Fight Against Childhood Obesity Takes Center Stage at ING KiDS ROCK

Sep 6, 2012 1:30 PM ET
Press Release
  • ING Run For Something Better® promotes kids fitness, fights childhood obesity
  • More than 700 local kids to participate in fun run on Thursday, Sept. 13
  • Olympian Rod Dixon to encourage, motivate children on race day

(3BL Media) Septeber 6, 2012 - For hundreds of Philadelphia children, the first step toward a healthy future takes place at the start line of their very own marathon at ING KiDS ROCK, where they learn physical fitness can be a fun part of their day.

On Thursday, Sept. 13, children in second through eighth grades will take part in ING KiDS ROCK Philly, a one-mile, non-timed, non-competitive “fun run” to combat childhood obesity. The event begins at 10:30 a.m. at Belmont Plateau. ING KiDS ROCK partners with ING Run For Something Better®, ING U.S’s charity that champions running and fitness programs in schools across the country, to encourage even more children and schools to participate in the program and event.

As participants in the ING KiDS ROCK program, young athletes become “marathon finishers” by completing 25.2 miles of a 26.2 mile marathon at their own pace with guidance from parents or teachers, using the Official ING Run For Something Better Training Guide. The training program also includes tips to help kids start and maintain an overall healthy and active lifestyle.

Children can run their miles anywhere and anytime — at home, during recess at school or soccer practice. They keep track of their mileage on the honor system with supervision from a parent, teacher or facilitator. The final mile will be completed on race day and finishers will receive a medal and goodies to commemorate the accomplishment.

“As the official charity of ING KiDS ROCK, ING Run For Something Better encourages kids to hit the road running and adopt healthier lifestyles as a way to combat childhood obesity,” said Rhonda Mims, president of the ING Foundation and head of the ING U.S. Office of Corporate Responsibility. “ING KiDS ROCK is a fun way for kids to achieve a sense of accomplishment for their discipline leading up to the event, and we hope they continue running for years to come.”

Coming out to cheer on the participants will be ESPN’s Bonnie Bernstein, one of the country’s top sports broadcasters and a passionate advocate for children’s health, along with kids fitness advocate Rod Dixon, an Olympic medalist and winner of the 1983 New York City Marathon as well as the Philadelphia Distance Run (now known as Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia).

“A love of physical fitness starts early and truly sets kids up for success in life on many levels,” said Dixon. “Running isn’t about punishment — it should be about having fun, getting outside and learning that being healthy feels great.  At ING KiDS ROCK, we encourage an environment where kids cross the finish line with a smile on their faces and everyone is a winner.”

ING KiDS ROCK aligns with first lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” initiative, and the program is teaming up with The President’s Challenge to reach as many kids as possible across the nation. The President’s Challenge promotes physical activity that is fun and that you can do on your own, with friends or with family members. Participants in ING KiDS ROCK can earn awards for staying active and track progress along with other kids across the country.

For more information, please visit ING KiDS ROCK Philly takes place in conjunction with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon, which takes place Sunday, Sept.  16.


About ING U.S.

ING U.S. constitutes the U.S.-based retirement, investment and insurance operations of Netherlands-based ING Groep N.V. (NYSE: ING). In the U.S., the ING family of companies offers a comprehensive array of financial services to retail and institutional clients, including retirement plans, IRA rollovers and transfers, stable value, institutional investment management, mutual funds, alternative investments, life insurance, employee benefits, fixed and indexed annuities and financial planning. ING U.S. holds top-tier rankings in key U.S. markets and serves approximately 13 million customers across the nation. For more information, visit


About ING Run For Something Better

ING Run For Something Better® helps fund school-based running programs in an effort to combat childhood obesity before it ever begins. Linked to ING U.S.’s commitment to education, the program helps introduce kids to the benefits of sport, a habit of physical fitness, and a healthy lifestyle. Nationally, ING U.S. has committed over $4 million to fund grants and school-based running programs through ING Run For Something Better. Since 2006, more than $1.7 million has also been raised by individual donors through a special charitable fund to encourage others to support the cause by making their own contributions. When someone donates $10 or more to ING Run For Something Better, ING U.S. will recognize their contribution by giving them a special pair of orange shoelaces to wear showing that they are “tied” to supporting kids’ fitness. One hundred percent of the net proceeds go to ING Run For Something Better fitness programs. For more information, visit


About ING KiDS ROCK Philly

ING KiDS ROCK Philly is a cumulative marathon program capped by a non-competitive, non-timed one-mile fun run for kids grades K-8. As participants in the ING KiDS ROCK program, young athletes become marathon finishers by completing 25.2 miles of a marathon at their own pace with guidance from parents or teachers. The event plans to motivate children to live a healthy lifestyle. They can learn early on that running can be fun and goals can be attainable. On Thursday, September 13, all participants will meet to run one mile together. Each participant will run or walk one mile, cross the finish line and receive a finisher’s medal and goodies to commemorate the accomplishment. More information is available at:

Audria Belton Benn
+1 (770) 980-5715
Amana Miyamae
Competitor Group, Inc.
+1 (303) 245-2177