Sunday, May 3, 2009

Marathon Big Success for Community and Kids

Most marathons these days help raise funds and awareness for an array of wonderful causes, but the UnitedHealthCare North Carolina Marathon supports one of the best causes in the world—our kids! For the 2nd year, the NC Marathon has helped raise funds for Foster Friends of North Carolina (FFNC)—a non-profit charitable organization that provides a brighter future to children experiencing foster care in Guilford County, North Carolina. Since 2005, FFNC has offered enrichment opportunities, life skills & character building programs, long term mentors and fun events to youth experiencing foster care. Through the efforts of this wonderful organization, children in foster care are able to partake in a variety of opportunities and activities such as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, camp, and Tae Kwon do. There are a variety of ways you can support FFNC from being a mentor, to volunteering, to making contributions, and/or running in next year's NC Marathon.

The 2nd annual running of the UnitedHealthCare North Carolina Marathon was a huge success. Over 1,000 marathoners and half-marathoners from 28 states and four other countries, including California, Mexico, Ontario and Japan ran the beautiful course through High Point, NC. This was the 500+ marathon for one runner from Japan! More than 700 runners enjoyed the 5K. The vast majority of the 5k runners were GO FAR kids. GO FAR (Go Out For A Run) is a 10 week program that trains youngsters to run their very first 5K. The marathon 5K was the culmination of their hard work and training.
David Duggan of High Point, NC won the marathon with a time of 2:45:27, beating last year's time by 7 minutes. David is an assistant track coach at Wake Forest University.

Danielle Hochschild of Raleigh, NC was the first female finisher with a time of 3:14:06. Danielle is a member of the Raleigh Running Outfitters team.

Joan Benoit Samuelson, Olympic gold-medal winner and guest speaker at the pre-marathon pasta dinner was the first to cross the half-marathon finish line with a time of 1:21:04, just two weeks shy of her 52nd birthday.

Kudos to all of the marathon, half-marathon, and 5K runners. A special kudos to the main sponsor of the race, UnitedHealthCare of the Carolinas as well as all of the other sponsors who made such a wonderful event for such a wonderful cause possible. Check out the clip below of Fox8 footage of the marathon.

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