LONG BEACH, CA – As part of a major emphasis on improving youth health and fitness as well as helping to counter the major childhood obesity epidemic, the nonprofit Aquarium of the Pacific has joined forces with RUN Racing and the Long Beach International City Bank Marathon & Half Marathon. Together they will host a free one-mile Kids Fun Run at 9 a.m. on Saturday, October 16, 2010.
Up to 2000 kids ages 6 to 12 can run in the free event.Kids are encouraged to dress in blue or as their favorite marine creature. The Grand Marshall for the race will be Lola, the aquarium's resident talking cockatoo. Costumed character sea otters and sharks will cheer for the runners. Those participating will each receive a commemorative sea star medal, a finisher certificate and free entry to the aquarium. Kids will be timed and will run in waves with their own age group.
"The Kids Fun Run is a great way to inspire children to be healthy and to achieve their goals in life," said Cecile Fisher, Aquarium of the Pacific vice president of marketing and communications. "When (kids) visit the aquarium, we hope to inspire them to make ocean conservation one of those goals."
If they are interested, kids will also be able to help marine life by raising funds to feed the aquarium animals. Participants can choose to run in honor of their favorite aquarium marine creature, and all donations will go towards caring for that animal.
"We want to make running fun," said John Parks, the executive vice president of marketing for RUN Racing. "The Aquarium of the Pacific is the epitome of exploration, inspiration , and wonder. By working together, we know we can help motivate kids to be fit, healthy, and achieve, "
As part of this initiative, the aquarium and the marathon have adopted and licensed the nationally acclaimed, award winning JUST RUN? youth fitness program. JUST RUN? is dedicated to establishing sustainable, community-based running and fitness training for all children in the Long Beach area. The yearlong program teaches children that exercise and healthy eating should be incorporated into their lives on an ongoing basis. Just Run Long Beach is available free of charge to local schools, youth groups and mentors. It is also being used in the Summer Kids Marathon Training Program operated by the Long Beach Department of Parks Recreation & Marine.
More than 22,000 are expected to participate in marathon events on Sunday, October 17, 2010. Events include the marathon, half marathon, bike tour and Bubba Gump Run Forrest Run 5K.
2010 event sponsors to date include: Title Sponsor - International City Bank; Corporate Sponsors, Long Beach Memorial Medical Center and Miller Children's Hospital – Official Hospitals; the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company – 5K Sponsor; the Aquarium of the Pacific – Kids Run Sponsor; Runners High – Official Running Specialty Store; Brooks – Official Shoe; Buono's Pizzeria – Official Pizza; Cliff Bar – the Official Energy Bar and Energy Gel; Michelob Ultra - Finish Line Festival sponsor; SA Recycling – Official Recycler; and Long Beach Hyatt Hotel – Official Headquarters Hotel. Media Partners include the Long Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Downtown Long Beach Associates, and California State University Long Beach.
For more information on the Long Beach International City Bank Marathon, please visit www.runlongbeach.com or call 562-427-4606.
About Aquarium of the Pacific: The Aquarium of the Pacific, a nonprofit institution, is dedicated to instilling a sense of wonder, respect, and stewardship for the Pacific Ocean, its inhabitants, and ecosystems. Home to over 11,000 animals, it features programs to engage the public in ocean conservation and environmental education. It is one of the top aquariums in the nation and is ranked in the top two Los Angeles cultural attractions. Address: 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802. Info: aquariumofpacific.org / 562-590-3100.
About JUST RUN?: JUST RUN Long Beach is a free, website-program designed to assist schools and youth organizations in the promotion of fitness and healthy lifestyle choices while combating childhood obesity. This free program, designed by the Big Sur International Marathon, is easy to implement, turn-key, and provides all of the tools necessary for teachers and leaders to set the program in motion. JUST RUN is more than a fitness program. It encourages healthy eating, positive lifestyles, family participation, good citizenship, goal setting, pride in accomplishment, and is educational. For more information locally, visit www.JustRunLongBeach.com. The entire program can be viewed at justrun.org.
About RUN Racing: Led by Olympic Gold Medalist Bob Seagren, RUN Racing specializes exclusively in the development, management and implementation of endurance, health, fitness and special events. RUN Racing events include the OC Marathon held in May; the Pacific Open Water Festivals held in June and August; the Long Beach International City Bank Marathon held in October; the Dana Point Turkey Trot 10K & 5K held on Thanksgiving Day and the LA County Half Marathon held in December. "Follow RUN Racing on Twitter for event information (@RUNRacing) and find The Long Beach International City Bank Marathon on Facebook for interactive event information (Long Beach International City Bank Marathon)"