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,
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)