Aquarium of the Pacific to host One-Mile Kids Fun Run in association with the Long Beach Marathon

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Photo by carla arena

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 on Saturday, October 16, 2010.

Up to 2000 kids ages 6 to 12 can run in the event at no cost and will be encouraged to dress in blue or as their favorite marine creature.  The Grand Marshall for the race will be none other than Lola, the Aquarium’s resident talking cockatoo. Costumed characters like the sea otter and shark will be cheering 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. When they visit the Aquarium, we hope to inspire them to make ocean conservation one of those goals,” said Cecile Fisher, Aquarium of the Pacific VP of marketing & communications. 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 the animals.

“We want to make running fun.  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,” said John Parks, Ex. VP Marketing for RUN Racing.

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 year-long 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 Festivalsponsor; 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.

The Aquarium of the Pacific Kids One-Mile Fun Run will take place on Saturday, October 16, 2010 at 9 a.m. and will be FREE to enter for children ages 6 to 12 years old.

For more information or to sign up for the Kids Fun Run, please visit the Run Long Beach website or call 562-427-4606.

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