June 13, 2013
For immediate release

SRA race offers free entry for kids, benefits St. HOPE Public Schools

The Sacramento Running Association continues its efforts to promote youth fitness and fight childhood obesity with Saturday’s inaugural Freedom Mile.

This first-year event, set for an 8:30 a.m. start in William Land Park, includes awards in six kids’ age groups. Children 18 and under can run for free thanks to Coldwell Banker.

A girls’ 12-and-under race is scheduled for 8:30, followed by boys’ 12 and under at 8:55, boys/girls’ 13-18 at 9:20, Masters’ (40 and older) at 9:45 and an Open race (ages 19-39) at 10:10.

The adult entry fee is $20. Race-day registration is available for adults and children from 7 a.m.-8:15 a.m.

Proceeds from the race, which is part of the Juneteenth Festival, will benefit St. HOPE Public Schools.

“This event, in particular, is very important to the SRA as we as an organization strive to expose the youth in our community to running and to educate them on the benefits of life-long fitness habits,” SRA Executive Director Ellen Moore said.

The Sacramento Running Association has offered its Fall Youth Fitness Program since 1988. It established a 2.62-mile maraFUNrun in 1990 as part of the California International Marathon, offers a Spring Track Youth Fitness Program and a Summer All-Comers Track Meet series.

Kids races are also held as part of SRA events. For more information, visit www.runsra.org.

Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years, according to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 18% in 2010. The percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who were obese increased from 5% to 18% over the same period.

In 2010, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, who founded St. HOPE, is scheduled to participate in the Freedom Mile. The event is part of the annual Juneteenth Festival, a celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation signed in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln declaring all those held as slaves to be freed.

The festival includes a parade, a talent show, two stages of live entertainment, a health/wellness pavilion, an educational theater, a golf tournament and food/ware vendors. The event begins on Friday with a Gospel Under the Stars concert at 7 p.m., runs from 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday and concludes with the golf tournament on Sunday.

St. HOPE Public Schools, a public charter school system with a focus on students from low-income and minority backgrounds, provides children with a high-quality, rigorous college preparatory education.

Strict accountability, rigorous standards, high expectations, increased learning time and the active involvement of parents, students, teachers and staff are emphasized.

The Freedom Mile start/finish is near 13th Avenue and Freeport Boulevard. Spectators and participants are encouraged to park at Sacramento City College.

The Sacramento Running Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding ways to encourage people of all ages and abilities to run. The SRA is committed to developing new, quality running events that appeal to a broad variety of runners.

Other SRA events include the recent Gold Rush 100k, the Folsom Blues Breakout Half Marathon on Oct. 19, the California International Marathon on Dec. 8, the Super Bowl Sunday 10k Run on Feb. 2 and the Credit Union SACTOWN Ten-Mile Run on April 6.

SRA beneficiaries include the American River Parkway, youth fitness programs, local running venues and aspiring young runners.