Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Thousands of Women "Run Together" at Fourth Annual Nike Women's Marathon

This past weekend, the Nike Women’s Marathon [NWM] brought women together in San Francisco to participate in the world’s largest women’s marathon for the fourth straight year. Twenty thousand participants from 50 states and 18 countries descended on the Bay Area to run together for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society [LLS] – raising over $18.6 million. This year’s winner of the full marathon was Lauri Thompson, from Boise, Id. [3:01:26]. The half-marathon winner was Giovanna Mandy, from Truckee, Cal. [1:20:54].

“Nike has been committed to supporting women athletes throughout the last 35 years,” said Nancy Monsarrat, Nike’s Brand Director. “Bringing so many women together in the Nike Women’s Marathon for such a good cause is just one more way we can help fuel the power of sport in the lives of women.”

The weekend was about more than just raising money, however; it was about uniting women everywhere. In addition to the race, Nike [one of GoodBiz113's premier ad partners] offered a variety of activities throughout the weekend championing women’s athletics at the Nike Women’s Marathon Expotique. Understanding that there are two parts to a woman’s life – her lifestyle and her performance [athletic-based] -- the expotique [“Expo” + “Boutique”] was a celebration of everything female.

The expotique offered a range of activities -- e.g., a course preview talk by a Nike Club Run SF coach; race-day nutrition advice by a Luna Bar nutritionist; a sound booth where women shared their story on camera; and on-stage presentations by gold-medal Olympic soccer player Brandi Chastain and double-lung transplant runner Dottie Lessard-O’Connor, among others. Participants also enjoyed manicures and foot massages, and could try and purchase Nike Women’s Marathon and Nike+ products.

“Being a part of Nike’s effort to bring so many women together for a great cause is a wonderful experience,” said former Olympian Joan Benoit Samuelson. “I was truly moved by the excitement and inspiration this year’s Nike Women’s Marathon and Expotique brought to the lives of the participants.”

Originally inspired by the 20th anniversary of Joan Benoit Samuelson’s historic gold medal win in the first all-women’s marathon at the 1984 Olympics, the one-of-a-kind marathon has become one of the biggest philanthropic contributors among races. Through a partnership with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and its Team In Training® program, the marathon raised $18.6 million to benefit blood cancer research and patient services. This brings the four-year total to almost $60 million, making it Team In Training’s largest beneficiary race in its history.

The NWM also contained a number of unique on-course amenities -- including 19 energy points along the half-marathon course and 41 along the full course, designed to encourage and energize the 20,000 participants. DJ stations were placed along the route, playing the 100 most popular Nike+ PowerSongs as determined by NWM participants.

Both full [26.2 miles] and half- [13.1] marathon courses remained the same for 2007 as in previous years, incorporating famous San Francisco landmarks and scenery. The race started in Union Square and ran along the San Francisco Bay, with scenic views of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge, ushering runners down the Great Highway as they crossed the finish line. In addition, runners received a one-of-a-kind signature necklace designed by Tiffany & Co.® for participating.

This year, Nike also added a new twist to this already distinctive event – the opportunity for women to run together on the same day, for the same cause, anywhere in the U.S. by registering for the first-ever Nike+ Women’s Half Marathon, through Over 3,300 runners participated in the virtual marathon from their hometown and were still able to benefit the LLS.

About NIKE, Inc. [NYSE: NKE]
Based near Beaverton, Ore., is the world's leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities. Wholly owned Nike subsidiaries include Converse Inc., which designs, markets and distributes athletic footwear, apparel and accessories; NIKE Bauer Hockey Inc., a leading designer and distributor of hockey equipment; Cole Haan, which designs, markets, and distributes fine dress and casual shoes and accessories; Hurley International LLC, which designs, markets and distributes action sports and youth lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories; and Exeter Brands Group LLC, which designs and markets athletic footwear and apparel for the value retail channel.

About the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society®, headquartered in White Plains, N.Y., with 68 chapters in the United States and Canada, is the world’s largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research, and providing education and patient services. The society’s mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Since its founding in 1949, the society has invested more than $550 million in research, specifically targeting leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Last year alone, LLS made 5.1 million contacts with patients, caregivers and health-care professionals.

For more information about blood cancer, visit or call the society’s Information Resource Center [IRC], a call center staffed by master's level social workers, nurses and health educators who provide information, support and resources to patients and their families and caregivers. IRC information specialists are available at [800] 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.

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