, Doctors Charter School, Doral Academy Elementary School, Emerson Elementary School, Ethel/Beckford Richmond Elementary School, Fienberg Fisher K-8 Center, Golden Glades Elementary School, G. W. Carver Middle School, Hammocks Middle School, Henry Filer Middle School, Hialeah Gardens Middle School, Howard D. McMillan School, Jorge Mas Canosa Middle School, Jose Marti MAST Academy, Kenwood K-8 Center, Key Biscayne K-8 Center, Lawton Chiles Middle School, Lake Stevens Middle School, Miami Edison Middle School, Miami Heights Elementary School, Miami Lakes K-8 Center, Nautilus Middle School, Palm Springs Middle School, Pincrest Academy, Richmond Heights Middle School, Rockway Middle School, Somerset Academy Silver Palms, South Dade Middle School, St. Theresa Catholic School, St. Hugh Catholic School, St.Agnes Academy, Sunset Park Elementary School, Tropical Elemenetary School, Vineland K-8 Center, Winston Park K-8 Center and Young Women’s Prepatory Academy.

For more race information, go to: www.INGmiamimarathon.com

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