June 3rd kicks off the inaugural National Running Day. Earlier this year, the United States running industry announced a unified effort to create a day to nationally and locally promote running as a healthy, easy, and accessible form of exercise. Few formal events are planned, but the National Running Day literature says, “Anyone can join in … by simply going for a run June 3.” The group established the website, www.RunningDay.org, to promote the event.


According to the website, partners for the event include Atlanta Track Club, Boston Athletic Association, Chevron Houston Marathon, Chicago Area Runners Association, San Diego's The Competitor Group, Global Athletics & Marketing, Little Rock Marathon, Marine Corps Marathon, New York Road Runners, Oregon Track Club, Running USA, Boulder's Tempo Sports, Twin Cities Marathon, Inc. and USA Track & Field.


“Everyone can run. That’s the message of this day,” said New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg. “As an industry, we know first hand how great running is. Millions of Americans have discovered that running is an easy way to feel better, look better, and live better.”


Runners can join in the National Running Day festivities by simply going for a run on June 3, then logging on to the national website and social media resources at runningday.org to download an “I’m a Runner/I Ran Today” Facebook button, interact with other runners, and find complete information. Resources available on the site will include information on local community events with running clubs and retailers, course-mapping tools, training tips, and other running-related information.


“This is a day to celebrate the most universal of all sports,” said USA Track & Field CEO Doug Logan. “By taking National Running Day into the virtual realm of social networking, we’re doing even more to expand that universe. You might be running toward a goal, running with a purpose, or even just running away from your problems. Any reason is a good reason to run, especially on National Running Day.”


In a statement, New Balance said its Facebook fan page will include links to share with friends, banner highlights, and an “events” listing for National Running Day to encourage runners to share the day with their friends. New Balance will also offer NB-branded “I Ran Today!” buttons/flair for participants to download through the brand’s Facebook fan page.


Boston-based New Balance will commemorate National Running Day internally with a 5K fun run along the Charles River for associates led by Team New Balance runners. Associates at each of the brand’s New England facilities will receive running logs, an “I Ran Today” sticker, as well as nutrition and training tips.

“We are proud to celebrate National Running Day to showcase our brand’s long-time love of running,” says Dan Green, New Balance integrated marketing associate, running. “Through our interactive program and associate activities, we are excited to join thousands of runners across America in highlighting the healthy, positive benefits of running.”


The website, nationalrunningday.org, lists approximately 140 running events across the country. Among the retailers participating are Luke's Locker, Fleet Feet Birmingham, Fleet Feet Annapolis and Fleet Feet Louisville.


Highlights of the day include:


• Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue will issue Atlanta Track Club executive director Tracey Russell a proclamation declaring June 3 National Running Day in Georgia. Additionally, the ATC will host at least seven group runs of various distances throughout the day in metro Atlanta.

• The Chicago Area Runners Association will host a post-work event along Lake Michigan.

• Houston Mayor Bill White will officially proclaim June 3 Houston Running Day at a City Council meeting on June 2.

• In Indianapolis, Governor Mitch Daniels will present USA Track & Field CEO Doug Logan with a proclamation at an event at the Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis track with IUPUI’s day campers and children from all over the city. Local Olympians Bob Kennedy and Joann Grissom will also participate in the event, which is free and open to the public.

• The Little Rock Marathon is hosting a free early-morning National Running Day Fun Run/Walk, followed by continental breakfast.

• Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and Mayor RT Rybak of Minneapolis and Chris Coleman of St. Paul will sign state and city proclamations announcing June 3 as Minnesota Running Day in conjunction with National Running Day. A series of six evening group runs around the city will feature appearances from Team USA Minnesota runners.

• In New York City, Olympian Deena Kastor will host the Mighty Milers Fun Run/Walk, an event at Icahn Stadium with approximately 1,000 kids from Manhattan and the Bronx. Additionally, New York Road Runners will host group runs in all five boroughs and runners stations in Central Park in Manhattan and Prospect Park in Brooklyn. Kastor will lead the Central Park group run on Wednesday evening.

• In Eugene, OR-otherwise known as “Track Town USA“- Oregon Track Club will hold an evening National Running Day community run. Local Olympians will join in the event, which is free and open to the public.

• The Marine Corps Marathon will host a one-mile run on the National Mall, starting and finishing at the Lincoln Memorial. Runners will include local elected officials like Washington D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, area running club presidents and running store representatives, Marines, local journalists, and other race directors.

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