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41,000 Children Compete in World’s Largest Youth Marathon, Raise Awareness of Save the Children Programs

Westport, Conn. – WEBWIRE

Forty one thousand children have participated in Save the Children’s 2013 World Marathon Challenge, a global relay in which teams of children from around the world banded together to complete a full marathon distance of 26.2 miles. The students raced one another to attempt to break the world marathon record of 2 hours, 3 minutes and 23 seconds, while raising funds and awareness for Save the Children’s programs focused on child survival and well-being.

“The amount of children who took on the World Marathon Challenge to help other children is truly inspiring,” said Carolyn Miles, president and CEO of Save the Children. “I want to congratulate each and every one of them. They have proven to be powerful advocates for their peers, and brought a tremendous amount of energy to our efforts to ensure all kids have a chance to survive and thrive.”

In the United States, 124 World Marathon Challenge engagement events were held in 15 States, including Washington, D.C. Participating children laced up their sneakers and raised more than $88,000 to be used by Save the Children to provide child-focused interventions, ranging from offering newborn care advice to diagnosing and treating preventable diseases like diarrhea, pneumonia and malaria.

The worldwide relay races were held throughout October and early November, and saw hundreds of teams running simultaneously on Oct. 23, a global day of action.

“Well done to all the kids in Mozambique who ran in @SavetheChildren’s relay marathon last month. Kids helping kids and staying fit by running. That’s a winning combination,” posted Save the Children artist ambassador Cristiano Ronaldo to Facebook in early November. The soccer superstar was cheering on more than 400 Mozambican runners who joined the global cause.

In addition to running in the race, students across America were advocates for other kids by urging Congress to protect programs that help children in the United States and around the world survive and thrive. At some relay race events, kids signed their name to a World Marathon Challenge-themed postcard and/or t-shirts, which were collected to be delivered to their respective congressional and senatorial leaders. Advocacy postcards and constituent signatures on t-shirts were collected in a number of districts, including those of U.S. Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas), U.S. Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

Save the Children is the leading, independent organization that creates lasting change for children in need in the United States and around the world.


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