Nearly 1,500 Los Angeles Kids Ready to Run4Fun



Nearly 1,500 Los Angeles Kids Ready to Run4Fun

This Saturday in Elysian Park, LA84 Foundation Presents 28th Annual Event for Middle School Student Athletes

Culmination of nation’s biggest middle-school cross-country running program

There are many great reasons for kids in Los Angeles County to run. They can run to stay fit. Run to be healthy. Run to spend more time outdoors. Run to create structure. The list is a long one. But what is the simplest, but perhaps best, reason? To Run4Fun.

On Saturday, December 10, the LA84 Foundation presents the 2016 Run4Fun Festival in Los Angeles’ scenic Elysian park, adjacent to Dodger Stadium. Nearly 1,500 middle-school student athletes representing 32 area schools will compete in two-kilometer races, beginning at 9am.

“The LA84 Foundation is proud to once again present Run4Fun,” said LA84 Foundation President & CEO Renata Simril. “These races are the culmination of 10 weeks of disciplined effort by these great kids. The festival is also a milestone along what we need to be a lifetime of health and wellness and hard-earned accomplishments by all Southern California youth.”

The Run4Fun Festival is now in its 28th year – and its second year at Elysian Park. This year’s Run4Fun Festival features six races, one for each gender and for grades 6, 7, and 8. Medals will be awarded to the top five finishers in each race and a trophy will be given to the top-finishing school in each race. Taking place near the Los Angeles Police Academy, families and friends at the festival will be cheering on youth from schools across Los Angeles County, from Long Beach to Granada Hills.

The festival is a culmination of LA84’s Run4Fun Program, which introduces middle-school aged youth to distance running. The biggest middle-school cross-country program in the nation, Run4Fun takes place over 10 weeks in October through December, and combines physical education classes and after-school sessions with the primary goal of “TLC” – teaching, learning and competing. LA84 provides participating schools with guidelines for a program structure, online training resources, and transportation to the annual festival, all free of cost.

“Run4Fun is important in that it allows students to set personal goals, then empower themselves to achieve in a supportive, fun environment,” said LA84 Program Officer and Run4Fun chief organizer Nolan Ortiz. “The smiles and the joy of the kids when they’re out running with their friends makes it difficult not to be inspired.”

Sam the Eagle, the official mascot of the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, will also make an appearance at the festival.

Run4Fun is one of the wide variety of programs presented each year by the LA84 Foundation. This year, the Foundation hosted leaders across the sports world at the 2016 LA84 Summit, established a student-athlete ambassador program titled the SAMbassadors, and saw over 2,000 youth take part in its 31st annual Summer Swim Program. LA84, the living legacy of the 1984 Olympic Games, is a nonprofit that serves the youth of all eight counties of Southern California in order to change and build lives through the power of sport.

Supporters and partners for the festival include Councilmember Gil Cedillo, who represents Council District 1 of Los Angeles, and LAUSD Beyond The Bell, a program funded by LA84.

See more about the Run4Fun Festival and Program at http://www.la84.org/run4fun

See photographs from prior Run4Fun Festivals at http://www.la84.org/run4fun-gallery/

About the LA84 Foundation

As a legacy of the 1984 Olympic Games, the LA84 Foundation continues to be a nationally recognized leader in support of youth sport programs and elevating the importance of sports in positive youth development. LA84 seeks to provide an opportunity for every child to participate in sports and experience the wide range of positive outcomes associated with youth sport participation. Since its launch in 1985, LA84 has invested millions in the communities that supported the Games, reaching more than 3 million youth throughout Southern California, from Santa Barbara to San Diego County. The LA84 Foundation continues to promote the spirit of the 1984 Olympic Games by convening and engaging local, national and international audiences about the role of sport in society, and the impact of the Olympic Games on host cities, especially as we look ahead to the 2024 Games.  LA84’s headquarters is located in the historic Britt House near downtown Los Angeles, where it houses meeting facilities and the world’s premier sports library. For more information, please visit www.la84.org.