News Column

'OC Marathon Presented by PacifiCare' Set for Jan. 8

PR Newswire



CYPRESS, Calif., Jan. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- PacifiCare Health Systems Inc., a UnitedHealthcare company, is sponsoring the second annual OC Marathon set for Sunday, Jan. 8.

With running legend Bill Rodgers making an appearance, the race looks to draw runners from around the world and provide a fast and scenic event while supporting 11 Orange County children's charities.

The "OC Marathon Presented by PacifiCare" is a qualifying race for the Boston Marathon and expects to draw nearly 15,000 runners and 40,000 spectators to Orange County. In addition to the marathon, there will be a half-marathon and several shorter-distance races.

"Orange County has been PacifiCare's home for more than 25 years, so we are proud to continue our support of the OC Marathon," said James Frey, chief executive officer, Pacific Region, of UnitedHealthcare. "We believe that the Marathon's combination of promoting healthful, active lifestyles and its support of numerous local children's charities reflects PacifiCare's theme, 'Caring is good. Doing something is better.'"

PacifiCare also sponsored last year's inaugural OC Marathon, which generated more than $300,000 for 10 Orange County children's charities. More than 10,000 runners from 10 countries, 43 states and 600 cities participated, attracting a 25,000-spectator crowd to mark one of the most successful inaugural marathons in history.

"PacifiCare's support made it possible for us to bring back this truly unique event," said Bill Sumner, director of the marathon. "With beautiful weather and a route that takes you through some breathtaking scenery, Orange County is a dream location for a marathon. It makes for a truly memorable running experience."

The 2006 OC Marathon will feature a scenic 26.2-mile course that will begin at Newport Center, adjacent to Fashion Island in Newport Beach, and wind its way through the cities of Newport Beach and Irvine to finish at the Greater Irvine Spectrum area. The race should prove to be a fast course with perfect marathon weather conditions, showcasing the history and beauty of Orange County along the way.

The 2006 race will again benefit Orange County children's charities through the nonprofit organization, Run for Orange County Kids (ROCK). The 11 charities that will benefit from this year's races include: Boys & Girls Club of Santa Ana; Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Southern California Chapter; CSUF Special Games; Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF); Make-A-Wish Foundation; Orange County Ronald McDonald House; Olive Crest Abused Children's Foundation; Shortstop; SeaStar School for Neuroeducation; SCAMP (Southern California Asthma Medical Program); and United Cerebral Palsy.

"Last year, the marathon not only provided a fun and healthful activity for the county, but also raised $300,000 to improve the lives of our children through the charities that it benefited," said ROCK Board Member Jim Silva, Orange County Supervisor, 2nd District. "The Orange County Board of Supervisors is thrilled to welcome back this event that showcases the best of Orange County to residents and visitors and supports the good work of almost a dozen local charities."

In addition to the races, the weekend will also offer a health and runner's expo Jan. 6 and 7. For more information on the OC Marathon, call (949) 222-3327 or visit http://www.ocmarathon.com/ to sign up as a runner, sponsor or volunteer.

About PacifiCare

PacifiCare Health Systems is one of the nation's largest consumer health organizations with nearly 3.3 million health plan members and approximately 11.3 million specialty plan members nationwide. PacifiCare offers individuals, employers and Medicare beneficiaries a variety of consumer-driven health care and life insurance products. Specialty plan operations include behavioral health, dental and vision, and complete pharmacy benefit management through its wholly owned subsidiary, Prescription Solutions. More information on PacifiCare Health Systems is available at http://www.pacificare.com/.

"Caring is good. Doing something is better." is a registered trademark of PacifiCare Health Systems Inc. PacifiCare Health Systems Inc.

Web site: http://www.pacificare.com/http://www.ocmarathon.com/



Source: PR Newswire


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