World#039;s largest run

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 28, 2001

Mark your calendar. On Saturday, June 2, 2001, join thousands of Americans from coast to coast as they celebrate the 150th anniversary of American YMCA's by participating in the YMCA World's Largest Run. More than 700 YMCAs will unite to host a national, multi-city, synchronized 5-K run and fun walk.

"An event of this size or type has never been attempted before," said Jeremy Solomon, vice president for The Running Network, which represents 29 regional and specialty running magazines.

"The Greenville YMCA is proud to participate in the YMCA World's Largest Run and we expect over 100 people will participate in this historical event," said Tim Dunsford, executive director, Greenville YMCA.

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One synchronized start time, (11 a.m. Atlantic (Puerto Rico), 10 a.m. Eastern; 9 a.m. Central; 8 a.m. Mountain; 7 a.m. Pacific and 4 a.m. in Hawaii) means that tens of thousands of people will be saluting strong kids, strong families and strong communities in six time zones.

"Our hope is that parents and their kids sign up and run together as a family," said Dunsford. "Sports and physical activities are an ideal opportunity to stay healthy together and connected with each other."

Each host Y will serve as an official "headquarters" where participants can register, receive information or volunteer to help out with event logistics. Host Ys will also coordinate the distribution of local proceeds from the event, proceeds which will be used to subsidize programs such as day camp, after school care or swim lessons for disadvantaged children, teens and families in that Y's community. The entry fee is $15 for adults and $5 for children ages 6-12.

Runners or walkers can register at the Greenville YMCA. Online registration is also available at

"We believe online registration will appeal to kids, teens and families who are wired.' This is an important audience to acquaint with their local Ys because many young people who spend hours on the computer don't often get enough exercise," said Dunsford.

"In fact, according to the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 14% of children and 12% of teens are severely overweight," said Dunsford. "One of the goals of the YMCA World's Largest Run is to help kids and adults view exercise as fun instead of drudgery."

For more information about the YMCA World's Largest Run, contact Greg Hartley, Greenville YMCA fitness director at 334-382-0550, e-mail