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Surf City USA(R) Marathon Impacts the World

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif., Dec. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- For the fourth consecutive year, the Surf City USA(R) Marathon (Feb. 1, 2009) is teaming up with the Free Wheelchair Mission for a fundraising event that is directly responsible for changing the lives of 26,658 disabled people worldwide.

In the Fourth Annual "Run for Mobility", the event's 17,000 runners are encouraged to use the Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K as a way to raise funds that sends specially engineered wheelchairs to needy and developing nations. Information is available at

An alliance forged in 2006, Surf City USA Marathon runners have raised more than $1,200,000 to date. This year's target is $600,000 and 11,600 chairs. Each wheelchair is made of mountain bike tires and durable outdoor furniture, designed to withstand all types of weather conditions and often rough terrain in underdeveloped countries. One wheelchair costs under $52.00 manufactured and shipped.

"It's truly amazing to think that our race in Huntington Beach has impacted so many needy people across the globe," said Surf City USA Marathon General Manager Amy Tomchak. "If stretched wheel-to-wheel across the 26.2 mile marathon course, the number of wheelchairs distributed nearly covers that span."

The Irvine, Calif.-based Free Wheelchair Mission has delivered 346,333 chairs as of Nov. 2008. While conventional wheelchairs can cost between $500 and $30,000, founder Don Schoendorfer, a mechanical engineer, developed an inexpensive version; a simple contraption made from a plastic lawn chair and 24-inch mountain bike tires.

"Free Wheelchair Mission Board Members for years wanted a way to tie athletics and movement into actually changing the lives of those waiting for help," said John Sexton, Executive Director. "Run for Mobility has become a cornerstone of our annual fund raising efforts."

The Surf City USA Marathon is California's largest oceanfront marathon and half marathon, and the only major "winter" race held in Southern California. Formerly known as the Pacific Shoreline Marathon, the 13th annual event is held on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 1, 2009. More than 30,000 spectators from the 48 contiguous states and 19 foreign countries are anticipated to pack the downtown and outlying areas. Weekend highlights include the two-day Active Lifestyle Beach Expo and Michelob Ultra Post Race Beer Garden. Information is available at

SOURCE Surf City USA Marathon
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