Focus on Childhood Obesity Takes Center Stage at ING KiDS ROCK LA

Oct 24, 2012 2:30 PM ET
Press Release
  • 1,500 local kids participate in youth fitness program
  • Former Lakers great AC Green, WNBA legend Ruthie Bolton and Sparky, the LA Sparks mascot, join ESPN’s Bonnie Bernstein and celebrity chef Antonia Lofaso to celebrate runners


ATLANTA, Oct. 24, 2012 /3BL Media/ - After weeks of training, the finish line is finally in sight. At 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27, at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., more than 1,500 children in grades K-7 will run the “final mile” in their race to become ING KiDS ROCK marathoners. This non-competitive, non-timed event is the culmination of a school-based running program designed to tackle childhood obesity through prevention.

“As the official charity of ING KiDS ROCK, the ING Run For Something Better® program is helping get kids on the road to adopting healthier lifestyles through exercise and healthy eating,” said Rhonda Mims, president of the ING Foundation and senior vice president, ING U.S. Office of Corporate Responsibility. “This initiative 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.”

The ING Run For Something Better training program guides children as they accumulate 25.2 miles (one mile shy of a marathon) at their own pace at home, during recess or at school. The mileage is tracked by a teacher, parent or facilitator. On race day, each child receives a medal and T-shirt as they cross the finish line of their final mile — completing their first “marathon.”

Former basketball greats AC Green and Ruthie Bolton, running legends Jim Ryun and Rod Dixon and ESPN sportscaster Bonnie Bernstein will be on hand to cheer on the runners.  Sparky, the LA Sparks mascot, will join the fun and celebrity chef Antonia Lofaso will conduct healthy cooking demonstrations onsite.

“A love of physical fitness starts early and sets kids up for success in life on many levels,” said Dixon, winner of the 1983 New York City Marathon. “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 smiles on their faces and everyone is a winner.”

ING KiDS ROCK is aligned with first lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” initiative, as well as the President’s Challenge, which encourages youth fitness. Runners can earn President’s Challenge rewards for staying active and tracking their progress with other kids nationwide. ING KiDS ROCK LA takes place in conjunction with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon Sunday, Oct. 28. For more information, please visit


Press inquiries:

Audria Belton Benn
ING U.S.                      
Office: (770) 980-5715  
Cell: (404) 644-3510


Dan Cruz                                                                      
Competitor Group, Inc.                                                               
Cell: (619) 925-7671                     


Emily Gibbs
Competitor Group, Inc.
Cell: (858) 527-5483


About ING

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 KiDS ROCK is supported by ING Run For Something Better® , which helps fund school-based running programs across America. As part of ING U.S.’s commitment to education, the program advocates curbing childhood obesity through prevention — teaching kids early on about the benefits of physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle. Nationally, ING U.S. has committed more than $4 million to grants and school-based running programs through ING Run For something Better. Since 2006, the 501(c)(3) organization has raised an additional $1.7 million through its “Orange Laces” campaign. For every $10 in donations, supporters receive a pair of orange shoelaces, symbolizing their “ties” to youth fitness. All net proceeds go to ING Run For Something Better fitness programs. For more information about ING Run For Something Better, go to


ING KiDS ROCK LA is a cumulative marathon program capped by a non-competitive, non-timed one-mile fun run for kids grades K-7. 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 aims to motivate children to live a healthy lifestyle. They can learn early on that running can be fun and goals can be attainable. On Saturday, Oct. 27, 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: