IRONKIDS® and UnitedHealthcare are hosting two IRONKIDS youth races in New York this summer to inspire and motivate young people to lead active, positive and healthy lifestyles.
The first New York regional UnitedHealthcare IRONKIDS Fun Run will take place in Syracuse Saturday, June 22, at 8 a.m. at Jamesville Beach Park. The one-mile Fun Run is an age-appropriate race for "triathletes to be" ages 3-15 and will take place during the IRONMAN® 70.3® Syracuse triathlon events that weekend. Participating youth will run along part of the same route and use the same finish line as the IRONMAN 70.3 participants.
UnitedHealthcare mascot Dr. Health E. Hound will be on hand to lead youth and their parents with warm-up exercises and join the kids at the starting line to kick-off the race. UnitedHealthcare employees will cheer youth participants and lead healthy, hands-on activities such as games and exercises, and distribute educational materials. The company will award each runner with medals, healthy snacks and T-shirts.
The UnitedHealthcare IRONKIDS Lake Placid Fun Run Saturday, July 26, will take place around the Mirror Lake Public Beach area at the start of the IRONMAN event at 2 p.m. Participating young athletes and their parents will be able to run along portions of the IRONMAN course.
For more information about the UnitedHealthcare IRONKIDS Fun Run races in New York and to register online, visit www.ironkids.com.
UnitedHealthcare is partnering with several local nonprofits dedicated to working with youth in underserved communities to sponsor more than 50 runners for each IRONKIDS race. The company will provide complimentary entry fees for the race and weekend-long IRONMAN activities, enabling youth who often face barriers to good health, such as the cost of participating in athletic events, to compete in a running event.
"UnitedHealthcare is excited to sponsor these two youth events in Syracuse and Lake Placid this summer," said Pat Celli, president of UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of New York. "The IRONKIDS Fun Run races are creating opportunities where children, young adults and families can have fun together while enhancing their well-being. These races inspire all of us to be active and stay healthy."
"We are thrilled to once again have UnitedHealthcare team up with IRONKIDS to sponsor the 2013 UnitedHealthcare IRONKIDS National Race Series," said Carola Ross, chief sales officer for IRONMAN. "The opportunity that it affords thousands of youth in these communities is a fun way to get up and be active and sets them up for understanding the importance of exercise in living a more health-conscious lifestyle."
This is the second year UnitedHealthcare is supporting IRONKIDS races across the country and is part of the company's commitment to help stem the rising tide of childhood obesity through healthy lifestyles. Obesity among children and adolescents has almost tripled since 1980, with nearly one in every three children being overweight or obese, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to America's Health Rankings®, an annual comprehensive assessment of the nation's health on a state-by-state basis, nearly 25 percent of New York's population is overweight.
The UnitedHealthcare IRONKIDS National Race series began in April and runs through November 2013 with10 events in seven states. Upcoming races include Lake Stevens, Wash., July 20; Las Vegas, Sept. 7; Madison, Wis., Sept. 7; Panama City Beach, Fla., Nov. 1; and Tempe, Ariz., Nov. 16. The series features age-appropriate health activities such as the one-mile walk/run as well as music and health expos. Participants also have the opportunity to watch IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 events along with hundreds of spectators.
After being acquired from the Sara Lee Corporation, which owned the event series since 1985, IRONKIDS® launched in 2009 with nine events in the IRONKIDS® National Triathlon Series. Since the inaugural year, IRONKIDS has seen more than 60,000 participants and has grown to over 40 events worldwide including races in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and North America. The brand represents a multi-dimensional approach to creating positive experiences for athletes, families and communities as, as well as embodies achievement and determination while fostering self-esteem. The IRONKIDS mission is to inspire and motivate through the sport to live an active, positive and healthy lifestyle. For more information visit www.ironkids.com.
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 780,000 physicians and other care professionals and 5,900 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 40 million people in health benefits and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.