WASHINGTON (Oct. 26, 2012)—In an effort to engage children in both fitness and recycling, National Geographic Kids magazine will attempt to break two Guinness World Records® titles this fall. Through the magazine’s Run for the Planet program, in coordination with the prestigious Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) Healthy Kids Fun Run, people all over the world will attempt to set the Guinness World Records achievement for the most people to run 100 meters in 24 hours. Participants will also send in athletic shoes to National Geographic Kids; they will be tied together to break the record for the longest chain of shoes, then recycled into athletic surfaces such as basketball courts and running tracks.
National Geographic Kids is coordinating with the MCM Healthy Kids Fun Run at the Pentagon on Saturday, Oct. 27, for the final run of the 24-hour challenge. The 3,600 youngsters scheduled to take part in the Kids Fun Run will contribute to the record as they complete a one-mile run, and all runners will be observed by Guinness World Records representative Mike Janela. Per Guinness World Records rules, runners also will be confirmed by two independent witnesses: healthy lifestyle coach Kathy Pugh, owner of women’s running boot camp EZ8DC; and DeShay Williams, co-owner of personal training studio Definitions (both of Washington, D.C.).
“The Kids Run promotes physical fitness and encourages children to lead a healthy and active life. The partnership this year with National Geographic Kids to set a Guinness World Record is a great thrill for Kids Run participants and reinforces how fun running can be,” said Rick Nealis, MCM director.
Runners (or walkers) worldwide can complete their 100 meters any time between 12 noon ET, Friday, Oct. 26, and 12 noon ET Saturday, Oct. 27. Although many participants will be contributing athletic shoes during that 24-hour period, shoes can be sent to National Geographic Kids now through Nov. 9. Five thousand participants are needed to set the running record; the current shoe chain record stands at 24,962. Children, families, schools, sports clubs and other groups are encouraged to help set both Guinness World Records titles.
Top athletes and celebrities have shown their commitment to encouraging kids to do something good for their health and the planet by contributing their own old athletic shoes. They include Eli Manning of the 2012 Super Bowl-winning New York Giants; singer Taylor Swift; Boston Bruin Andrew Ference; race car driver Danica Patrick; boy band One Direction; actor Nolan Gould, who plays Luke on “Modern Family”; actor Jake Short, who plays Fletcher on Disney’s “A.N.T. Farm”; and Olympic swimmer Amanda Beard. Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis also sent in his shoes, courtesy of Let’s Move in School, an American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) initiative.
In addition, Macerich-owned shopping malls across the country — including Tysons Corner Center in McLean, Va. — will be hosting Run for the Planet events during the 24-hour time period of Oct. 26-Oct. 27. For locations, see www.macerich.com/ngkids.
Run for the Planet supports first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative, which encourages kids and families to get healthy and active. To pledge to participate and get official rules for both record attempts, go to kids.nationalgeographic.com/run-for-the-planet/.
“Children’s response to set National Geographic Kids’ sixth and seventh Guinness World Records titles is extraordinary,” said Melina Bellows, executive vice president and chief creative officer of National Geographic Books, Kids and Family. “Tens of thousands of people have already pledged online to take part in 100-meter runs, and we’re making room for thousands of shoes.”
With the help of Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe program, the sneakers will be recycled into Nike Grind — a material used in athletic surfaces such as basketball courts and running tracks — after they have been tied into a chain later this year. If this year’s goal of 12,500 pairs is met, it will be enough to recycle into five basketball courts.
“Kids’ eagerness to run and recycle shows their devotion to fitness, health and conservation at a time when they aren’t getting a lot of credit for it. It is inspiring, and I’m so excited to prominently cover both record attempts in the pages of our magazine,” said Rachel Buchholz, executive editor of National Geographic Kids magazine.
A July 2012 National Geographic Kids Pulse Survey revealed that nine out of 10 children are regularly active. The four most popular sports are swimming, walking, bicycling and running.
The five Guinness World Records titles already set by National Geographic Kids are the Longest Line of Footprints (10,932 prints measuring two miles, set in 2004); Largest Collection of Plush Toys (2,304 stuffed animals, set in 2006); Longest Chain of Shoes (10,512 shoes, set in 2008); Most Items of Clothing Collected for Recycling (33,088 items of denim clothing, set in 2009); and Most People Doing Jumping Jacks in 24 Hours (300,265, set in 2011). First lady Michelle Obama participated in the 2011 record-breaking feat, kicking off the attempt with one minute of jumping jacks on the White House lawn as part of her Let’s Move! initiative. The record is featured in the “Guinness World Records 2013 Edition,” on sale now.
About National Geographic Kids
National Geographic Kids inspires young adventurers to explore the world through award-winning magazines, books, apps, games, toys, videos, events and a website, and is the only kids brand with a world-class scientific organization at its core. National Geographic Kids magazine (10 issues per year) and Little Kids magazine (six issues per year) are photo-driven publications available on newsstands or by subscription in print and on tablets. The award-winning website kids.nationalgeographic.com excites kids about the planet through games, videos, contests, photos, quizzes and blogs about cultures, animals and destinations. National Geographic Kids Books is the leading nonfiction publisher with 50 titles each year, including the New York Times bestseller “Kids Almanac.” National Geographic Kids Games engages kids to learn through play with games like the online virtual animal world of Animal Jam and the interactive TV experience of Nat Geo Kinect TV. National Geographic Kids Apps bring the best of National Geographic Kids to smartphones and tablets.
About Guinness World Records®
Guinness World Records® (www.guinnessworldrecords.com) is the global authority on record-breaking achievements. First published in 1955, the annual Guinness World Records™ book has become one of the biggest-selling copyright titles of all time, selling 120 million copies to date in 22 languages and in more than 100 countries. The internationally renowned brand is now also available across a number of platforms — GWR’s global television shows are watched by 250 million viewers annually; digital media and online record-processing services attract more than 50 million visitors a year; and the live events team annually entertains and inspires 1.5 million people around the world. GWR receives more than 1,000 applications each week and has a specialized team of multi-language record managers and adjudicators who travel the globe to verify official record attempts. GWR also has a commercial division (Guinness World Records Corporate http://corporate.guinnessworldrecords.com/) that offers accessible record-breaking business solutions to other organizations and brands.
About the Marine Corps Marathon
Voted the “Best Marathon for Families” and the “Best Marathon in the Mid Atlantic,” the Marine Corps Marathon honors the dedication, sportsmanship and patriotism of its participants. Runners from all walks of life participate in the largest marathon not to offer prize money, earning the name “The People’s Marathon.” The 37th MCM will be held on Oct. 28, 2012, in Arlington, Va. No federal or Marine Corps endorsement is implied. Please visit www.marinemarathon.com.
About Our Supporting Organizations
National Geographic Education is responsible for creating educational programs and resources for schools, out-of-school settings and the home. National Geographic Education’s work targets two goals: geo-literacy, an essential skill for decision-making in 21st-century personal, professional and civic life; and educational outreach that maximizes the impact of the National Geographic Society’s rich media, scientific and exploration programs on the education audience. National Geographic Education disseminates its educational resources via the natgeoed.org website, which brings geography, social studies and science to life for educators, learners and their families — in and out of the K-12 classroom.
The Healthy Kids Fun Run presented by The Washington Post hosts over 3,500 children for a one-mile run and family fitness festival on Saturday, Oct. 27, in Arlington, Va. Held annually the day prior to the Marine Corps Marathon, the Kids Run is sponsored by Sodexo, FAMILY Magazine and Navy Federal Credit Union.
Macerich® (NYSE:MAC) is a fully integrated self-managed and self-administered real estate investment trust, which focuses on the acquisition, leasing, management, development and redevelopment of regional malls throughout the United States. Macerich Malls serve neighboring communities with one-of-a kind events, which are fun and educational, as well as unique shops and restaurants.
Life is good Playmakers is the Life is good Company’s accredited 501(c)(3) public charity, whose mission is to help kids overcome poverty, violence and illness. The Life is good Playmakers use the power of play to build healing, life-changing relationships with the children in their care and reach more than 209,000 children each year. To date, Life is good has raised over $8 million to help kids in need, principally through the annual Life is good Festival, Life is good products and other fundraising efforts.
Let’s Move in School, an initiative of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, is urging physical educators, parents, school administrators and policy makers to get involved in bringing quality physical education and physical activity to schools through a comprehensive school physical activity program. Schools can start by registering at www.LetsMoveInSchool.org.
The Kids Run the Nation Program, a program of the Road Runners Club of America, is a multi-week, turnkey, youth running program designed to meet the physical activity goals outlined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for children in grades kindergarten through sixth. The program can also be modified to serve older grades.
The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people. Through its network of 20,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy lifestyles, recreation initiatives, and conservation of natural and cultural resources.
Girls on the Run is a life-changing, experiential learning program for girls 8-13 years old. It uses a fun, experience-based curriculum that creatively integrates running to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident. Girls on the Run serves over 120,000 girls each year in 47 states and Canada.
We Can! (Ways to Enhance Children’s Activity & Nutrition)® is a science-based national education program developed by the National Institutes of Health, a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is designed to help children ages 8-13 stay at a healthy weight through improving food choices, increasing physical activity and reducing screen time.
For more than 10 years, the Institute for America’s Health (IAH), a 501(c)(3) public charity, has worked diligently to reduce the incidence of obesity and Type II diabetes in our nation’s youth. With the support of dedicated partners, school personnel, concerned families and communities, we have improved the lives of thousands of children helping strike a blow against rising health care costs. IAH’s philosophy is based upon the belief that we must prevent the obesity crisis, and not just treat the symptoms, in order to provide the foundation for a healthier future workforce.
NOTE: For an image of some of the athletic shoes that celebrities have contributed for the Guinness World Records “Longest Chain of Shoes” title attempt, go to http://press.nationalgeographic.com/downloads/temp2/file/run_for_the_planet.
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