On Sunday, November 4th, we will run the most exciting race of our lives—the New York City Marathon. In our hometown of Little Rock Arkansas, we have always been involved in both our local marathon and the Clinton Foundation—Nancy was on the committee for the opening of the Clinton Presidential Center. Since then, we have looked for ways to tie our passion for healthy living, running, business, and philanthropy with the mission of the Clinton Foundation. Our love for the outdoors, and President Clinton’s strong commitment to curbing obesity nationwide and in the hometown we share with him, convinced us we had to join Team Healthier Generation and make a difference.
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a partnership between the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation, works to address one of the nation's leading public health threats – childhood obesity. The goal of the Alliance is to reduce the nationwide prevalence of childhood obesity by 2015 and to empower kids to make healthy lifestyle choices.
This is a cause we are passionate about. As half-marathoners, tri-athletes, and adventure racers, we are both lifelong athletes. We have also seen firsthand the devastating effects of childhood obesity in our own state, where the obesity rate has climbed to over 30%. It is the seventh most obese state in the United States. Yet, as small business owners of a local restaurant, Whole Hog Café in North Little Rock, we have also seen how marathons and community service can make a difference in reversing this trend—we help support numerous local schools and non-profit organizations. We like to say the Alliance’s mission is the same as our philanthropic mission: to promote a healthier lifestyle by using your own experiences and talents to encourage and support others.
Ever since the race’s inception in 2003, we have sponsored the Little Rock Marathon; and this year, Nancy is its chairman. We also help sponsor the Little Rockers program, which encourages kids to get involved in the marathon by racing and volunteering through their local schools. It is only through kids’ continued enthusiasm about living a healthy lifestyle that we can reverse the obesity epidemic in communities like ours across the nation.