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Posted: July 5, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

(RWire) Athletics: JUST RUN Wraps Up Another Successful Year

Free, award-winning, four-year-old program helps kids become more active

MONTEREY, Calif. - Nearly 6,500 young students completed the 2008-09 school year fitter and with a greater appreciation for making healthy lifestyle choices. The students, from 53 schools throughout Monterey County and across four states, were participants in JUST RUN®, a youth fitness program designed by the Big Sur International Marathon. Aimed at combating childhood obesity through fun running and exercise activities, JUST RUN targets children ages 7-12.

"This is an important time to introduce healthy habits such as exercise and nutrition," said JUST RUN program coordinator, Susan Love. "The kids love the program and get so excited about participating on a regular basis. They experience pride in accomplishment in a safe and non-competitive environment. Every child is successful."

The JUST RUN participants collectively ran and logged 158,000 miles. Ten of the classes ran the equivalent distance of Monterey to Boston and were awarded with a "Run Across the USA" framed certificate. In addition, 9,000 "Just Deeds" - acts of good citizenship - were recorded.

The award-winning program, a Gold Medal recipient of the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, has just completed its fourth year. Since its inception, thousands of students have benefited through the activities of JUST RUN, and post-program surveys indicate that students will continue running and exercising throughout the summer, many with their parents.

JUST RUN is a free, website-based program available to any teacher, school or youth group in any locale. For students within Monterey County, JUST RUN offers free, reward-based incentives such as mileage tokens, wristbands, t-shirts and more. Twice a year, the Big Sur Marathon organizes JUST RUN! Just Kids 3K goal races, supported by the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula.

A colorful and multi-faceted website introduces and explains the program via informative videos and text. It also provides a wealth of information for students and leaders on nutrition and exercise, student login screens for mileage tracking, local race information and much more.

Currently in an expansion mode, the program administrators are in discussions with schools and organizations in Santa Cruz County, Los Angeles, New Jersey, and even South Africa.

"JUST RUN is easy to implement and is available to anyone who would like to have a positive impact on our children and youth," added Love. "It simply requires an enthusiastic leader, a group of kids, a computer, and a place to run!"

For more information on JUST RUN, visit www.JUSTrun.org or contact Susan Love at (831) 625-6226 or susanwlove@sbcglobal.net.


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