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Posted: April 14, 2009  : Add to Mixx!

Athletics: Four-Time Winner Bill Rodgers Confirms Return To The Boston Marathon As Member Of Athletes For A Cure

Appearance will mark Rodgers' first Boston Marathon start in 10 years; Legendary Runner Teams with Athletes For A Cure to Raise Awareness and Funds for Prostate Cancer Research, Promote Importance of Early Detection

SANTA MONICA, CA, April 14, 2009 -- Bill Rodgers, the former number one-ranked distance runner in the world and perhaps the greatest American marathoner of all-time, confirmed today that he will officially be competing in next Monday's Boston Marathon--the race he won four times between 1975 and 1980--for the first time in 10 years, where he'll make his debut as a member of Athletes For A Cure, a fundraising initiative of the Prostate Cancer Foundation that raises awareness and funds for prostate cancer research.

Rodgers, a prostate cancer survivor, won both the Boston and New York City Marathon four times, setting two American marathon records in the process. He has not run his hometown Boston Marathon since 1999, and this will mark the distance running legend's first marathon since undergoing a radical prostatectomy in January 2008--which makes it all the more significant for him.

"There was no indication before I was diagnosed," said Rodgers, who will run the 113th edition of the Boston Marathon wearing the Athletes For A Cure uniform singlet. "I've always tried to watch my health, and by being so physically active I was completely shocked to learn I had prostate cancer."

"It was also surprising to find out one out of six American men will also be in this same situation--prostate cancer is just that prevalent."

"We're thrilled to have Bill representing us," said Scott Zagarino, Managing Director of Athletes For A Cure. "Bill has been a hero to so many people over the years, and now he'll be a hero to two million American families dealing with prostate cancer and its consequences."

Using the same dialed-in approach that was so successful for him throughout his running career, Rodgers has made it his goal to reach out to the public to share his experiences with prostate cancer. He will run Boston with the goal of using the athletic platform to raise awareness for the two million American families who are currently facing prostate cancer.

After taking a few weeks to recover from his surgery in January 2008, Rodgers began to lightly train to build back his strength. "So far, I'm almost back to where I used to be," says Rodgers. "Training for a marathon takes discipline and goal-setting, and that's the attitude I've taken after surgery."

As a representative of Athletes For A Cure (www.afacblog.org) Rodgers plans to also use his prominent name in the running world to spread the word on the importance of early detection to other male runners and others in attendance at the race.

"National discussion for prostate cancer has growing over the years, but awareness for this disease still pales in comparison to other health issues," says Rodgers. "By teaming up with Athletes For A Cure I'm looking to open the discussion even more so that men will feel comfortable about going to get screened."

About Athletes For A Cure
Athletes For A Cure is a fundraising and awareness program that assists individual athletes in their quest to raise money for better treatments and a cure for prostate cancer. Every dollar raised from the program goes directly to the Prostate Cancer Foundation. The online program provides athletes with multiple tools to create a home in the athletic and fundraising community. Registered participants can upload photos, personal stories and race information on their own page; set donation goals; send emails to their friends and family through the "Friends Asking Friends" network; and watch as their donations climb. For more information, visit www.afacblog.org.

About Bill Rodgers
Bill Rodgers is one of the most accomplished athletes in running history---at any distance. He won both the Boston Marathon and the New York City Marathon four times between 1975 and 1980, setting two American records during that time, and won a total of 23 marathons on four continents over an eight-year period (1975-83). The native of Hartford, CT received a degree in sociology from Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in special education from Boston College. Since 1977, he and his brother Charlie have owned and operated the Bill Rodgers Running Center in Faneuil Hall Market place in Boston, MA (www.billrodgersrunningcenter.com).

About the Prostate Cancer Foundation
Prostate cancer strikes one out of every six American men. The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is the world's largest philanthropic source of support for prostate cancer research to discover better treatments and a cure for recurrent prostate cancer. PCF pursues its mission by reaching out to individuals, corporations and others to harness society's resources--financial and human--to fight this deadly disease. Founded in 1993, the PCF has raised $350 million and provided funding for more than 1,500 research projects at nearly 200 institutions worldwide. The PCF has been a pioneer in the grant making process, simplifying paperwork for grantees, leaving more time for scientific investigators to conduct needed research. The PCF also advocates for greater awareness of prostate cancer and more government resources, resulting in a twenty-fold increase in government funding for prostate cancer. More information about PCF can be found at PCF.org.


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