Saucony Joins Rod Dixon to Fight Obesity

Saucony Joins Rod Dixon to Fight Obesity

At the 1983 New York City Marathon, New Zealand Olympian and Saucony athlete Rod Dixon overcame a two-and-a-half-minute deficit with 10km to go to run down the race leader and win by nine seconds. To this day, his victory in that marathon remains one of the most dramatic finishes the event has ever seen.

Today, Dixon is committed to dramatically running down another formidable opponent−childhood obesity−and he’s doing it with the same passion and determination that made him one of the best runners in the world. Saucony, recognizing that obesity remains one of the biggest threats to the health of our children, today announces a renewed partnership with Rod Dixon: The Saucony Run for Good Foundation and Rod Dixon’s KiDSMARATHON Foundation are joining forces to help ensure that even more children have opportunities to be physically active.

The Saucony Run for Good Foundation is committed to improving the lives of children by helping to prevent and reduce childhood obesity. Since 2006 the foundation has awarded over $1 million in grants to children’s running programs nationwide, getting kids on the fast track to health. The mission of Rod Dixon’s KiDSMARATHON is to create a life-long commitment to good health and fitness in children at risk of obesity-related health problems.

In the spring of 2014, the Saucony Run for Good Foundation awarded a $10,000 grant to Dixon’s foundation, allowing it to extend its message of fitness and good health to 25,000 more children. Building on the success of the 2014 grant, the Saucony Run for Good Foundation recently awarded an additional $25,000 grant to the KiDSMARATHON Foundation to continue to expand the program across the U.S.

“Rod has been an appreciable part of the Saucony family for over thirty years, first representing the brand as a great champion of the sport and now as an active champion of the global children’s health and fitness movement,” said Richie Woodworth, president of Saucony and the Saucony Run for Good Foundation Board of Directors. “We continue to connect over the shared belief that running can empower the human spirit−no matter what age. The Saucony Run for Good Foundation and the KiDSMARATHON Foundation have committed to working together in order to ensure that even more kids can experience the life-changing benefits that come from a lifetime of running and physical activity.”

“I started my KiDSMARATHON Foundation because I had a passion to give back to the kids of tomorrow with something that would be meaningful,” said Dixon. “The longstanding partnership I’ve had with Saucony puts us both on a very positive, purposeful and parallel pathway. Our time together has created value for our shared interest in the child obesity epidemic and together we will make an even bigger difference in the lives of children everywhere.”

KiDSMARATHON has been welcomed with open arms into many schools and youth organizations throughout California, Nevada, and New England. The KiDSMARATHON curriculum is an 8-10 week in-school running and nutrition education program that enables children 7-12 years of age to complete a full marathon (26.2 miles) by running approximately three miles per week. KiDSMARATHON participants who are active 60 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week, for 6 out of 8 weeks can earn a Presidential Active Lifestyle Award from the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition.

“Our motto for the kids is, ‘Finishing is winning, winning is finishing,’” said Dixon. KiDSMARATHON directly empowers kids to believe in themselves. After completing the program, children know that they control their health, and can achieve anything they put their minds to. They learn first-hand the rewards attained through persistence and determination.”

For 17 years, Rod Dixon was one of the best runners in the world. Besides his 1983 New York City Marathon win, he is an Olympic Medalist, two-time World Cross Country Championship Medalist, and the 1500m Champion of the United States, France, Great Britain, and New Zealand.