In celebration of the inaugural National Running Day, running organizations and enthusiasts alike are planning local events on Wednesday, June 3, to encourage Americans of all ages and fitness levels to lace up their shoes, go for a run, and invite a friend to join them. Now is the time for everyone, everywhere to take the first step toward incorporating running as a part of a daily routine.
From a 16-hour run / walk challenge in Creswell, OR, that begins at 4:30am, to a 1,000-kid Mighty Milers Fun Run / Walk at Icahn Stadium in New York City, to a post-work Family Night event (complete with Texas BBQ) in San Antonio, the day will celebrate the benefits of running as part of a healthy and active lifestyle. Additionally, nearly 5,000 people have already committed to individually participating via the "Will You Run National Running Day?" on Facebook.
Users can post their events and search for events at www.runningday.org. If there isn't an event scheduled in a specific area, all runners are invited to create their own. No event is too big or too small to be recognized as a National Running Day initiative.
The foremost road racing and track and field organizations from major U.S. cities have also been planning National Running Day activities to promote running as a healthy, easy, and accessible form of exercise. Highlights include:
- Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue will issue Atlanta Track Club executive director Tracey Russell a proclamation declaring June 3 National Running Day in Georgia. Additionally, the ATC will host at least seven group runs of various distances throughout the day in metro Atlanta.
- The Chicago Area Runners Association will host a post-work event along Lake Michigan.
* Houston Mayor Bill White will officially proclaim June 3 Houston Running Day at a City Council meeting on June 2.
- In Indianapolis, Governor Mitch Daniels will present USA Track & Field CEO Doug Logan with a proclamation at an event at the Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis track with IUPUI's day campers and children from all over the city. Local Olympians Bob Kennedy and Joann Grissom will also participate in the event, which is free and open to the public.
- The Little Rock Marathon is hosting a free early-morning National Running Day Fun Run / Walk, followed by continental breakfast.
- Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and Mayor RT Rybak of Minneapolis and Chris Coleman of St. Paul will sign state and city proclamations announcing June 3 as Minnesota Running Day in conjunction with National Running Day. A series of six evening group runs around the city will feature appearances from Team USA Minnesota runners.
- In New York City, Olympians Deena Kastor and Lornah Kiplagat will host the Mighty Milers Fun Run / Walk, an event at Icahn Stadium with approximately 1,000 kids from Manhattan and the Bronx. Additionally, New York Road Runners will host group runs in all five boroughs and runners stations in Central Park in Manhattan and Prospect Park in Brooklyn. Kastor and Kiplagat will lead the Central Park group run on Wednesday evening.
- In Eugene, OR - otherwise known as "Track Town USA" - Oregon Track Club will hold an evening National Running Day community run. Local Olympians will join in the event, which is free and open to the public.
- The Marine Corps Marathon will host a one-mile run on the National Mall, starting and finishing at the Lincoln Memorial. Runners will include local elected officials like Washington D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, area running club presidents and running store representatives, Marines, local journalists and other race directors.
About National Running Day
National Running Day is an initiative whereby many of the major organizations within the United States running industry including Running USA are joining forces in an unprecedented, unified effort to nationally and locally promote running as a healthy, easy, and accessible form of exercise. The inaugural National Running Day will be on Wednesday, June 3. From New York to San Diego, the day will celebrate the benefits of running as part of a healthy and active lifestyle aimed at combating some of today's most pressing health issues. For more information, visit: www.runningday.org