Kids Race to Save Children's Lives During World's Largest Youth Marathon

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Fifty Thousand Children in 60 Countries Take Part in Save the Children's Global Race

Ben, 9, heads toward the finish line  Photo Credit:
Ben, 9, heads toward the finish line Photo Credit: Suzanna Klaucke

WESTPORT, Conn. (Oct. 5, 2013) – Today marks the launch of Save the Children's World Marathon Challenge, a global relay in which teams of children from around the world will band together throughout the month of October to complete a full marathon distance of 26.2 miles. The events kicked off this Saturday in the United States when Save the Children supporters in Westport, Conn., where the organization is headquartered, raced one another to raise funds and awareness for programs focused on child survival and well-being.

"Every child in the United States and around the globe deserves the very best chance to live a bright future, but not every child gets this chance, the chance to survive and thrive," said Carolyn Miles, president and CEO of Save the Children. "Achieving this vision is not a sprint, but a marathon – a world marathon."

Fifty-thousand kids in more than 60 countries around the world will take the World Marathon Challenge. In the United States alone, nearly 12,000 kids in schools and clubs in 21 states and the District of Columbia will lace up their sneakers and race to the finish line. Relay races will be held throughout this month worldwide, with the grand finale on Oct. 23, when hundreds of teams will run simultaneously.

The cheering squad. Photo Credit: Suzanna Klaucke
The cheering squad. Photo Credit: Suzanna Klaucke

"The World Marathon Challenge gives kids an opportunity to help other kids in the United States and globally, while also having fun," said Miles. "Whether kids run in the race, raise funds or raise their voice to help more children survive the first five years of life, they can be powerful advocates for other kids."

During the kick-off this Saturday, the Westport community raised more than $30,000 toward a combined U.S. fundraising goal of $100,000. The funds raised at each race will be used by Save the Children to provide child-focused interventions, ranging from offering newborn care advice to diagnosing and treating preventable diseases like diarrhea, pneumonia and malaria.

In addition to running in the race, students across America will be advocates for other kids by urging Congress to protect programs that help children in the United States and around the world survive and thrive. Kids can take action online or, at some relay race events, they can sign their name to a World Marathon Challenge-themed postcard or t-shirt, which Save the Children will present on behalf of their school to members of Congress.

To sponsor a school or club, go to

Save the Children is the leading, independent organization that creates lasting change for children in need in the United States and around the world. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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