This weekend 20,000 women from 50 states and 34 countries completed the Nike Women’s Marathon (NWM), the largest race of its kind in the world, raising more than $105.5 million over the last seven years for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). This total makes the Nike Women’s Marathon one of the largest philanthropic contributors among organized races.
This year’s female winner of the marathon was Leah Thorvilson from Little Rock, Arkansas with a time of 2:46:42 and the half-marathon winner was Carly Harris from Long Beach, California with a time of 1:20:45. “The Nike Women’s Marathon is such an amazing experience with energy unlike any other race” said Joan Benoit Samuelson, former Olympian and the inspiration for the event. “I ran with my daughter today making it even more special for me, and am so proud to see all of these amazing women crossing the finish line.”
The Nike Women’s Marathon began in 2004 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Joan Benoit Samuelson’s historic gold-medal in the first women’s marathon at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles. Since its inception, this unique women’s marathon has brought together more than 100,000 women and become one of the largest philanthropic race contributors.
“The Nike Women's Marathon has truly become an inspiration to all of us at Nike,” said Amy White, Nike's Vice President of Running for North America. “It is a testimony to the power of sport to join women of all ages in achieving their own goals while collectively raising over $105M for LLS."
The race begins in Union Square and runs along the San Francisco Bay with scenic views of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge, ushering runners down the Great Highway as they cross the finish line. Along the course runners will be treated to live entertainment, college cheer stations and Nike+ PowerSong stations. Each full and half marathon finisher for the Nike Women’s Marathon received a finisher’s t-shirt and specially designed Tiffany & Co. necklace and pendant commemorating the 2010 race.
In addition to the race, the Nike Women’s Marathon offers a variety of activities focusing on the female athlete throughout the weekend at the Nike Women’s Marathon Expotique. Understanding that there are two parts to a woman’s running life – her lifestyle and her athleticism, the Expotique (“Expo” + “Boutique”) is a celebration of the women who participate. This year’s Expotique will offer a range of activities including a course preview video, gait analysis and footwear trials, Nike+ headquarters featuring the Nike+ GPS App for iPhone, Nike Swift Bra fittings, dedication wall, Hurley denim fittings and customization, athlete calls, live race course status updates on facebook, Cole Haan “Treat Your Feet,” relaxing zen massages, race day nutrition advice, a photo booth, foot massages and more. Runners were also treated to on-stage award presentations by Joan Benoit Samuelson and world class runner Nick Symmonds.