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Half Marathon To Support Families

Fundraiser includes 1K fun run.

Youngsters participate in last year’s Alexandria Running Festival Half Marathon and 5K.

Youngsters participate in last year’s Alexandria Running Festival Half Marathon and 5K. Photo Contributed

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* 7:30 a.m. Half Marathon * 8 a.m. Grant Thornton 5K * 8:10 a.m. Kid's 1K Fun Run Free parking is at the start / finish at U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, 600 Dulany St.

Several thousand runners and spectators will gather for the fourth annual Alexandria Running Festival Half Marathon and 5K this weekend. The event is one of many hosted by the Marathon Charity Cooperation group to help raise funds for underprivileged children and families both locally and globally.

Aside from the Half Marathon and 5K, this Sunday’s race also includes a 1K fun run for children. Medals will be given to each participant including the children. More information can be found at www.mc-coop.org/alexandria_running_festival.aspx

The beneficiaries are the Running Brooke Organization that serves the children of Alexandria, Hope for Tomorrow, Clermont Foundation, Burma Humanitarian Mission, Preemies Today, AIMS India Foundation, Asha for Education, Association for India's Development, 5th Pillar, American and Asian Indian Charitable Trust, and Iqraa.

This year marks the first time that MCC partners with Alexandria’s RunningBrooke Organization to create a specific channel for funds to Alexandria charities.

“In 2013, RunningBrooke is our only local partner so all local funds will be donated to Alexandria charities,” said Nicholas Panebianco, MCC president.

Brooke Curran, founder and president of the RunningBrooke organization, is equally excited about the joint venture.

“It’s great partnering with like minded groups for the health and help of Alexandria’s kids,” Brooke said.

MCC conducts several events a year such as the Summer Training Program and Revenge of the Penguins, a low-key, low-stress practice race for anyone training for a race or for anyone wanting a challenge. The organization also has plans of hosting a festival in Alexandria.

“I envision a festival to serve the community. I understand that Alexandria previously had a big community festival in Oronoco Bay Park each year in early June,” said Panebianco. “MCC aspires to create a new community festival to replace that void. The festival would have health and fitness activities along with lots of fun and games for kids.”

MCC promotes health and fitness, provides training and education, and raises funds for its charity partners, who assist children and families in DC, Alexandria, and around the USA and the world. MCC's motto is "Think Globally; Run Locally."

The RunningBrooke Organization (http://www.runningbrooke.com) engages and empowers citizens near and far to "lace up its shoes" for at-risk kids.