They were commemorating the 100th anniversary of the IAAF.
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NEW YORK — One hundred children who are members of the New York Road Runners youth programs participated in a 100m relay in Times Square this afternoon to help celebrate the IAAF’s 100th anniversary. IAAF president Lamine Diack was on hand along with New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg to encourage the children to not only run fast, but to seek a lifetime of physical movement and fitness.
“Having 100 children run 100 meters to mark 100 years is an appropriately symbolic way to celebrate the IAAF Centenary,” Diack said in a prepared statement. “The IAAF was born in 1912 and the strength of our spirit today, as it was 100 years ago, is its appeal to the youth of the world.”
Several top athletes were also in attendance, including Ethiopian track star Tirunesh Dibaba and American Olympic marathoner Desiree Davila.
“Fun, lively activities for youngsters, like the one organized here in Times Square, help keep track and field connected to a new generation,” Diack said as part of a speech he made today.
At the same time of the event in Times Square, the New York Road Runners Youth Services Division held their National Running Day event at Ichan Stadium. Twenty-five hundred children participated in a variety of running events there, an event which Davila also attended.