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Surf City USA Marathon's 'Run for Mobility' Nears $2 Million Fundraising Threshold; Offers Free Half Marathon 'Team-Training-Together' Program

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif., Dec. 2, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- For the sixth consecutive year, the Surf City USA® Marathon is partnering with the Irvine-based Free Wheelchair Mission for a fundraising event that is directly responsible for changing the lives of nearly 38,000 disabled people worldwide.  The innovative "Run for Mobility" (Sunday, February 6, 2011) encourages all runners to use the Surf City Marathon, Half Marathon and all-new One Mile run/walk as a way to raise funds that send 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 $1,800,000 and, when stretched wheel to wheel, the wheelchairs distributed with these proceeds would cover the entire 26.2 mile beachfront course.  With a target goal of $300,000 and 5,000 additional wheelchairs for 2011, Run for Mobility has implemented several exciting programs to encourage participation including the inaugural Team-Training-Together (T3), a free training program for first time and seasoned runners and racing for free if you raise $500 by race day.

T3 provides coached groups every other week as well as valuable tips on proper hydration, nutrition, effective cross training, flexibility, and other relevant run related topics.  Participants receive a comprehensive training program incorporating all the essential components of a safe and effective half marathon training regimen.  The group meets every other Saturday at 8 AM at the Huntington Beach Pier.

"The Run for Mobility is one of Free Wheelchair Mission's most valued partnerships.  It gives runners the ability to provide the transforming gift of a wheelchair around the world," said Free Wheelchair Mission founder Don Schoendorfer.  A recipient of the U.S. House of Representatives 'Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition' in March, Schoendorfer added, "Run for Mobility has become a cornerstone of our annual fund raising efforts and would not be possible without the support of the entire Surf City Marathon management team."

Globally, Free Wheelchair Mission has manufactured and shipped 521,000 wheelchairs to 77 countries since it was launched in 2001.  While conventional wheelchairs can cost between $500 and $30,000, Schoendorfer, a mechanical engineer, developed an inexpensive version; a simple contraption made from a plastic lawn chair and 24-inch mountain bike tires.  

"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.  "There are few opportunities to make such a significant impact on so many lives and running for those who can't is a great way to make the race more meaningful for everyone involved."

The 15th Surf City USA Marathon is held on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011 and plays host to over 20,000 runners from around the world.  Staged in front of The Waterfront Beach Resort, a Hilton hotel, this exclusive oceanfront course runs on Pacific Coast Highway, past the famous Huntington Beach Pier and winds through the surfing beaches that define Southern California.  Weekend highlights include the two-day Active Lifestyle Beach Expo and Michelob Ultra Post Race Beer Garden.  Through Free Wheelchair Mission's Run for Mobility, the race as raised more than $1.8 million over the past six years and distributed nearly 38,000 specially engineered wheelchairs to needy and developing nations.  More information is available at

SOURCE Surf City USA Marathon
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