Held annually in San Francisco, the 2006 Nike Women's Marathon and Half-Marathon and its 15,000 participants raised $16 million for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the world's largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research education and patient services. The Society's mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life for patients and their families.
Since the race was founded in 2004, the Nike Women's Marathon has raised almost $60 million, making it the largest fund-raising race for the Society's Team In Training program. In the four-year history of the event, more than 60,000 women have participated, including 10,000 in 2004, 15,000 in 2005 and 2006, and 20,000 in 2007. In addition, more than 3,400 women registered to participate in the first-ever Nike+ Women's Half Marathon in 2007, a virtual half marathon enabling women anywhere in the world to run together on the same day for the same cause.
"The Nike Women's Marathon and Half Marathon captures and celebrates several major trends in running," Masback said. "The participation of women runners in the sport, and their crucial role in charity fund-raising, combine in powerful fashion for the greater good. It comes as no surprise that Nike, a leader in women's running since the company's founding, is the organizer of this unique race."
Originally inspired by the 20th anniversary of Joan Benoit Samuelson's historic gold medal win in the first all-women's marathon at the 1984 Olympics, the one-of-a-kind marathon champions women's sports and encourages everyone to "Run Together" for a good cause.
"Nike has been committed to supporting women athletes throughout the last 35 years," said Nancy Monsarrat, Nike's Brand Director. "Bringing so many women together in the Nike Women's Marathon to benefit an important cause is just one more way we can help fuel the power of sport in the lives of women. To be recognized by USATF for these efforts is an honor that we share with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and with every participant of the Nike Women's Marathon."
For more information on the Nike Women's Marathon, visit www.nikemarathon.com.