New York Road Runners today has re-launched a website, www.runningday.org, devoted to National Running Day on June 6.
The fourth-annual National Running Day, held each year on the first Wednesday in June, is a day for runners at all levels to declare—and demonstrate—their passion for running. Running groups from around the country can post information about formal or informal group runs being conducted in their communities to mark the day, and runners are urged to submit “I RUN …” statements.
In recent years, statements have run the gamut from “I RUN … because I can” to “I RUN … to prepare for a zombie invasion.”
“What started as a grassroots initiative just a few years ago has now blossomed into a worldwide day of fun and movement,” said Mary Wittenberg, president and CEO of New York Road Runners. “We had a blast last year. The website calendar boasted more than 150 events in the United States, and Facebook and Twitter exploded with everyone talking about reasons to run.”
This year, the Amateur Sports Organization of France is participating in the day, setting up runs in that country. In the past, Mexico and the Philippines have participated.
Among NYRR events planned for National Running Day are three that run the age gamut: a 12-hour continuous NYRR staff run around the Central Park reservoir, senior walk-jogs in Brooklyn and Harlem, and a Mighty Milers fun run at Icahn Stadium.
The reservoir run will begin at 6:00 a.m., with Wittenberg joined in the morning by Desiree Davila, a member of the women’s 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon team. Anyone is invited to join in throughout the day; the run will end at 6:00 p.m.
The walk-jogs, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., will meet at the Tilden Houses Senior Center in Brownsville, Brooklyn, and at Central Park’s Frawley Circle, Fifth Avenue at Central Park North. All are welcome.
Then at 10:30 a.m., 2,500 Mighty Milers in third through eighth grades representing 59 schools from throughout New York City will descend on Icahn Stadium to participate in half-mile runs and a variety of activity stations. Mighty Milers is a free, nationwide fitness program led by NYRR in hundreds of New York City schools, offering prizes based on miles logged. Davila will join the Mighty Milers for the festivities.
“One of the most rewarding parts of being an elite athlete is having the opportunity to work with youth programs like NYRR Youth & Community Services,” said Davila. “I’m looking forward to spending National Running Day with a group of youngsters who are excited about running. Whether they hope to be the future stars of the sport or simply lifelong fit runners, it will be great to share their passion for running. Additionally, having the opportunity to jog a few laps around the Central Park reservoir with NYRR president and CEO Mary Wittenberg will be a real treat for me, as her contributions to the running community have been nothing short of inspirational. It should all make for a very full and exciting National Running Day.”
Additional NYRR events will be announced soon.
Among the celebrations planned across the country is a “Party in the Park” in Houston, TX, sponsored by the Houston Marathon Committee. The event will feature music, refreshments, T-shirts, giveaways that include guaranteed race entries, and a 6:00 p.m. fun run with the Houston Marathon Committee staff.
“Our races are to our sport what Wimbledon and the Australian, U.S., and French Opens are to tennis, and what the Masters, U.S., and British Opens and PGA Championship are to golf. Each race has the history, the tradition, the honor roll of legendary champions, and a special place in the eyes of all to make them stand apart from the other events.” Mary Wittenberg