RACINE, Wis.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nearly 100 youth participated in the first UnitedHealthcare IRONKIDS® Racine Fun Run today at North Beach Park. UnitedHealthcare mascot Dr. Health E. Hound kicked-off the fun run, joined by Ginger Dzick, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Wisconsin vice president.
Local athletes, ages 3-15, had the opportunity to run on the same course as the IRONMAN® 70.3® Racine, which takes place tomorrow.
“The IRONKIDS fun runs give our community the opportunity to have fun together, and begin their day being active and healthy. Walking and running are exercises everyone can do to maintain a healthful lifestyle,” said Ginger Dzick, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Wisconsin vice president. “UnitedHealthcare is grateful for the opportunity to partner with IRONMAN to help children in our community live healthier lives.”
This is the fourth year UnitedHealthcare is supporting IRONKIDS as part of the company’s commitment to help stem the rising tide of childhood obesity through healthy lifestyles. The UnitedHealthcare IRONKIDS 2015 Series features nine one-mile fun-runs and a dip-and-dash.
Obesity among children and adolescents has almost tripled since 1980, with nearly one in every three children being overweight or obese, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Children from low-income and low-education households are three-times more likely to suffer from obesity, which is a leading risk factor for diabetes, heart disease and many cancers, according to America’s Health Rankings®, an annual comprehensive assessment of the nation’s health on a state-by-state basis. Wisconsin ranks 29th in the country with nearly 30 percent of adults and nearly 12 percent of youth estimated to be obese.
“We are thrilled to have a partner in UnitedHealthcare to sponsor these youth events as part of our IRONMAN series,” said Carola Ross, chief sales officer for IRONMAN. “The opportunity the IRONKIDS fun-runs offer young athletes is tremendous, as these races can be the catalyst for a lifetime of exercise and healthy living.”
After being acquired from the Sara Lee Corporation, which owned the event series since 1985, IRONKIDS® launched in 2009 with nine events in the IRONKIDS® National Triathlon Series. Since the inaugural year, IRONKIDS® has seen more than 60,000 participants and has grown to more than 60 events worldwide including races in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and North America. The brand represents a multi-dimensional approach to creating positive experiences for athletes, families and communities, as well as embodies achievement and determination while fostering self-esteem. The IRONKIDS® mission is to inspire and motivate through the sport to live an active, positive and healthy lifestyle. For more information visit www.ironkids.com.
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, military service members, retirees and their families, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 850,000 physicians and care professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at www.uhc.com or follow @myUHC on Twitter.