5,000 Students Run for Something Better at 2011 ING Miami Marathon

12/17/2010 - 13:01

Youth running program tied to Let's Move Miami campaign

Running USA wire
MIAMI - Middle School students throughout the Dade County School system have begun training in the 2011 ING Run For Something Better® program, which will conclude Sunday, January 30 with more than 5,000 kids participating in a 1.2 mile-run as part of ING Miami Marathon and Half-Marathon® festivities.

The ING Run For Something Better is aligning with First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! national 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. The local initiative, called Let's Move Miami, runs though February 22.

"We are tying the two programs together because we are trying to get all students and staff - students for 60 minutes a day, adults for 30 minutes a day - to become healthier through physical activity as a lifestyle," said Dr. Jayne Greenberg, Executive Director for Physical Education and Health Literacy for Dade County Schools. "There is a natural synergy between the two programs. The students have to be physically active to train for ING Run For Something Better.

"The program began as a goal-setting program. It not only teaches you about being physically active, but 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 kitchen staffs. We want everybody in Miami-Dade Schools to be healthy."

The ING Run For Something Better began in 2003 with a few hundred Dade County middle school students and has grown every year. That swarm of youngsters, clad in orange ING Run For Something Better shirts and orange shoe laces, will gather at the steps of the Dade County courthouse at 11:00am on January 30 and will run their own 1.2 mile race down Flagler Street after the completion of the big race. They will finish in the Half-Marathon finish chute alongside marathon finishers nearing the conclusion of the big race.

"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, ING's Office of Corporate Responsibility and Multicultural Affairs. "It's encouraging to see so many students on the road to adopting healthier lifestyles as ING continues its mission to combat child obesity."

"With so many physical education and sports programs having been scaled back due to budget cuts and with the First Lady out in front on the child obesity issue, 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."

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 schools participating in the ING Run For Something Better program are: Ada Merritt K-8 Center, Allapattah Middle School, Ammons Middle School, Avocado Elementary School, Bob Graham Education Center, Bowman Foster Ashe Elementary School, Campbell Drive Middle School, Carol City Middle School, Charter School at Waterstone, Citrus Grove Middle School, Cutler Ridge Middle School, Devon Aire K-8 Center, Doral Academy Charter School, Emerson Elementary School, Fienberg Fisher K-8 Center, Henry H. Filer Middle School, Hialeah Gardens Middle School, Highland Oaks Middle School, Howard D. McMillan Middle School, Jorge Mas Canosa Middle School, Kenwood K-8 Center, Key Biscayne K-8 Center, Lake Stevens Middle School, Miami Edison Middle School, Miami Lakes K-8 Center, Palm Springs Middle School, Pinecrest Academy Charter School, Redland Middle School, Richmond Elementary School, Richmond Heights Middle School, Riviera Middle School, Rockway Middle School, Somerset Academy Charter School, South Dade Middle School, Sunset Park Elementary School, Tropical Elementary School, Winston Park K-8 Center and Vineland K-8 Center.
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