UnitedHealthcare Teams Up with IRONKIDS to Energize Youth at the 2013 UnitedHealthcare IRONKIDS National Race Series

Fri Apr 5, 2013 8:00am EDT

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* UnitedHealthcare sponsors 10 youth events - nine running races and a triathlon
- in seven states
* Company partners with local nonprofits to sponsor at-risk youth in the races,
providing entry fees and other costs
* More than 30 percent of the population is overweight, according to the
America`s Health Rankings

GALVESTON, Texas--(Business Wire)--
UnitedHealthcare announced it will once again team up with IRONKIDS® for the
2013 UnitedHealthcare IRONKIDS National Race series. 

UnitedHealthcare and IRONKIDS aim to inspire and motivate youth to lead active,
positive and healthy lifestyles by sponsoring 10 youth events - nine running
races and a triathlon - in seven states. 

The first event will kick off on April 6 in Galveston at the UnitedHealthcare
IRONKIDS Galveston Fun Run where hundreds of young people, ages 3 to 15, will
participate in a one-mile race to raise awareness about obesity and living
healthy. UnitedHealthcare mascot Dr. Health E. Hound will participate in the
event, helping youth and their parents with warm-up exercises and joining the
kids at the starting line to officially kick-off the race. 

UnitedHealthcare and the Galveston Boys & Girls Club, which works with youth in
underserved communities, will sponsor more than 50 runners. The company will
provide complimentary entry fees for the race and weekend-long IRONMAN
activities, enabling youth who often face barriers to good health, such as the
cost of participating in athletic events, to compete in a running event. 

Open to participants ages 3 to 15, the UnitedHealthcare IRONKIDS 2013 Running
Series features age-appropriate health activities such as the one-mile walk/run
as well as music and health expos, and the opportunity to watch IRONMAN and
IRONMAN 70.3 events along with hundreds of spectators. 

"We are thrilled to once again have UnitedHealthcare team-up with IRONKIDS to
sponsor the 2013 UnitedHealthcare IRONKIDS National Race Series," said Carola
Ross, senior vice president of Sales and Marketing for IRONMAN North America.
"The opportunity that it affords thousands of youth in these communities is a
fun way to get up and be active while educating on the importance of living a
healthy lifestyle." 

UnitedHealthcare employees will also be on hand at the races to cheer youth
participants and lead healthy, hands-on activities such as games and exercises,
as well as distribute educational materials. The company will award each runner
with water, healthy snacks, T-shirts and medals. 

This is the second year UnitedHealthcare is supporting IRONKIDS races and is
part of the company`s overall commitment to help stem the rising tide of
childhood obesity through healthy lifestyles. 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. Texas ranks 40th among all 50 states in obesity; more than 30 percent of
Texans have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher. 

"These IRONKIDS races are creating an inspirational environment where children,
young adults and families can learn how healthier living can enhance their
well-being and inspire the athlete in all of us," said Steve Nelson, CEO of
UnitedHealthcare Community & State. "Children can enjoy a lifetime of good
health and wellness by learning about the benefits of healthy lifestyles at an
early age, and how exercise can take them across finish lines they had never
imagined." 

The UnitedHealthcare IRONKIDS National Race series schedule includes 10 events
in seven states beginning April 6 and ending Nov. 16. Additional cities and
dates include Haines City, Fla., May 18; Syracuse, N.Y., June 22; Lake Stevens,
Wash., July 20; Lake Placid, N.Y., July 26; Las Vegas, Sept. 7; Madison, Wis.,
Sept. 7; Panama City Beach, Fla., Nov. 1; and Tempe, Ariz., Nov. 16. All the
events are one-mile "fun runs" with the exception of Haines City, Fla., which
will include a Triathlon. 

For more information about the IRONKIDS Running Race Series or to register for
an upcoming event, visit www.IRONKIDS.com. For more information about
UnitedHealthcare, visit www.uhc.com or follow @myUHC on Twitter. 

About IRONMAN
The iconic IRONMAN® brand and event series is the largest participation sports
platform in the world. Since the inception of IRONMAN in 1978, athletes have
proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines at the world`s most
challenging endurance races. Recognized for excellence through distinguished
events, world-class athletes and quality products, World Triathlon Corporation
(WTC), owner and operator of IRONMAN, has grown from a single race to a global
sensation with more than 180 events across five unique brands: IRONMAN, IRONMAN
70.3®, 5150™ Triathlon Series, Iron Girl® and IronKids.® Supported by partners
including Timex, PowerBar, K-Swiss and TYR, more than 200,000 athletes compete
each season in the Ironman and Ironman 70.3 Series. For more information, visit
www.ironman.com. 

About IRONKIDS
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 over 40 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, 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. 

About UnitedHealthcare
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
and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than
780,000 physicians and other care professionals and 5,900 hospitals and other
care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 40 million people
in health benefits and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:
UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company. 

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UnitedHealthcare
Molly McMillen, 612-353-7778
or
IRONKIDS
Patrick McGee, 813-868-5928 

Copyright Business Wire 2013