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Running raises in USA more than $560 million for charity in 2003


INDIANAPOLIS – Marking a trend of continued growth, road runners and walkers raised more than $560 million for charity in 2003, USA Track & Field (USATF) announced Saturday.

The Marine Corps Marathon has been named the 2003 USATF Charitable Race of the Year, while the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Race for the Cure® was honored as 2003 Charitable Organization of the Year. The awards are an outgrowth of USATF’s ongoing study into charitable running in the United States, begun in 2002.

Conducted internally by USATF – the national governing body of track and field, long-distance running and race walking – the study revealed that approximately $563 million was raised for charitable causes by runners in 2003. USATF gathered data from 20 national charitable race series/organizations and 45 of the top 100 road running/walking races, as determined by participation. The study also included a random sample of the more than 4,000 USATF-sanctioned races of all sizes.

“For years, charity running has been a major economic force in this country,” said USATF CEO Craig A. Masback. “Over the last two years alone, more than $1 billion has been raised by runners who are training and competing for a cause. Even more encouraging is charity running continues to grow, as Americans continue to promote fitness, wellness and giving to have a positive effect on American society.”

Dubbed “The People’s Marathon,” the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C., annually features 18,000 registered runners from ages 14 to 83, including 12,500 first-time marathoners from all 50 states and many foreign countries. The race’s charity program began in 1998, when 35 groups used the marathon as a means to generate pledged donations for the cause of their choice.

Since 1998, the MCM’s Charity Partners Program has raised more than $32 million – including $8 million in 2003. Team in Training and the National AIDS Marathon Training Program are the race’s two largest Charity Partners, and other partners include diverse causes such as Children’s Research Hospital, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Lombardi Cancer Center, Doctors for United Medical Missions, and International Association of Firefighters Burn Foundation.

“Our Charity Partner Program encompasses the Marine Corps Marathon’s fundamental goal of doing something good for our community,” said Race Director Rick Nealis. “Whether one is running to promote physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle, or generating awareness to combat and find a cure for diseases, the overall benefit for every one of us is that we are marking a difference.”

The first event of its kind, the Komen Race for the Cure® was created in 1983 by Nancy Brinker, who established the Komen Foundation to honor the memory of her sister, Susan G. Komen, who died from breast cancer at the age of 36. In more than 20 years, the Komen Race for the Cure® has grown from one local Race with 800 participants in Dallas, Texas, to a series of more than 100 Races with 1.5 million people expected to participate in 2004.

Through Komen Race for the Cure® events, the Komen Foundation has raised millions of dollars to support outreach programs to help women and their families facing breast cancer today and to invest in research that will one day find a cure for the disease. Funds raised during the Komen Race for the Cure® Series support the Foundation’s mission to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease. Up to 75 percent of the net income from each Race stays in the community to fund local breast health education and breast cancer screening and treatment projects. A minimum of 25 percent of the net income from each Race supports the Komen Foundation Award and Research Grant Program, which funds groundbreaking breast cancer research, meritorious awards and educational and scientific programs around the world.

“The Komen Race for the Cure® Series is about the strength of the individual to make a difference by uniting with breast cancer survivors and other advocates across the country,” said Cindy Schneible, the Komen Foundation’s vice president of cause-related marketing and sponsorship. “With one-mile family walks, 5K walks, 5K runs, and post-Race celebrations, the Komen Race for the Cure® enables people of all ages and fitness levels to get involved in the fight against breast cancer.”

For more information on the Marine Corps Marathon’s charity program, visit http://www.marinemarathon.com/thecharities.php

For more information on the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Race for the Cure®, visit www.komen.org

USATF Charitable Race of the Year: 2003, Marine Corps Marathon; 2002, Boston Marathon

USATF Charitable Organization of the Year: 2003, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Race for the Cure®; 2002, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Team in Training

Courtesy of the USA Track & Filed (USATF)

from: USA Track & Field (USATF)

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