Cash prizes would enable the races to advance their youth running initiatives.
The Philadelphia and Cowtown marathons are finalists in the Aetna Voices of Health contest, a nationwide competition that awards cash prizes to organizations working to improve community health.
The two marathons are up against 31 other agencies, including the AIDS Alliance in Seattle, the Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey and Hosea Feed the Hungry in Georgia.
Winners will be selected by popular vote. The top prize is $30,000; the runner-up gets $20,000. Online voting is active through October 13. The winners will be announced October 20.
Both marathons’ efforts to encourage youth fitness earned them a spot in the annual contest. The Philadelphia Marathon partners with Run Philly Style, a youth running program aimed at helping kids 6 to 14 adopt healthy habits. The race’s annual kids fun run (pictured) attracts 300 children, and it draws kids to the expo with dance classes, yoga sessions and other fitness-focused activities. In a one-minute video, Philadelphia says it would use the prize money to create an online resource center geared toward making running, fitness and healthy eating fun for children and adolescents.
The Cowtown Marathon in Fort Worth, Texas, operates a youth running program in which kids of all ages train to participate in fall and winter races. Scholarships are awarded to help low-income families pay for shoes and entrance fees. Last year, the race awarded grants to 2,100 children.
Aetna launched Voices of Health in 2011 as an ongoing commemoration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Its goal is to aid communities working toward racial equality in health care and public health initiatives.
source: Runner’s World