Team BEEF runner, Heath Larson, of Wichita, Kan., celebrates strong finish to the 2014 Boston Marathon, coming in at 2:56:54.
The national beef checkoff, through its Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative (NEBPI), partnered with the South Dakota Beef Industry Council to ensure that runners fueled up with beef prior to the 118th Boston Marathon on Monday, April 21.
Runners and their families made their way to the John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo between April 18 and April 20 to pick up their race numbers and packets. During the three-day event there, an estimated 110,000 health-conscious athletes and supporters had the opportunity to learn about lean beef's role in a heart-healthy diet. More than 36,000 of the world’s most elite athletes -- up by 9,000 compared to 2013 -- ran the Boston Marathon on Monday morning. Additional participants were allowed to register this year to help mark the one-year anniversary of the 2013 Boston bombings at the finish line of the marathon on April 15, 2013.
National Beef Ambassador Team members Tori Summey, Justana Von Tate and Sierra Jepsen were on site to distribute about 3,000 lean beef sticks, recipe brochures and beef nutrition information to expo participants. Visitors enjoyed talking with the Ambassadors about how cattle are raised and the ways to incorporate lean beef into an athlete’s diet. The Ambassadors gave booth visitors the chance to win the "Best of Beef" raffle basket, featuring a $100 Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse gift card, a copy of the Cooking Light: Global Kitchen cookbook signed by author David Joachim, and other beef prizes. The event, in total, brought out about 1 million spectators.
On Team BEEF, 13 runners participated in this year's marathon. The team included runners from Colorado, Kansas, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin, all of whom serve as great spokespeople for the industry and have a passion for promoting the health benefits of beef. Team Beef runner profiles are available on the NEBPI website.
These runners enjoyed being recognized as part of Team BEEF and loved hearing the "Go Beef!" cheers from the crowd as they made their way to the finish line. In Heath Larson’s hometown of Wichita, Kan., he gave a TV interview about why he participates on Team BEEF and how lean beef fuels him for the finish. Watch Heath’s interview here. This was Heath’s third time qualifying for the Boston Marathon and his second opportunity to run it. He and the rest of the 2014 Team BEEF runners say they are looking forward to running on the team again at next year's marathon.
Our thoughts and prayers remain with those affected by the tragedies in Boston at the 2013 Marathon.
Source: Beef Checkoff