Dr. Norm Solomon, dean of Fairfield University's Charles F. Dolan School of Business, running NYC marathon to support fitness programs for kids

When Norm Solomon, Easton resident and dean of Fairfield University's Charles F. Dolan School of Business, runs in this year's New York City Marathon on Nov. 2, it won't just be about besting his time of last year. Tackling the grueling 26.2-mile course will also be about running as a member of Team for Kids, a group of more than 1,000 runners raising funds to support the youth services arm of New York Road Runners (NYRR).

The money raised will go to fund weekly running-based fitness, character building and nutrition classes serving more than 30,000 children each week in almost 200 New York City schools and community centers and an additional 30,000 children a week in more than 50 locations all over the world, including South Africa. The classes target at-risk kids - most of whom don't have physical education in their schools. By learning about and practicing good habits, these kids can lower their risks of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes and lead better lives. Obesity continues to be the greatest health threat in the nation, with diabetes among its ramifications. In the past 6 years, Team for Kids, an international community of runners, has raised more than $5 million.

The overall goal is to help kids lead healthier, more productive lives. That mission resonates with Dr. Solomon, who grew up in the Bronx, where he benefited from after-school programs. He said, "These programs can make all the difference to a child. They help kids who don't have a lot to begin with and neither do their parents.... Childhood obesity and diabetes are big problems. What better way to help children. You can't solve all the world's problems, but this is a really good cause that can turn a child's day-to-day life around for the better."

Dr. Solomon began running recreationally in 1974. Several years ago, his physician told him to lose a few pounds so he decided to take his running to the next level. He set his sights on marathon running. Last year, he finished the New York City Marathon with a time of 5:01:18 - and raised funds for Team for Kids, an official charity of the NYRR, which organizes the Marathon and is his running club. "It was a great experience and I received such terrific support that I have entered marathon again. I'm training hard," he said. His training has included running in the Ottawa, Ontario Marathon, a dozen half-marathons, weekend endurance runs with the NYRR, and hitting the pavement in Easton before dawn.

"The key thing you learn is that you have to keep a steady pace - That's where the training comes in. Elite marathoners help train us. It's fun, believe it or not, and it's challenging. I do agree with what (past New York City Marathon winner ) Greta Weitz said about marathons: "The first 20 miles is transportation, and the last six miles are the race," Dr. Solomon noted.

Those interested can donate a flat amount or a specific dollar amount for every marathon mile (for example, $1 a mile adds up to $26.20 or $5 a mile equals $131). All contributions will be acknowledged as tax deductible in a letter to you from Team for Kids. Please be sure to have all donations list Dr. Solomon's 2008 ING NYC Marathon entry number, 214089 and last name, Solomon. To make your donation online via the Team for Kids (TFK) page on the ING New York City Marathon 2008 page, visit https://www.nyrrc.org/cgi-bin/start.cgi/mar-programs/nyrrf/team/2008/donations.htm

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on September 27, 2008

Vol. 41, No. 72

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